WILNO – For at least 30 years the St. Francis Memorial Hospital Auxiliary has been holding their major fundraiser at St. Mary’s parish hall.
October 28 was no exception. Over 230 people come out each year to help the auxiliary raise money, while having the chance of taking home some of the 300 prizes available.
“That’s a perfect attendance and that’s why people show up. Because they like the prizes and everything is donated,” Lorraine Finn, president of the auxiliary said.
The prizes range from major appliances, furniture and gifts, to gift certificates and $3,500 in cash.
The event would not be so popular without the tireless efforts of their members and the generosity of local businesses.
“I’ve got to give credit to my team. We really are cohesive and we canvass all the businesses in Wilno, Killaloe and Barry’s Bay,” Finn said. “It’s really gratifying because the stuff that we get – people are so generous and nobody says no.”
Finn has been organizing the bingo for over 20 years and said that Greta Bloskie trained her well. As well, she indicated that past president Theresa Sullivan donates a microwave each year. She also thanked the church which has been wonderful in allowing them to hold the bingo there. They, in turn, are compensated by the auxiliary with much needed items for the church such as coffee pots and chairs.
All of the prizes, which they began collecting in May, were stored in Finn’s garage for the last six months. Last Thursday, students of St. Mary’s School helped to set up, bringing down all the prizes. They began at eight in the morning and were finished by 12:30. Finn said they have it down to a science now.
During the intermission at the bingo, a cheque presentation of $60,000 was made by the auxiliary to the St. Francis Memorial Hospital Foundation.
“I would like to thank all of the players,” Finn began. “Without you we wouldn’t have today and we wouldn’t make over $12,000 – so give yourselves a hand.”
“I’d like to thank all the volunteers that worked. I can’t do this job on my own,” Finn continued. “What you see here today is all free. It’s all been donated. The auxilients have donated that. The volunteers – we all work for free. We are also sitting on $3,500 cash by the auxilients, by the businesses in Killaloe, Wilno and Barry’s Bay. So if you win a prize and their name is on it, please take an opportunity to thank them.”
“I’d like to thank the new workers we have. We need everyone’s help. I’d like to thank very much the newspapers. They’re here today and they also give us every week – people don’t often know this – 25 papers from each paper. The Leader, the Gazette and This Week and all the proceeds – that’s over $2,000 – the auxiliary passes on to the foundation.”
Story continues in the October 31, 2012 issue of The Valley Gazette.