The Boundary Trails Health Centre Auxiliary is facing a dire situation.     

Without an influx of volunteers, the Auxiliary may be forced to disband in February 2024, jeopardizing the essential services it provides to the community. 

Dawne Mackling, Auxiliary Vice President and Gift Shop Volunteer Coordinator says they've experienced a major downfall in people over the last few years with COVID.

"We are all of us getting older. We have had two people step out of major positions due to health. She happens to be the treasurer of the Auxiliary and the Treasurer of the Gift Shop. We have had a third person resign from their position as fundraising chairperson, again due to poor health. We are down to 9 members when we used to have 26."

The current situation threatens the very life of this vital organization dedicated to supporting the local hospital in purchasing updated equipment,

"The urgent need is to have the people, the bodies, the ideas of new people, and the energy of new people to keep the organization and the auxiliary going," said Mackling. "And to continue to be able to do our fundraisers to have the finances to purchase the equipment the hospital tells us they need."

Their most pressing task is to find a treasurer.

"We cannot function without a treasurer. The month end, the taxation in the spring, the charitable donation documents -- we need somebody who can do that, because if we don't have that, we cannot function, and we would have to disband." 

The Auxiliary is also looking for general volunteers.

Morden's chapter was founded in 1892, amalgamating with the Winkler chapter in 2019, joining forces to actively bridge the gap between the hospital's needs and available resources.

In 2020 the organization raised $25,000 toward the purchasing of medical equipment at Boundary Trail Health Centre. Fundraising took a hit during the pandemic, amounting to only $4000 and $5000 in 2021 and 2022 respectively. Their efforts recovered to $35,000 post-COVID in 2023.

Mackling says if she could draw up a wish list, they would see ten people step forward to help.

"I think 10 people would be wonderful. But even if we got another five, we could begin to see how we're doing for the next six months. It will all come down to our February meeting. That one will tell us if people have volunteered in the last few months and whether or not we can continue."

The impending disbandment in February would have far-reaching consequences, limiting the hospital's ability to acquire essential equipment necessary for providing high-quality healthcare services said Mackling in a news release. 

Individuals with a passion for healthcare, community service, or fundraising are encouraged to contact one of the following people:

- Auxiliary President, Margaret M. Popplestone at (204) 822-6208

- Auxiliary Vice President, Dawne Mackling via email to, or phone, (204) 822-4770

~ With files from Pam Fedack ~

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