Original Article by: Castlegar News on Sept 14, 2013

‘Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.’ So it is inscribed on the handout literature for the BC Association of Hospital Auxiliaries’ Kootenay Boundary Area Conference, 2013, hosted by the Castlegar and District Chapter on September 13. The Castlegar Community Complex was the scene of the conference and a total of about 150 was present for the event.

A number of reports were delivered by presidents of the various local groups in the region, and a featured presentation by Erica Deines focused on the value of effective communication. Deines’ skill set is ideally suited to someone intent on helping an organization function more efficiently.

“I’m a chartered mediator,” she informed. “And I do a lot of conflict management training.”

Deines heads a not-for-profit outfit called the ADR Institute… ADR stands for Alternative Dispute Resolution.

“Today we were really homing in on volunteerism and just how it relates to good communication. Where can we go if we know how to communicate well with our volunteers?”

Of key interest to the local community were some notable figures as revealed in the report submitted by President Nettie Stupnikoff, including the fact that 13, 333 hours had been volunteered in 2012.

As examples of the localized benevolence, the society orchestrated donations totaling $50,311.03. Equipment purchases amounted to $28,853.23.

The society supported the local food bank to the tune of $2,000; the Hospice society by $1,500; as well as bursaries and scholarships adding up to $2,500. Included in the report was news of the coming second floor addition to the auxiliary’s Treasure Shop.

Similar stories of achievement were shared by each of the local groups taking part in the conference, leading up to the pleasing announcement that collectively, the 11 auxiliaries in the Kootenay Boundary had donated $531,396 plus $16,300 in bursaries.

On a provincial level the influence of hospital auxiliaries comes into sharp focus, with close to $8 million donated to health authorities and more than a quarter million in bursaries.