Monday, November 24, 2008

Celebrate the Holidays with Lights for Life

The Fauquier Hospital Auxiliary’s annual program to honor loved ones with holiday lights on Hospital Hill will be held this year on Wednesday, December 3. Visitors will gather near the Fauquier Health's Emergency Department entrance at 7:00 p.m. to see five Norway spruce trees illuminated.

The lights will represent hundreds of special individuals who have been remembered or honored by friends and family. Money raised from the sale of the lights will go toward the Auxiliary’s pledge to Fauquier Hospital’s cardiopulmonary unit.

The Lights for Life celebration is always festive and never fails to put everyone in the mood for jingle bells and gingerbread. The St. James Episcopal Church Junior Choir will provide music this year.

The Lights for Life program began in 1983, when Airlie donated the beautiful evergreens and the community was invited to remember loved ones by purchasing lights. Every year, on the first Wednesday in December, the hospital’s Auxiliary has continued the tradition.

Each year one person is chosen as the top of the tree honoree, for his/her contributions to the hospital and the auxiliary. The 2008 top-of-the-tree honoree is Blue Ridge Orthopedic Associates surgeon David M. Snyder, M.D. He is being honored for years of service to his patients and to the community.

For more information on the Lights for Life celebration, those interested may call the hospital information desk at 540-316-4636.

The Helping Hands of the Fauquier Hospital Auxiliary

The Fauquier Hospital Auxiliary is an integral part of the Fauquier Health team. Founded in 1954, the Auxiliary's original mission was to help hospital personnel by providing necessary funding and a wide variety of supplemental services. The Auxiliary pays for equipment and the development of patient-centered programs.

The Auxiliary’s Thrift Shop, now located on Main Street, was established in 1955 as the group’s first fund-raising project. Still going strong, the Thrift Shop has proven to be one of the most prosperous sources of funding for the Auxiliary year after year. In addition to generating funds to support Fauquier Health, the store also provides donations of clothing to families within the community.

Items for sale range from household items, books, jewelry and toys to dresses, pants, shoes and even gently worn prom and wedding dresses. The shop’s volunteers generate $30,000 to $50,000 each year.

Another source of revenue for the Auxiliary is the hospital Gift Shop. The all-volunteer staff sells everything from candy and flowers to handmade jewelry. From $25,000 to $60,000 is raised each year through the Gift Shop.

In 1959, the Auxiliary began one of its most important and rewarding projects, the Nurse Scholarship Program. The program has since been expanded to include scholarships for all health care-related fields and for young men as well as young women.

The Candy striper program, introduced in 1961, has evolved into the current Jr. Volunteer program, which attracts more than 60 young people every year. It’s a year-round program that gives young people in the community the opportunity to contribute to the well-being of the community. Junior Volunteers also broaden their horizons, acquire knowledge and expand their experiences by working in all areas of Fauquier Health.

Fifty years after the Fauquier Hospital Auxiliary’s humble beginnings, more than 330 volunteers and auxiliary members support the day-to-day operations of the 86-bed hospital, contributing more than 36,000 hours of dedicated service each year.

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