After 34 years of hosting an annual article bingo, St. Francis Memorial Hospital Auxiliary held its last bingo on October 29, 2017 at St. Mary’s Church Hall in Wilno. Although the auxiliary held bingos as early as 1964 to get new members to join the auxiliary and to raise funds for the newly-opened hospital, the idea of an annual prize bingo began in 1983. At the Sept. 20, 1983 regular monthly meeting president, Greta Bloskie, brought up the idea of holding an annual article bingo to raise much-needed funds for the hospital. All were in favour, members were contacted for prizes and the first annual article bingo was held on Sunday Oct. 23, 1983 at St. Hedwig’s Parish Hall. Later the location moved to St. Lawrence O’Toole Church Hall. Soon the popularity of the bingo outgrew its space and moved to a larger venue at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Wilno, where it was held for over 20 years under the leadership of President Lorraine Finn.
Vehicles taking prizes to St. Mary’s in Wilno
The yearly article bingo continued to be the auxiliary’s biggest fundraising event, and over the years has raised approximately $350,000. The auxiliary depended immensely on the support of its members and the businesses in the hospital’s catchment area, and greatly appreciated the on-going generosity of all who continued to donate bingo prizes year after year, often without a reminder. As well a large note of gratitude goes out to all the bingo players whose attendance contributed to its enormous success.
On behalf of SFMH Auxiliary, President, Lorraine Finn, would like to thank St. Mary’s Parish for the use of the hall, the faithful and committed auxiliary members, the many businesses, bingo players and communities at large for the many years of continued dedication and generous support. Since 1960 the Auxiliary has donated almost one million dollars for the purchase of capital equipment.
Article bingo prizes on display at St. Mary’s Parish Hall, Wilno
The auxiliary will continue to sell tickets for its annual raffle draw to be held this year on October 18, 2018 in the hospital lobby. The hospital HELPP Nevada tickets bring in about $10,000 yearly for new equipment. HELPP stands for Hospital Equipment Lottery Project for People. All the money goes for the purchase of new equipment.
The hospital gift shop, stocked with quality baby clothes, religious items and much more, continues to be financially successful. Purchases over $10 include a parking token and are tax free.
At present St. Francis Memorial Hospital Auxiliary has approximately 345 members. New members are always welcome. Membership fees are $5.00 for 3 years, which are due this year- 2018-2021. To become a member, contact Theresa Prince, membership convener, at 613-756-1085, drop in at the Hospital Gift Shop, or mail your fees to SFMH Auxiliary, 7 St. Francis Memorial Drive, P.O. 129, Barry’s Bay, ON, K0J 1B0. A huge THANK YOU is extended to all.
The following is from the Archives of SFMH Auxiliary Minutes:
Once upon a time there were four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody didn’t do it.
It ended by Everybody blaming Somebody when, actually, Nobody could accuse Anybody!