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Bazaar benefits hospital patients and families

November 11, 2003|by Alicia Notarianni

alician@herald-mail.com

In 1906, Washington County Hospital held its first public Donation Day in an effort to collect food to serve patients. As hospital lore has it, the day netted 88 cans of fruit, 119 jellies, beets, sweet potatoes, celery, chickens, beans, rice, apples, eggs, coffee, cabbages, nuts, roast beef and ice cream.

In 2003, efforts to garner resources for the hospital have become rather more sophisticated than the food drives of years gone by. In fact, the Washington County Hospital Auxiliary Inc. exists solely to support heath-care programs and services for patients and their families.

The auxiliary's latest fund-raising endeavor, the annual Fall Bazaar and Raffle on Friday, Nov. 7, brought in between $2,100 and $2,500 through sales of baked goods, country ham sandwiches, homemade crafts, grab bags, used books, plants, white elephant items and raffle tickets featuring 43 prizes.

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Cynthia Kennedy, director of volunteer services at Washington County Hospital, says the bazaar has been an annual event since at least 1954.

Linda Hovis, a 27-year member and current president of the Washington County Hospital Auxiliary, credited auxiliary members for their work on the event.

"The members do all the work. Without them, there wouldn't be a bazaar," Hovis said. "The white elephant workers were here until 9:45 p.m. last night pricing items, and they were back at 5:30 a.m. this morning setting up."

Amanda Moore of Hagers-town was one of many patrons to reap the benefits of the work. Moore said a friend who attends the bazaar every year encouraged her to stop by for her first time.

"I was here for rehab so I stopped on the way," Moore said. "I found some nice Christmas towels for a bargain."

Becky Brown, another shopper, said she was attending for her second year.

"It's for a good cause," she said. "That's why I like to come."

The bazaar was a hot spot for bargains on used books. Hardcovers were sold for $2 and paperbacks for 50 cents. Nancy Newcomer, a 21-year auxiliary member and chairwoman of library services, said auxiliary members donate their books all year in preparation for the book sale. "We try to keep the prices low as a service to the employees and visitors," Newcomer said.

Aubrey and Mary Barbara Dagliano serve the auxiliary as a team. Aubrey Dagliano is treasurer of the organization, while his wife, Mary, volunteers weekly in the gift shop and assists with special events.

"This is a very good organization," Mary Barbara Dagliano said as she worked at the plant table. "Every one is cooperative and friendly."

Hovis said items were donated by auxiliary members, the hospital gift shop and local businesses.

Other auxiliary fund-raisers include book fairs, and uniform, jewelry, linen and pocketbook sales. Proceeds from events are used in a variety of ways to benefit patients. According to Hovis, the auxiliary provided four area students with full scholarships to Hagerstown Community College last year, two for the study of radiography and two for nursing. This year, the group plans to carry on its financial support through projects including continued scholarship contributions and donation of funds for the hospital to purchase a mobile X-ray unit for patients who are unable to leave their homes.

Upcoming auxiliary events include the Tree of Lights lighting and reception at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, at Washington County Hospital. Tree of Lights provides donors an opportunity to honor and memorialize loved ones and friends through dedication of a tree light.

Auxiliary members and sponsors continue to sell raffle tickets for $1 per ticket. The drawing for winners is scheduled for at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, in the hospital lobby. Winners will receive items varying from gift certificates to U.S. savings bonds.

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