The volunteers who make up the Oconomowoc Memorial Auxiliary serve the community in countless ways.

The nonprofit supports ProHealth Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital's commitment to serve its communities. The organization recruits members to provide volunteer service, community outreach and fundraising for hospital equipment, programs and scholarships.

Since its incorporation in 1953, OMA has pledged a cumulative total of $420,165 to Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital. Some of the volunteer’s activities include welcoming people as they enter the hospital at the reception and admitting desks; escorting patients and helping them to get settled in; keeping family members company in the surgery waiting rooms and more.

Volunteers also staff the hospital’s Gift Box Boutique; coordinate and train the high school students who volunteer at the hospital through the Volunteen program; and organize the outreach program called Telecare for homebound folks.

“We have 278 members who are volunteering in the hospital and involved in many community events,” says Pat Cusma, OMA board of directors president. “Our auxiliary has volunteered 306,861 hours since we started keeping track in the 1950s.”

Some of the auxiliary activities and fundraising events include the Love Light Tree Celebration in December, the annual spring style show, luncheons for volunteers and many smaller events.

“Our fundraising efforts go toward equipment purchases for the hospital and community outreach. We also donate to local charitable organizations such as the food pantry and the Lake Area Free Clinic,” says Cusma.

The auxiliary also offers an annual scholarship program for students enrolled in a medical field program. Scholarship applications are due April 15.

Several volunteers meet once a month to sew teddy bears for cancer and pediatric patients, knit and crochet lap robes and fleece quilts for patients and some in the group make Christmas stockings, Easter eggs and crochet tiny hats for newborn babies.

Cusma admits she often hears from auxiliary volunteers that they receive much more than they give through their work supporting Oconomowoc Memorial and the community.

“I enjoy interacting with patients when I am volunteering in the admitting area. It fulfills a large piece of my life and it gives me purpose,” she explains. “It’s important having representatives of the local community involved in the day to day organization of the hospital. Not all hospitals offer this opportunity. We are providing the bridge between the business side and where patients need us.”

The Oconomowoc Memorial Auxiliary will host the Heritage of America 10-day tour Sept. 22 through Oct. 1 to New York City, Philadelphia, Amish Country, Gettysburg, Shenandoah Valley, Monticello, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, Mount Vernon, and Washington, D.C. The trip is a fundraiser to aid the auxiliary’s mission to support Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital.

For more information, contact Tammy Fox-Husband, manager of volunteer and auxiliary services, at 262-569-0293 or email tammy.fox-husband@phci.org.

Read or Share this story: http://www.lakecountrynow.com/story/life/30west/out-and-about/giving-back/2017/02/22/hospital-helpers/96171636/