Geary Community Hospital Auxiliary
A vital part of the GCH experience, Geary Community Hospital’s Auxiliary is a volunteer group comprised of approximately 60 active volunteers from all walks of life as well as another 30 associate members (members who do not regularly work a volunteer schedule, but enjoy contributing to the auxiliary and helping when they can). The Auxiliary supports the hospital through staffing information desks and the Auxiliary Gift Shop, or helping in one of any number of other activities. The Auxiliary raises funds through dues, gift shop revenue, and special fund-raising sales in the hospital and, in turn, regularly donates them towards many hospital projects. Whether you are young or old, male or female, employed or retired, we invite you to join the GCH Auxiliary.
How to join the GCH Auxiliary
Click here to download the GCH Auxiliary membership application
Applications are also available at any of the two Auxiliary Information Desks or the Auxiliary Gift Shop, or by calling 785-210-3308 and requesting an application.
Complete the application and turn it in at the Auxiliary Gift Shop with your $5 per year dues, or join as a lifetime member for a one-time $100. You will receive a welcome letter, a parking pass, your membership card, and instructions as to the next step. If you indicate on your application that you wish to volunteer in the hospital, an Auxiliary scheduler will call to arrange your training and get you set up to work. Volunteer as much or as little as you like.
Opportunities for Service
1. Two Auxiliary Information Desks:
Located at the Main Entrance and the Medical Arts I Entrance, our volunteers give directions, advice and comfort to patients and visitors from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., weekdays. Shifts are usually four hours long.
2. Auxiliary Gift Shop:
Located between the Main Lobby and the Surgery Center, the gift shop was reborn in January 2009 when the hospital completed a major expansion. The shop has been breaking sales records ever since. Besides the fashionable clothes, jewelry and purses, the shop features “Pink Lady” candles and lotions, specially made for us by the scent experts at Cypress Bridge (Abilene), and a gourmet coffee bar. Fresh cookies are baked once a week. The shop is open from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., weekdays. Shifts are usually four hours long.
3. Other volunteer opportunities:
One can help host or serve refreshments at a hospital reception. If that’s not your thing, then help us fill candy jars at Christmas, decorate Christmas trees at the hospital or serve as an officer or on a committee. There are many ways to be an active, contributing member of the auxiliary.
Auxiliary Nursing Scholarship Applications
Is there a future nurse in your life? The GCH Auxiliary offers a scholarship to assist students who are pursuing a degree in nursing. A scholarship in the amount of $500 for each of two semesters is awarded, if the student’s GPA is 3.0 or higher for the first semester. A new application must be made for each school year. Applications are due on March 23 and applicants will be notified by mail in May.
Junction City’s first hospital opened on September 9, 1913 in a large house located at the corner of Second and Adams Streets. After just a few years, the hospital outgrew its home and a new Junction City Municipal Hospital, built at the corner of Ash and Jefferson Streets, admitted its first patient in 1921.
On March 22, 1960, Hospital Administrator Richard Cole invited women from eight church groups to his home for the purpose of organizing a hospital auxiliary. The 22 ladies present at this initial meeting represented groups from the Baptist, Catholic, Christian, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and Universalist churches. Mrs. Bob Carr, a doctor’s wife, served as chairman pro-tem.
This inaugural group unanimously agreed to organize the hospital auxiliary. They decided it would need to have at least 40 members, so they were encouraged to bring interested friends to the charter meeting held on April 13, 1960 in the dining room of the Universalist Church.
Records from that first meeting note a long list of accomplishments. Mrs. Carr appointed committees to nominate and another to draft a constitution. Mrs. Eunice Kelley, was elected the first president. The group decided that the Auxiliary’s duties and projects would be caring for flowers, regulating patient visitors, providing a consultation room, visiting lonely patients, and taking care of the mail. The minutes also reflected that a constitution was adopted and that Johnson Brothers’ Furniture donated the furniture for the consultation room.
Besides Eunice Kelley, other charter founders included Dorothy Johnson, Georgia Cohen, Marian Grammar, Nadine Edie, and Martha Hoover, among others.
The Early Years
By 1961, a book cart was donated and a memorial fund was established with $25 in it. The official “pink smock” was chosen as the uniform.
In 1962, a sewing committee started making childrens’ hospital gowns. Auxilians who worked 100 hours were given awards. Dues were $1. Thankfully, the rate of inflation over the last 49 years had not affected the auxiliary dues, which have only risen to $5.
In 1963, ownership of the hospital transferred to Geary County and the name was changed to Geary Community Hospital to better reflect the mission of the hospital.
In 1967, Geary Community Hospital opened a new $2 million facility at 1102 St. Mary’s Road. The Auxiliary played a big part in fundraising for this facility. Dorothy Johnson led the Auxiliary’s charge to raise money for the new Critical Care Unit by raising $33,000 in just three nights and a total of $78,000 in only two months.
In 2009, Geary Community Hospital opened a $34 million, 110,000-square foot addition featuring a new Surgery Center, inpatient Medical-Surgical and Intensive Care units, and Auxiliary Gift Shop. The Gift Shop opened to rave reviews, offering boutique clothing and accessories, gifts, snacks, and a gourmet coffee bar. Gift Shop sales revenue increased over 500% within the first six months of business. Gift Shop profits as well as proceeds from several special fundraising sales each year are managed by the Auxiliary Board of Directors. Each year, the Auxiliary returns thousands of dollars to support projects for the hospital as well as their own scholarship award given to local students pursuing a degree in nursing.
For many years, the GCH Auxiliary has received the Gold Award of Excellence, given by the Hospital Auxiliaries of Kansas. This award is the state’s highest honor for hospital auxiliaries that have demonstrated service and commitment to their hospitals and communities. Many requirements including community involvement, employee and physician relations must be fulfilled in order to attain this high distinction.
For 55 years, the auxiliary’s mission has never changed: to serve this hospital and its patients. Their service is seen every day when volunteers helpfully staff the information desks in the hospital’s main lobby and Medical Arts I building giving directions, advice and comfort to patients and visitors. In 2015, the 56 active auxilians gave over 9,750 volunteer hours to Geary Community Hospital and Clinics. This is the true meaning of selfless service to others.
Current GCH Auxiliary Lifetime Members are:
Lynne Addair • Dan Addair • Yolanda Bowyer • Chris Burke • Margie Clowe
Ardie Cooper • Brenda Craig • Carmen Darabant • Nadine Edie • Peggye Faulkner
Barbara Fegan • Andrea Mace • Emma Manion • Joanne McKenna
Jolana Montgomery-Matney • Deanna Munson • Cyndy Platt • Rose Rothfus
Jolene Stackhouse • Gail Stein • Kathy Zimmerman