Giving is so ingrained in the Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary that when the auxiliary received a major philanthropy award last month, auxiliary members took the time during the awards ceremony to present a $60,000 donation to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
The Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary (CHCA) won the Outstanding Philanthropic Service Club Award during the National Philanthropy Day event Nov. 18 in Victoria.
The award recognizes a civic or service club that has demonstrated exceptional commitment and leadership in the community through service and financial support and through encouragement and motivation of others to take leadership roles toward philanthropy and community involvement.
CHCA members Helen Williamson, Susan Beaubier, Donna McCasky, Marie Hinchsliff, Grace Reay and Curl Twentyman attended the awards ceremony, and they presented a cheque for $60,000 to Jessica Bell of the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation during the ceremony.
“When our auxiliary was announced as the winner of our category, both Helen and Susan spoke to the attendees,” reports CHAC member Mimi Zuyderduyn. “Our cheque presentation for $60,000 to Jessica received a standing ovation. During the reception, many people spoke to our delegates, offering congratulations. Judith Guichon, the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, offered her personal congratulations to Helen and Grace.”
CHCA past president Susan Beaubier says auxiliary members were delighted to win this award.
“It was thrilling, to say the least,” she said. “We had a very, very warm response from the audience. We’re so very proud and pleased to be the recipients this year.”
Jessica Bell, the philanthropy officer for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation — Vancouver Island, nominated the Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary for the Outstanding Philanthropic Service Club Award and was at the ceremony when the auxiliary won.
“It was an incredibly special night, I think, for both our organization and the Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary,” said Bell. “We were thrilled they were celebrated for the work they do in the community, and we also were very touched to be the recipient of such a generous gift.”
The CHCA has made a commitment to donate $500,000 to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the $60,000 donation brings their contribution so far to $335,000.
“We feel very fortunate to have been the recipient of their generosity over the past many years,” said Bell. “They are a wonderful and very committed and dedicated group, and it’s been our pleasure having the opportunity to work with them on helping to support the kids in B.C. The money they have pledged will help to build a brand-new BC Children’s Hospital, which will be an incredible resource for children all across B.C., including those living on Vancouver Island.”
Beaubier says auxiliary members are working very hard, primarily through their Thrift Shop, to raise the funds to meet their goal.
“We can’t do it without the tremendous support we get from the community, in terms of donating their used goods to us and those who come to shop,” she said. “It’s definitely a community initiative.”
Besides BC Children’s Hospital, the CHCA also supports the Chemainus Health Care Centre, Cowichan District Hospital, Royal Jubilee Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital, among others.
The CHCA has about 176 volunteers, and Beaubier says they put in 48,000 volunteer hours last year. They have a staff of three who work diligently to keep the Thrift Shop flowing well, and they are able to employ three students in part-time roles, she explained.
Beaubier says people come from all over the Island to donate their items to the Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store and to shop, and they even have people from Alberta who stop by during their annual visits to shop and bring in their donations.
“Thanks to the work of our earlier auxiliary members and all the ones who have served in the past, we have a very good reputation,” she said. “We feel we have a good reputation, and we work hard to maintain that. We set high standards for ourselves.”