The Walkerton Hospital Auxiliary is disbanding after almost 120 years operating a volunteer gift shop in the local health care centre.
In July 2022, the auxiliary presented a cheque to the Walkerton and District Hospital Foundation from the sale of the remaining items in the gift shop before it closed its doors in the spring. In addition to the gift shop, other fundraising initiatives were held in the community throughout the years to support the purchase of medical equipment for the hospital.
The auxiliary contributed anywhere from $9,000 to $13,000 to the foundation annually.
Michael Barrett, South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGHC) President and CEO, says there’s several reasons the volunteer group couldn’t continue, including visitor restrictions during the pandemic and a lack of new members.
“The gift shop, and all of the volunteers who have worked in it, have been a symbol of community spirit inside the hospital for many years, and they will be missed,” said Barrett. “On behalf of the SBGHC Board, Staff, Physicians and Volunteers, I want to thank all of the Walkerton Hospital Auxiliary members for their many years of service to support the Walkerton community. For well over a century, this group of community-minded individuals have dedicated time and effort to support our hospital and the patients, families, caregivers, and visitors that we serve, and we are sincerely grateful.”