Sep 27, 2013 - From staff reportsThe Riverton Memorial Hospital Auxiliary recently was recognized as the 2013 Outstanding Auxiliary in Wyoming. The group was nominated in honor of its 40 years of volunteer service to the Riverton hospital and community.
In October 1973, a group formed to support what was then a county-owned hospital. Their first project was the purchase of a piece of equipment, a Surgi Lift, which cost $1,200. With a treasury of $146, a candy cart and a showcase to display handcrafted items, they soon were able to meet their goal.
The volunteers continued to support needs in the hospital and in the community. They donated money to the senior center to purchase "Smart Phone Alert Systems" in the early 1980s; they helped furnish a community closet of health-related items that would be loaned to homebound patients; and they purchased car seats that were rented to parents. The auxiliary was also an important partner in organizing the first health fairs in Riverton.
When the hospital was sold to a proprietary firm in the mid 1980s, the focus for the auxiliary volunteers changed. While continuing to run a gift shop and help with patient-focused programs, the group turned its attention to the health needs in the community.
They established scholarships for students entering the Central Wyoming College nursing program, contributing several thousand dollars over the past 20 years. They have made donations to Help for Health Bus and Hospice Home, and to some of the social welfare programs run by the various veterans groups in the community.
Three of the charter members remained active until very recently. Two members, Viola Hill and Iras Trover, have moved from the area, leaving Mary Katherine Lansing as the remaining active charter member.
The current members of the auxiliary will have a celebration of the group's 40th anniversary from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 11 at the REACH Foundation, 622 N. Eighth St. W.
Any and all of the nurses in the community who were recipients of the group's scholarships over the years are welcome to attend.
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