On Thursday and Friday the Central Peninsula Hospital was a one-stop shop for locally made gifts.
The Central Peninsula Hospital’s Holiday Bazaar, which is now in its 15th year, gave peninsula residents the opportunity to purchase handmade gifts from local artists and craftsmen while raising money for the Auxiliary’s scholarship fund.
Jim Childers, volunteer and community service manager for the Hospital Auxiliary, said that they try to bring different artists and items to the bazaar every year in order to give people a fresh experience each time they come to shop.
This year, products on display included soaps made from goat milk, birdhouses made from old license plates, paintings, glassware, knitted items and homemade jams and syrups.
Twenty percent of the profits from the sales at the bazaar go toward supporting the Auxiliary and its scholarship program, which gives away $4,000 to two locals going into the medical profession. Scholarships are also available for hospital employees looking to further their education in whatever field they occupy, Childers said. The Auxiliary is the hospital’s volunteer support network. Their history goes back as far as the hospital’s does, Childers said.
“Back when the hospital was being built, that’s when the Auxiliary actually started,” Childers said. “We weren’t officially incorporated back then, but we were very much a part of it. For instance, they paid the electricity bill for the hospital by having a used clothing sale for local fisherman. The fishermen would buy clothes every year and just bury their old clothes because they smelled so bad, so the Hospital Auxiliary had a year-round garage sale for those fishermen.”
The Auxiliary also helped in the construction of the hospital, Childers said. Today, the Auxiliary functions as a 501c(3) nonprofit with about 200 volunteers who do everything from greeting and guiding people at the hospital’s entrance to spending time with people that are at the end of their life.
“You’ll find a volunteer in just about every department of this hospital, doing everything from clerical work to helping with flu shots,” Childers said.
The annual Holiday Bazaar is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Auxiliary, Childers said. At the end of the day Thursday they had already made $11,000 in sales, which meant about $2,000 for the Auxiliary.