Ridge Meadows Hospital has a recently renovated, spiffy gift shop, thanks in large part to the efforts of the hospital’s auxiliary.
On Thursday, Sept. 12, dignitaries cut a ceremonial ribbon during the grand opening celebration of the Golden Ears Gift Shop at RMH, 11666 Laity St.
The shop is staffed by RMH Auxiliary members, who are marking their 60th anniversary this year.
Women from the auxiliary hand knit items for the gift shop.
Planning began in June 2012, and construction got underway early in the new year.
The shop officially opened in June.
RMH executive director Valerie Spurrell said the shop is a brand-new build, designed right from scratch, with hours of input from auxiliary members in partnership with Debbie Kennedy, manager of volunteer resources with Fraser Health and RMH.
“They picked out the colours, designed what it was going to look like, and have really adapted everything,” Spurrell said.
Spurrell is impressed with the shop.
“On a scale of one to 10, I’d say about a 20,” she said. “It’s moved into the centre of where all the patients are. It’s really modern, it’s welcoming, it’s beautiful colours. It’s got all kinds of things. I’m going to do my Christmas shopping here.”
Increased exposure and customers bring more revenue, which in terms will help RMH patients, Spurrell said.
“That’s what we’re here for,” she said. “To raise money to help the patients.”
All of the store’s staff come from the auxiliary, who are volunteering their time and efforts.
The auxiliary was established in March, 1953, five years before the hospital opened its doors.
The 96-member auxiliary sponsors the VolunTEEN Program (previously known as Candystripers); the hospital’s patient resource room, which provides emergency supplies to patients in need; and provides funding for minor equipment, focused on patient comfort at RMH.
Through proceeds from the Golden Ears Gift Shop and the Economy Cottage thrift store on Dewdney Trunk Rd., the auxiliary has raised $70,000 so far this year.
In 2012, the group raised $98,000, and in 2011, raised $119,000.
This year, they partnered with Fraser Health to contribute $150,000 towards the gift shop.
@ Copyright 2013