Donor Profile: Auxiliary Volunteers are Vital for a Thriving Hospital and Health System

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The Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton and Bazaar employees presenting the check to the Birthing Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton. Pictured are Elva Pierce, volunteer, co-chair of the Bazaar; Janet Andrews, UM Memorial Hospital Foundation; Bob Frank, senior vice president of Operations for UM Shore Regional Health; Diane Bisanar, volunteer, co-chair of the Bazaar; F. Graham Lee, vice president for philanthropy, Art Cecil, president, Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton; Anne Davis, manager, The Bazaar at 121 Federal Street; Luanne Satchell, nurse manager, Women’s and Children’s Health Services at UM Shore Medical Center in Easton; and Celia Bodmer, head of Maggie’s Gift Shop. . (Not pictured: Nancy Espenhorst, head of special event sales, Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton.)

When Art Cecil moved back to his hometown of Easton in 2007, he knew that he wanted to give back to his community in some type of volunteer capacity. “While living in Baltimore with my family, I became involved with GBMC Hospital as a volunteer to keep busy after retiring and I thoroughly enjoyed it,” remarks Arthur “Art” B. Cecil, III, president, Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton. “After moving back to Easton, I knew I wanted to become involved with Memorial Hospital as a volunteer, but little did I know I would eventually serve as the president of the hospital auxiliary.”

Arthur “Art” B. Cecil, III, was born in Baltimore and raised in Easton, Maryland. His family was connected to the Memorial Hospital by way of his father—Arthur Bond Cecil, Jr., a prominent surgeon who practiced at Memorial Hospital from 1950 until 1988, and the same doctor who inspired the ‘Cecil Award’, an annual honor bestowed to a clinician who demonstrates a commitment to improvements and advancements in patient care. Although Art didn’t pursue a career in medicine like his father, he was always aware of the importance of having a hospital that provided excellent care to the local community. “Having access to a top-notch health care system is so essential for a healthy community, particularly for a community with a high percentage of aging adults like what we have in Talbot county,” comments Art.

“I’m not an extrovert by nature, but when people approach me and ask how I stay busy in my retirement, I proudly tell them that I volunteer at the hospital,” remarks Art. As president of the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary at Easton, and as a wheelchair and escort volunteer himself, Art understands just how vital volunteers are to a hospital by providing assistance with patient care, registration, and much more. With 160 active members in the auxiliary, one of Art’s main charges as president is to make sure the auxiliary not only remains strong and maintains its membership base, but that the number of volunteers continues to tick up. “An important project for this year is to expand our recruitment effort because continuing to maintain our active volunteer level is challenging—especially as age creeps up on everyone. The auxiliary board and its members will be working very hard to share the message about how much fun and fulfilling it is to volunteer at the hospital and its varied service opportunities.”

The Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton takes great pride in working to raise funds for equipment, programs, services and patient care at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, as well as the various outpatient locations throughout UM Shore Regional Health. Much of the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary principal fundraising efforts comes through the upscale thrift shop–the Bazaar at 121 Federal Street. Except for one employed store manager, the Bazaar is staffed and run entirely by volunteers. The Bazaar accepts consignments and donations, mainly of gently used clothing but also of fashion accessories and household items. “The Bazaar is a crucial support for the auxiliary and its ability to provide financial support to the hospital,” says Art. Other important funding comes from Maggie’s Gift Shop, which is the retail store located inside the main entrance of the UM Shore Medical Center at Easton. Throughout the year, members of the auxiliary plan a variety of special events and sales for hospital employees, staff and the general public. These are all coordinated entirely by volunteers. Art adds, “Just within the last month, the auxiliary donated $100,000 to UM Memorial Hospital Foundation to support the Birthing Center through proceeds raised by both the Bazaar at 121 Federal Street and Maggie’s Gift Shop.” The funds will support the renovation of the birthing center, now in progress.

Art is passionate about volunteering and believes that volunteers gain much more than what they give of themselves. “One sees every range of human emotion through volunteering at the hospital—from the sadness when someone loses a loved one to the joy of a new mother with her newborn,” comments Art. “My goal for the next two years is to maintain our support for the hospital and its patients. This goes beyond the money we raise and includes the important volunteer work done inside the hospital and its satellite patient care facilities, such as the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center and the Cancer Center.”

Looking for ways to stay busy and be productive in your spare time or retirement? If you have as little as one hour each month (or more), call Terry Stephen, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, volunteer coordinator, 410-822-1000 extension 5389 to find out about how you can help by becoming a volunteer with the hospital auxiliary.