After nearly seven decades of service the North Valley Hospital Auxiliary is ending its service to the hospital.
The Whitefish Hospital Guild, as it was known then, began supporting the community hospital in 1949, but after 68 years the philanthropic organization is coming to an end, the hospital announced Monday.
In 1969 the volunteer organization changed its name to the North Valley Hospital Guild and in 1976 to the North Valley Hospital Auxiliary.
Allison Linville, marketing and community relations coordinator for the hospital, said fundraising for the hospital historically was undertaken by the auxiliary, but has now shifted to the North Valley Foundation.
“Times have just changed,” she said. “This is just a sign of times being different.”
More than 300 members have participated over the years, providing sometimes three generations of family members who have shown support for the hospital. It currently includes about a dozen members.
In the early days, the auxiliary was the main fundraising organization for hospital equipment purchases. The archived lists of equipment purchased through auxiliary fundraising efforts is vast, according to the hospital, and in the most recent years, the auxiliary has provided college scholarships for students pursuing health care careers.
The hospital and the North Valley Foundation, which was established in 1999 and currently provides fundraising efforts for the hospital, is recognizing the auxiliary at the hospital employee and volunteer picnic on Tuesday, July 25.
All past and present auxiliary members as well as their families are invited to join the celebration at the hospital campus in the north parking lot. The picnic begins at 11:30 a.m. with the recognition starting at noon.
The hospital and the foundation thanks all the auxiliary members for their many years of dedication to community healthcare, according to a prepared statement.
“There is so many people in town that have been involved with the auxiliary, we want to celebrate them,” Linville said. “We are grateful for their service.”
Whitefish City Hospital opened in 1905 and operated from 1905-1947; John B. Simons Hospital ran from 1947-1961; Whitefish Memorial 1961-1971; the first North Valley Hospital site opened in 1971 at the former 13th Street location, and the hospital opened at the current site in 2007.