Over the past 110 years, the Summerland Health Care Auxiliary has gone through many changes, but the purpose of the organization remains the same.
The auxiliary was organized on April 20, 1909 and at that time, the organization’s chief work was paying the rent, phone and insurance and providing equipment for the hospital at the bottom of Gulch Road.
In 1910, a 10-bed, two-storey hospital was built and officially opened on Sept. 23, 1914. The auxiliary raised money for this project and provided the linen and other equipment as well as a cash donation to the building cup.
That hospital burned down on Dec. 1919 and the Felin Hotel was used until a new one could be built.
The auxiliary helped by borrowing and buying furnishings and supplies and by holding sewing bees to make the linens.
The new hospital was opened June 2, 1921.
A Junior Ladies’ Hospital Auxiliary was formed in 1934. This organization built a small cannery east of the hospital and in 1934 preserved 720 quarts of fruit for the hospital.
This junior auxiliary later became known as the Ladies’ Hospital Auxiliary.
The auxiliary helped to furnish the north wing of the Summerland hospital, which was built in 1947.
The auxiliary also raised money for the next Summerland hospital, which was opened June 1, 1967 on Atkinson Road.
Today, the auxiliary — now known as the Summerland Health Care Auxiliary — raises money through the thrift store on Victoria Road North.
Earlier this year, the auxiliary completed its five-year fundraising campaign to raise $1 million for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s equipment campaign.
The auxiliary has now committed to raising between $750,000 and $800,000 for a new X-ray machine for the Summerland Health Centre.
The existing X-ray machine is 20 years old and is five years past its expected lifespan.
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