Hospital Auxiliaries

VOLUNTEERS

CELEBRATING THE LEGACY OF OUR HOSPITAL AUXILIARIES

In 1963, the Kelowna Junior Ladies Auxiliary members presented hospital equipment purchased through fundraising efforts.

For over 100 years, the volunteer members of the Okanagan Hospital Auxiliaries (Kelowna, Cottonwoods, Peachland, Rutland and Winfield) demonstrated their commitment, creativity and progressive thinking in their support for Kelowna General Hospital (KGH). Their founding mission was to raise funds to ensure that the hospitals were supplied with linens. Over time though, as the hospital began to grow with the needs of the communities it served, their initiative and ‘can-do’ mentality became instrumental in helping advance care at KGH. 

After decades of tireless commitment to the hospital, in 1996, the hospital Auxiliaries joined forces with the KGH Foundation. The decision was made that the Auxiliaries fundraising efforts would specifically support the acquisition of state-of-the-art medical equipment. Since then, they have raised and contributed over $13 million. 

In 2000, the Auxiliaries established the KGH Auxiliary Endowment Fund, investing their capital reserves to ensure that the group could support the hospital in perpetuity. 

Over the next two decades, membership slowly declined and in 2020, the decision was made to dissolve. A few remaining members continue to volunteer for the KGH Foundation through its social enterprises including the KGH Gift Shop, Perking Lot, Royal Bistro and Rutland Thrift Store. What will also remain is the incredible legacy of generosity and volunteerism that will continue through the establishment of the KGH Foundation Educational Awards, made possible by the KGH Auxiliary Endowment Fund. 

Facilitated through COBSS (Central Okanagan Bursary and Scholarship Society) and funded through the proceeds of the Endowment’s annual allocations, each year the Awards support upwards of seven students pursuing a career in a human health care field with a bursary of $2,500. Preference is given to students who volunteer in the community, including those who volunteer at the KGH Foundation social enterprises. Two awards with Okanagan College (OC) were also established, named the Kelowna Hospital Auxiliary Health Care Awards. Each year, $2,500 is awarded to two returning OC Practical Nursing diploma students who have completed the second semester in the program at the Kelowna campus.

“Thank you… this award will be of great help to continue my studies at OC,” writes one grateful student. “After completing the Practical Nursing Program, I will be working as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in the acute or long term care setting. I am excited to have a positive impact on my community and all of my future patients.” 

Over the years, well over 150 awards have been given to deserving students, many of whom have completed their studies and chosen to work in health care at Kelowna General Hospital or in the community. 

Through volunteerism, philanthropy and foresight, the Auxiliaries of the KGH Foundation and others prove yet again the timeless impact of giving.

The KGH Foundation also offers the KGH Foundation Scholarship, set up in 2007 in recognition of Terry Flanigan’s participation with the Heart of Gold event through the creation of an Endowment held by UBC. The award is offered to students who have completed one year or more of undergraduate study at UBC Okanagan and are beginning or continuing studies in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC.

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