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Hospital Auxiliary’s accomplishments exhibited

By Staff | Sep 29, 2015

Doris Hess and Ruth Reigle, volunteers with the Muncy Valley Hospital Auxiliary, hold teddy bears they and other members created. The sewing projects are only a few examples of services provided by the group currently seeking additional volunteers.

MUNCY – Members of the Muncy Valley Hospital Auxiliary (MVHA) showcased more than 82 years of the group’s service during a recent exhibit in the hospital lobby.

Volunteers for the past seven years, Doris Hess of Muncy and Ruth Reigle of Fairfield Township, gave examples of services provided by the group, while the organization’s history was shared by MVHA treasurer, William Ritter of Muncy.

The women, both seamstresses, are involved in creating teddy bears and heart pillows. “Post surgery patients clutch the pillows to hold the body steady while coughing. The teddy bears are distributed to those arriving as new residents in our geriatric unit,” Hess said.

Additional activities includes decorating the hospital, providing a Christmas appreciation tea for hospital employees, staffing the gift shop, a booth at the Lawn Party, Lights of Love and more, all raising funds to purchase hospital equipment and other needs.

Hess is also a volunteer with the Life Center, a part of the Susquehanna Health System. Before retiring, Hess spent more than twenty years in nursing.

After the death of her husband, Reigle needed something to fill her time. “I know the importance auxiliary services provide. My daughter worked at the Williamsport hospital and sometimes finding volunteers was challenging for her,” she said.

Ritter supplied information of the group’s history noting the Ladies Auxiliary was organized in 1923 under the direction of Mrs. Stephen Soars of Muncy. Soars, the former Lucilla Sprout, became its first President. Originally the Auxiliary consisted of 300 members and grew to include groups based in four areas – Muncy, Montgomery, Hughesville and Picture Rocks. These groups are now combined into one entity.

From the onset, members consisted entirely of women; however, it has been expanded to include men. David Wallis is current President with William “Bill” Ritter as treasurer. Ritter estimates more than $900,000 had been raised by MVHA over the years.

Currently, the group is seeking new volunteers to assist and continue the various fund raising initiatives and events supported by MVHA. “Supporting the services and goals of our community hospital since 1923,” is the group’s identifying quote.

For more information contact Joanie Wallis at 570-546-8108 or Cyndy Whipple at 570-546-4153.