Southern Ocean Medical Center Auxiliaries Increase Pledge to $3 Million

Thrift Shops, Gift Shop Bargains Add Up
Feb 28, 2013

The four fundraising auxiliaries of Southern Ocean Medical Center – the Boosters, Holly, Laurel and SOCH Auxiliary – recently met their collective goal of a $2 million pledge to the hospital. As if that weren’t accomplishment enough, they followed their donation up with a pledge to donate another $1 million in 2013.

It’s mostly raised from thrift shops and a gift shop.

The $2 million pledge will help fund the current Emergency Department expansion. The Auxiliary Coordinating Council representing all four auxiliaries committed the additional $1 million to be raised this year for the same project – an unprecedented amount for that time frame.

The auxiliaries have been at work for more than four decades, predating even the hospital itself. Their fundraising success has impacted virtually every expansion project since the hospital opened in 1972. The Emergency Department expansion, called “Charting a New Course – Setting Sail for Excellence in Emergency Care,” will triple the size of the existing ED, to 29,000 square feet.

“The new Emergency Department will be the largest building project in the history of the medical center, and when the doors open later this year, emergency care for the community will be raised to a new level,” said Joseph Coyle, president of SOMC. “The work and commitment of our auxilians is inspiring, and we are so grateful for their generous support in this endeavor.”

The four auxiliary chapters operate three thrift shops – on Bay Avenue in Manahawkin, on Main Street in Tuckerton, and in the Waretown Plaza on Route 9 – as well as the Bird Cage gift shop, just off the medical center’s main lobby. The thrift shops are a treasure trove of bargain finds and antiques. The Boosters Auxiliary operates the Bird Cage, which has inspirational gifts and more for hospital patients and visitors.

“Through the hard work and generous efforts of our committed auxilians and volunteers, their heartfelt gifts of time, talent and treasure are helping to heal our community,” praised SOMC Foundation Executive Director Deborah Allen. “The funds generated through the various thrift shops and the Bird Cage are then allocated to hospital projects based on the area of greatest need.”

These facilities are not just a way to generate revenue for SOMC’s services; they also are a community benefit in their own right, hospital representatives added. Through a partnership with the Interfaith Council, those less fortunate in the community (based on a determination of need) may receive a voucher to use in any of the auxiliary-managed thrift shops for clothing.

Other fundraising and social activities of auxilary members include teas, fashion shows and regular meetings. Many also volunteer their time in the hospital, assisting patients, families, visitors and staff.

The auxiliaries welcome new members. To learn more about membership or volunteering in the hospital or the thrift shops, call 609-978-3081, or see the website southernoceanmedicalcenterfoundation.com. —M.S.

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