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Donor Story

Recognizing one of our most devoted supporter groups

Over 100 years of continued support

When you step inside Lakeridge Health Oshawa, you’ll likely cross paths with a member of The Auxiliary of Lakeridge Health Oshawa.

Whether they’re leading patients and their families to the locations of upcoming appointments, serving delicious treats at the Auxiliary Café, or working in the Hospital’s Gift Shop, these dedicated volunteers are unmistakable thanks to their smiling faces and blue smocks.

The Auxiliary is also one of Lakeridge Health Foundation’s most devoted supporters. For over 100 years, Auxiliary volunteers have fundraised throughout our community. Those funds have moved patient care forward in many areas of our Hospital.

The history of the Auxiliary dates back to 1907 when Adelaide McLaughlin, the wife of R.S. McLaughlin, established the Oshawa Hospital Women’s Auxiliary. Oshawa needed a Hospital, so Adelaide and a group of local women campaigned door-to-door and raised $1,000. Those funds purchased over two acres of land on which the Oshawa Hospital still stands.

LHO-AUX-Recognition_Yves-Marion-Cindy_IG.jpg“116 years of history is really amazing,” Marion Saunders, President of The Auxiliary of Lakeridge Health Oshawa, says with a smile. “The seven ladies that went out and canvassed a very small community had a very strong purpose and a very strong presence.”

The Oshawa Auxiliary is one of the oldest in the province. That history instills a sense of pride in its members, who are happy to continue the tradition of prioritizing exceptional health care in their community.

“It gives us a tradition to live up to,” says Marion. “It can be inspiring to know you’re following in major footsteps along the way.”

Marion brings a wealth of experience to her role as President of the Oshawa Auxiliary. She has served as President of the Hospital Auxiliaries Association of Ontario, sat on the Hospital Auxiliary Board in Bowmanville, and was chair of the Hospital Board of Trustees of Lakeridge Health. That combination of experience is a tremendous asset, especially when it comes to adjusting to the needs of Durham Region.

“It’s like being in a family,” Marion explains. “You’ve got your family roots, but you need to move ahead with your own way of doing things and your focus on the future. You can’t get so immersed in the traditions that you can’t respond to the current needs.”

With that understanding, the Auxiliary raises funds in several ways.

“Our main fundraisers are the Gift Shop and Café and our upcoming basket raffle in November,” explains Marion. “We also have volunteers that work at the Delta Bingo in Pickering, which is a significant source of income.”

Over the last decade, the Auxiliary’s fundraising efforts have significantly impacted patient care at our Hospital. This includes a pair of $1 million commitments. One to the construction of a state-of-the-art in-patient pharmacy and the other to the redevelopment of our Hospital’s Interventional Radiology department.

The Auxiliary, Hospital and Foundation work together to identify upcoming priorities.
“The Foundation informs us of patient care priorities. There have also been times when I’ve approached people for needs I’ve heard about. We’ve been able to use our unallocated funds to help there,” says Marion. “Through the capital needs identified by the Foundation and our reconnaissance through the work we do at the various units, we’re able to learn about the Hospital’s needs. From there, we go to the Auxiliary’s Board with our suggestions.”

The Auxiliary's fundraising revenue is steadily improving after navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has taken a while, especially in the Café. During the pandemic, a lot of new staff joined the Hospital, so many of them are finding out about us for the first time. It’s something that’s starting to pick up,” says Marion.
Over the past year alone, the Auxiliary has funded a new bladder scanner, CT injectors that inject contrast media into the body to enhance visibility for medical imaging procedures, and a Daily QA3 quality assurance device. This device evaluates the changes occurring in x-ray energy in the linear accelerators in the R.S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre.

Lakeridge Health Foundation is most grateful for the Auxiliary’s continued commitment to exceptional health care in Durham Region. We are excited to see what the future holds for these dedicated and kind volunteers.