On Thursday, February 28, Partners of Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital held their Annual Meeting at The Barn Restaurant. Over 55 people were in attendance. In addition to a brief business meeting and various reports, six members of Partners were recognized for reaching the amazing milestone of providing volunteer services for over 50 years: Belita Taylor, Deanie Kieser, Madonna Wachter and Kay McDonald. (Not pictured: Mary Ann Garrity and Loretta Rod) Volunteers who had achieved 25 or more years were recognized as well.
Belita Taylor reminisced that she started volunteering when her daughter Ruth was just three-years-old, and that in the last three years she had crocheted over 500 hats for the babies born at the hospital. Kay McDonald remembered Partners purchasing the first light for the operating room for the hospital in 1957. Old photos and newspaper clippings dating back to 1955 were displayed for volunteers to enjoy viewing. The display featured a variety of activities that Partners had coordinated to boost their treasury to support the hospital, including home tours, sale of handwritten recipe books, the Red Stocking Revue, style shows, and progressive dinners. In 1955 Partners hosted a baseball game and sold bricks for 10 cents to support the construction of the hospital. When work was being completed for the hospital to open its doors in 1957, Partners rolled up their sleeves to help out by washing the cement flooring in the building preparing for laying tiles, washing light fixtures, and even donating the draperies.
Partners have clocked in countless hours, time away from their families, sharing their talents through sewing, crocheting, baking, delivering flowers, purchasing baby books, fundraising or just offering a friendly smile and hello at the front entrance of the hospital.
“Right now there are many different ways for volunteers to get involved. This is exciting time for the volunteers as we get closer to the construction of the new hospital,” shares Mary Mara, PdC Memorial Hospital Volunteer Coordinator. “Volunteers have been involved in planning a gift shop for the new facility. The gift shop will offer a convenient and unique shopping experience for patients, family members, hospital employees and the community.”
Anyone interested in joining Partners, becoming a Hospice volunteer or assisting the residents at Walter Schmidt Assisted Living, may learn about these or other opportunities by contacting Mary Mara at 608-357-2295. Interested individuals may also learn about Partners by accessing the hospital website, pdcmh.org.