Funds used to purchase podiatry chair, nonmagnetic wheelchair and pulse oximeter

FARMINGTON — A donation to Franklin Memorial Hospital, scholarship announcements, committee reports, and the installment of new officers, were just a few of the actions taking place at the annual meeting of the Franklin Memorial Hospital Auxiliary June 3.

Dawn Girardin, auxiliary president, presented Rebecca Arsenault, FMH president/CEO, with a gift of $18,000 to purchase a podiatry chair for podiatrist Dr. Zachary Blakeman arriving in mid-July; a new nonmagnetic wheelchair for MRI patients; and a pulse oximeter for the 2nd floor cardiology clinic, according to a news release from the hospital.

Giradin said additional smaller gifts approved by the auxiliary earlier in the year totaling $4,653 included a blanket warmer and a glass-enclosed bulletin board for the Androscoggin Valley Medical Arts Center in Livermore Falls; and monthly pill organizers with a programmable talking alarm for Franklin Health care support nurses.

Arsenault applauded the work of the auxiliary and the many gifts Franklin Memorial Hospital has received from the charitable group. “No gift is too small. I hope you realize how much we fully appreciate all the hard work you do and the support you give to this hospital,” Arsenault said in the release. “On behalf of the board of directors, the medical staff, employees, and the community, thank you for all you have done and thank you for being there for us.”

Arsenault mentioned that last year’s gift to refurbish a NorthStar ambulance, theme-painted for breast cancer awareness and adorning the Martha B. Webber Breast Care Center logo, will soon be on the roads. A draft of the design was shared with the group.

Arsenault also introduced the gift shop’s new volunteer manager Pam West, who replaces Patty Kilkenny who managed the shop for more than a decade. The popular gift shop, near the hospital’s front entrance, offers a wide selection of gifts such as new baby presents, jewelry, seasonal items, books, stuffed animals, candy and floral arrangements.

Among the reports, Caroleen Caldwell, chairwoman of the scholarship committee, announced the six recipients of the Auxiliary’s West Central Maine Health Careers Scholarship Program. The following nursing students will each be awarded a $600 scholarship: Jennifer Nichols, of Jay; Molly Geisser, of Industry; Sydney Caldwell, of Farmington; Althea Mae Drummond, of Livermore Falls; Taylor Hargreaves, of Lexington Township; and Rachelle Bator of Farmington.

Jill Gray, staff liaison to the auxiliary, installed the following officers for the coming year: Dawn Girardin, president; Jean Rand, 1st vice president; Mary Harris, 2nd vice president; Kamilla Hall, secretary; Priscilla Smith, treasurer; and Shannon Smith, assistant treasurer.

The hospital’s gift shop is the auxiliary’s major fundraiser in its mission to provide financial support by purchasing equipment that the hospital would like to have — but cannot fit into its budget. The auxiliary also raises money by way of membership dues, raffles, Bag Ali sales, memorial stones, food and book sales, special events, and the Remembrance Tree during the holidays.

Perks to being an auxiliary member include personal satisfaction and meeting new friends; annual appreciation events with buffet meal, entertainment, and recognition gifts; a free turkey before Thanksgiving; free flu shots; and complimentary meal privileges.

Anyone interested in joining the auxiliary can call Gray at 779-2555.

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