For nearly 60 years, the Carroll Hospital Auxiliary has been an integral part of Carroll Hospital’s history and its success. This volunteer organization was formed in 1958 —three years before the hospital opened—to raise funds to build a hospital in Carroll County.
Today, the Auxiliary is as important to Carroll Hospital’s success as it was back then. With roughly 570 members, five retail stores and a year-round calendar of fundraising events, the Auxiliary provides a core source of funding for many of the cutting-edge advancements that keep Carroll Hospital at the forefront of the medical community.
In the past 10 years, the Auxiliary has raised more than $3 million for a variety of hospital projects, including funds for the construction of the Tevis Center for Wellness and the William E. Kahlert Regional Cancer Center; emergency department and operating room renovations; and expansion of the hospital’s cardiovascular services.
The Auxiliary’s latest fundraising priority focuses on the hospital’s expansion of The Family Birthplace and the introduction of the Family-Centered Neonatal Couplet Care model, designed to provide a higher level of attention to infants in need of special, longer-term care and their families. Members recently committed to raising $375,000 per year for the next three years to support the endeavor.
“I like to think of the Auxiliary as a genie in a bottle,” says Barb Gunther, Auxiliary president. “We make a habit of granting wishes in the form of equipment or raising money to help with other projects that are a priority for the hospital.”
One of the ways the Auxiliary is able to meet its annual fundraising goals is through the group’s retail operations: The Candy Striper Gift Shop, The Candy Striper Junior, the Wellness Boutique, the White Rabbit Thrift Shop and the Beasman Boutique at Integrace Fairhaven.
The Auxiliary has made a concerted effort to make these gift shops destinations that entice the entire Carroll County community to patronize, not just hospital visitors. With this in mind, the shops are stocked with a wide array of items, including jewelry and beauty products, home décor, Orioles and Ravens merchandise, and other in-demand products.
Events are another major source of fundraising dollars for the Auxiliary, including the annual gala, now in its 57th year. In 2016, the gala raised more than $128,000 to support the hospital’s recent purchase of a digital, state-of-the-art instantaneous X-ray machine and three ultrasound machines.
As the group’s fundraising priorities have evolved, so has its membership base.
“There’s a misconception that an Auxiliary member fits a very specific demographic, but that’s not true,” says Mary Richards, director of volunteer services for Carroll Hospital. “An Auxiliary member is anyone who is interested in raising awareness and financial support for the hospital, even if it’s simply through shopping in the retail store, buying a raffle ticket or coming to one of our events.”
Check out the hottest spring and summer fashions at Rocking the Runway, Carroll Hospital Auxiliary’s spring fashion show, on Thursday, April 6. Tickets are on sale now!