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SCMC Auxiliary membership drive Sept. 4

The Stevens Community Medical Center Auxiliary is preparing to bolster its presence in the community and it mission for the hospital.

The auxiliary is seeking new members from a wide range of people in the community and has scheduled a membership drive get-together that is open to anyone wishing to join.

"We're trying to increase our membership and our activity," said Kristi Abler, an auxiliary co-chair with Cali Lebrija.

The membership drive is 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 4, in the SCMC Sunroom on the hospital's main level. The auxiliary's mission and plans will be explained, and refreshments will be served.

This is the first auxiliary membership drive, and its intended to bolster the current work done by a dedicated group of volunteers who now would like to have the workload spread around a little more, Abler said.

The auxiliary's chief responsibility is staffing the SCMC Gift Shop. Proceeds from the shop support auxiliary projects around the hospital campus.

After construction on SCMC's expansion project was completed, the auxiliary purchased supplies to create a seating area and decorated with planters at the hospital's main entrance. On the west side of the facility, another patio area was created for patients, visitors and employees to enjoy.

"It's a nice facility, and that is what the auxiliary is here to do," Lebrija said. "What goes into the gift shop goes back into the hospital."

SCMC President and Chief Executive John Rau and Jill Kutzler and Jeanne Miller, who oversee gift shop operations, have offered generous support to the auxiliary. The gift shop was recently renovated and updated merchandise has been stocked, Abler said.

Now, the auxiliary needs more volunteers to staff the shop so its hours can be expanded, which is a frequent request of patients and visitors, she said.

Abler and her husband, Dr. Greg Abler, and Lebrija and her husband, Dr. Alex Lebrija, attended numerous parades in the area this summer and handed out cards calling attention to the membership drive. It was a good opportunity to both recruit volunteers and get the physicians out into the communities to meet people in an informal setting, Abler said.

"People said it was great to see their doctors out and about," Abler said. "It ties them in more with the community."

The auxiliary wants all age groups to consider volunteering, from high school students to seniors. The volunteer time would be flexible.

"Some do it once a week, some do it once a month," Lebrija said. "We'd never ask people to volunteer too many hours. As a mom, I know people don't have a lot of time."

Those who would like to volunteer can do so during the membership drive gathering, or they can contact SCMC at (320) 208-7849.

"We just need to get the word out," Abler said. "We want to get more people in to help."