‘One Coke at a time’

Auxiliary Club surpasses 100,000 service hours


GONZALES — On Tuesday, June 28, the Gonzales Healthcare Systems celebrated the hospital auxiliary with a special luncheon at the annual installation of new officers. The auxiliary also celebrated surpassing 100,000 service hours volunteering for the hospital and raising funds for a variety of causes, projects and scholarships.

Gonzales Mayor Connie Kacir made an appearance to the luncheon, reading off a proclamation which declared June 26, 2018 as Hospital Auxiliary Day in Gonzales, Texas.

Gonzales Healthcare Systems CEO John Hughson later gave a presentation on the state of the hospital as well as thanked the auxiliary members for their service.

New officers include President Elizabeth Bennett, 1st Vice President Ruth Ramirez, 2nd VP Noris Gibson, Treasurer Leona Zella, Secretary Carol DuBose, Reporter Sylvia Mercer and Parliamentarian Barbara Koricanek.

The Auxiliary was organized in January 1975 as a Pilot Club of Gonzales Project.

There were 57 charter members, three of whom are still active, Dot Henderson, Reta Hines and Lois Willman.

Their original name was Liberty Belles and the state association of healthcare volunteers called them Pink Ladies until the association changed uniforms and names to the Blue Angels in 2005.

In the beginning, the Auxiliary worked out of a closet and an antique candy case in the lobby of the old hospital.

Originally, their role was welcoming patients as well as doling out drinks, renting TV sets, and offering magazines and books. Now, projects range from trash and treasure sales, bake sales, raffles, sponsored blood drives, health fairs and offering scholarships.

The Auxiliary have given out more than $150,000 in scholarships to people interested in careers in healthcare. They’ve raised several hundred thousand dollars through gift shop sales and two vending machines in the hospital, or as Auxiliary member Sally Brown says, “the money was raised one Coke at a time.”

The Auxiliary has had over 50 members and 15 presidents over the years and are a beloved part of the Gonzales Healthcare Systems history, family and future.