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St. Joseph's auxiliary elects new members

Essentia Health - St. Joseph's Medical Center recently hosted the 58th Anniversary Brunch for the St. Joseph's in order to celebrate volunteers. The goal of the brunch is to communicate the positive contributions that volunteers bring to the medical center, and to thank them for being ambassadors for the organization.

"This annual event helps us communicate the amazing results of our auxiliary volunteers, that provide service and support to our patients and staff," says Deb Anderson, volunteer coordinator of the hospital.

More than 90 people were served a brunch and enjoyed a presentation from Mike Larson, chief operations officer of St. Joseph's Medical Center and Clinics. Some of the highlights and accomplishments that Larson reported included:

• $30,000 was raised from gift shop sales

• $15,230 was raised from other fundraisers

• 220 adult volunteers, and 10 junior volunteers are active members of the St. Joseph's Auxiliary

• Total Hours volunteered in 2013 equals 27,760

• $26,050 was donated by the auxiliary to support Essentia Health programs and equipment over the fiscal year

According to the Independent Sector, a nationwide organization that advances the nonprofit and philanthropic sector, the estimated dollar value of volunteer time in 2011 was $21.71 per hour.

"That means that if our volunteers were paid, they provided over $582,000 worth of services to Essentia Health." Larson said.

Newly elected St. Joseph's Auxiliary Board Officers for 2014-2015 are Laverne Nickels as past president, Don Mink as president, Ruby Marsh as vice president, Donna Wheeler as secretary, Darlene McNally as treasurer, and Ray Kuntz as foundation representative. St. Joseph's Auxiliary Board Members are Arleen Elliott, Shirley Hauck, Joanne Ouellette, Denny Schmidt, and Junior Board member Alex Eigen.

Volunteer Services Coordinator Deb Anderson says it was a wonderful opportunity to highlight the Auxiliary's role.

"Years ago, the auxiliary was primarily made up of physicians' spouses. Now, we have 220 members and 10 junior volunteers that give of their time and talent to support our operations and enhance our patients' experiences."

Election of officers and distribution of service pins, certificates, and small gifts was also part of the program. Awards were given to volunteers as a token of appreciation of their hours of service, ranging from 100-14,000 cumulative hours.

Anyone interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities at Essentia Health — St. Joseph's Medical Center and Clinics can contact Deb Anderson at 828-7610.