Pomerene Auxiliary celebrates year 50 during Christmas Festival

Pomerene Auxiliary celebrates year 50 during Christmas Festival

Image Credit: Dave Mast

For 50 years the Pomerene Hospital Auxiliary’s volunteers have been making a major impact at the hospital, whether that means doing volunteer work at the hospital or providing funds that allow the different departments to purchase items that aid in their ability to provide quality care.

Part of their ability to do so includes the annual Pomerene Auxiliary Christmas Festival that took place Dec. 1-2 at Berlin Grande Hotel, where the conference room turned into a scene straight out of the North Pole, with Christmas décor inundating the room.

This fundraiser continues to be a critical one for the auxiliary, with many area businesses and organizations creating Christmas decorations that the auxiliary sells during the festival.

Milo Miller, publisher of The Budget, returned to serve as a judge after a several-year hiatus along with Jason Justus, Pomerene Hospital CEO and Dave Mast, co-publisher of The Bargain Hunter. He said coming back to enjoy the aura of the Christmas festival was something he cherished, noting that seeing. The community unite and create such a fantastic fundraiser for the auxiliary was typical of Holmes County.

“The Christmas spirit here is amazing,” Miller said. “You walk in here and you can feel the community coming together to support a great organization in the Pomerene Hospital Auxiliary. Then you use the creativity in the community come out and bring out some unique, colorful ideas to allow the rest of the community to come in here and see it all on display in such a festive way.”

The conference room at Berlin Grande Hotel was filled with Christmas trees, wreaths and decorative table centerpieces that created a fantastic Christmas aura, filled with twinkling lights, Yuletide carols and plenty of fellowship.

Thursday evening was the donor night, which honored those who had contributed to the festival with donations of Christmas items or financially, which allowed the hospital to create many of the Christmas items for sale.

One day later the community was invited into the festival to view the array of Christmas items and purchase any that caught their fancy.

There was also plenty of raffle items donated from local businesses that allowed patrons to purchase tickets for an item they hoped to win.

All proceeds from the event went directly back into the Pomerene Auxiliary general fund, where over the years the group has been able to support many of the various hospital departments buy purchasing items that are not in the budget but provide even more expertise care for patients.

In addition, the auxiliary volunteers donate their time in serving the hospital by doing what they can to make every stay at the hospital as pleasant as possible during a time that can be taxing for patients, family and friends.

“These volunteers donate so much time and give such a great effort into making sure Pomerene Hospital patients and staff recognize they are appreciated and loved,” said Cindy Yoder, Pomerene Auxiliary administrative assistant, credentialing and volunteer coordinator. “This event continues to provide funds that enable the hospital departments to do some things that they might not otherwise be able to do.”

Justus said the work done by the auxiliary is often unheralded, although none of them do it for the accolades and honor, but rather because they have a deep desire to serve others and help wherever they can.

“It’s a special group of people who has maintained their focus on helping Pomerene and have made a major impact on what we offer those who come to Pomerene for care,” Justus said. “They enjoy giving back to the community selflessly year after year.”

In celebrating the auxiliary’s 50th anniversary, Justus said they invited all current members as well as anyone who has served as an auxiliary volunteer in the past to participate in a celebration tea party in late September, where they enjoyed an afternoon rehashing memories and sharing in the joy the organization has spread through its kindness and generosity toward others.

He said it was a terrific turnout and he and many others heard plenty of heartwarming stories that deepened their appreciation for the many people who have served through the auxiliary.

“It was a real inspiration hearing from so many,” Justus said.

He went on to note that the role the auxiliary volunteers play ranges from being around the entry room to welcome people, to providing advice or direction, or just taking care of other details around the hospital that often go unnoticed.

“They are servants, and they give back to the patients, to the employees and to the community,” Justus said. “You can count how important that is and what it’s worth. It’s a tremendous contribution to the hospital and a fantastic asset.”

He said the hospitality shown by the auxiliary members coupled with the ever-present thoughtfulness and professionalism of the staff at the hospital create an environment that helps put patients and family members at ease during visits, something that every hospital seeks.

“It’s about creating a positive attitude and treating people the right way,” Justus said. “I think we are fortunate to have a community hospital built around serving others that has people who care for every single person who comes in. It’s very satisfying to see how everyone at Pomerene who are giving of themselves selflessly every day makes it easy to come to work and it warms my heart to be a part of it.

“We couldn’t have more giving, compassionate people, and that includes the many volunteers from the auxiliary who make a big difference.”

Anyone wishing to learn more about what the auxiliary does or is interested in becoming an auxiliary member can contact Yoder at the hospital at 330-674-1584 ext. 1100.