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Supporting the Needs of Health Care, The Bonavista Peninsula Health Centre Auxiliary

From: Janet Fisher

The Bonavista Peninsula Health Centre AuxiliaryThe Bonavista Peninsula Health Centre Auxiliary (BPHCA) has been in existence for 37 years. Originally formed to provide volunteer services and raise money for items needed at the old Bonavista Cottage Hospital, the Auxiliary today provides its services to the entire complex, which includes the new Bonavista Peninsula Community Health Centre and Golden Heights Manor. Although primarily a fundraising group, some of our members are also volunteers who assist in patient/resident care. Our membership totals fourteen ladies, four of whom hold executive positions.

Supporting the Needs of Health Care
The primary role of our Auxiliary is to support the needs of our local health care facilities, both acute and long-term care. Donations in the past ten years have included:
  • 10 geriatric chairs to Golden Heights Manor 
  • monetary donation towards the proposed pavilion for Golden Heights Manor 
  • 11 televisions and a patient lift to the G. B. Cross Hospital in Clarenville

Our regular fundraisers include a Baked Bean and Dessert Takeout in the spring, a Fall Craft and Bake Sale (with soup and pastry lunch), and a Christmas Tree of Memories Campaign.

Special Events and Fundraising Opportunities
A special fundraiser was organized by the Bonavista Branch of Scotiabank. It included a rummage sale, bake sale, barbecue and 50/50 draw and our Auxiliary was one of four community groups invited to participate and share the proceeds.

In the spring of 2010 we launched a project which proved to be a very popular and successful one. A 2011 calendar - Beautiful Bonavista - was produced, using pictures of Bonavista taken by local amateur photographers. Local businesses were also given the opportunity to advertise in the calendar. One thousand calendars were printed - the proceeds of which allowed us to provide each bed at the hospital with a television.

Ongoing efforts
We have an account at the Bonavista Recycling Depot, to which the public may donate their recyclables, and we operate the Pepsi machines at Bonavista Hospital and Golden Heights Manor. Support from both the community and health care facilities has been outstanding.

Each month at Golden Heights Manor a birthday party is held for residents who celebrate their birthday during that month, sponsored by community groups. In December, we host the celebration with cookies, a birthday cake and gifts for the celebrants. Since it is held near Christmas, we also have a carol sing-along.

The BPHCA is a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Healthcare Auxiliaries. Each fall several members attend the provincial convention, which is held at various locations around the province. The most recent convention was held in Clarenville, and was sponsored by the auxiliaries in Clarenville, Carbonear and Bonavista.

Two of our members also attended the national convention held last spring in St. John’s. They made a special connection with four ladies from Manitoba, who stayed in the province for some touring after the convention was over. They came to Bonavista after being invited to do so by our auxiliary members, and were treated to a personal tour of the town and a meal of fish and brewis. When different worlds connect we discover that we are not so different after all, and that is the experience that our members get when they take part in such events.

As is likely the case for most volunteer organizations, recruiting new members can be quite a challenge; however, the success of a group isn’t necessarily based on numbers but on the heart of its volunteers and the support they get from the people they serve. It is this that makes our little group such a big success!


Updated Apr 15, 2013