Ross Memorial Hospital - Auxiliary

Director of Volunteer Services:
705-324-6111 ext 6236


The Ross Memorial Hospital Auxiliary volunteers have served the hospital staff, doctors, and patients and their families for more than 100 years. The Auxiliary's history is inextricably woven into the history of the hospital. Ours is a deep-rooted and proud record of volunteer service. 


A meeting of 16 ladies and the President of the Board, Mr. J.D. Flavelle, was held on November 26th in the Council Chamber in Lindsay at 3:30 p.m. The Hospital Board of Governors called the meeting to discuss the idea of forming a Ladies Committee for Hospital Aid work.

Mrs. Y. Stewart, who presided, read several letters from ladies connected with hospital work, giving outlines of work done in Gault and Guelph. After considerable discussion, Mrs. G.A. Milne moved and Mrs. Warren Worsley seconded “that an Auxiliary Committee to the Board of Governors be formed”.

Mrs. Stewart suggested creating a large committee with a distinctive name and a constitution. A Nominating Committee was formed and agreed to meet again in two weeks. The Committee included Mrs. G. Stewart, Mrs. Hugh O’Leary, Mrs. B.J. Gough, Mrs. J.D. Flavelle, Mrs. G.A. Milne, Mrs. Warren Worsley, Mrs. J.R. McNeillie, Mrs. Goldie, Mrs. W.A. Goodwin, Mrs. J. P. Rylie, and Miss Isabel Matthews. 


In September of 1906, the Hospital Board of Governors acknowledged the assistance rendered by the Ladies' Auxiliary, including their care, their contributions of a large quantity of fruit and numerous articles of furnishings and clothing, as well as an important piece of equipment for the Nurses' Training School.


In 1907, the value of the donations from the Ladies' Auxiliary was tabulated, showing their contribution to have been $128.52.



The Board of Governors stated that "the Ladies Auxiliary Board has done most generous things during the years; their benefactions in work and materials having been appropriate and in value greater than in any former year".


The first Hospital Tea was held.

The opening of the Nurses House.


The Board of Governors noted that "the Ladies Auxiliary Board continues to bestow supplies of bedding, clothing, etc. most generously and in conveying to them their most cordial thanks, the Board of Governors realize they are but poorly expressing all the institution owed to that worthy source of timely assistance in keeping the hospital well equipped for its needs".


The Ladies' Auxiliary donated an electric stove, rubber sheeting, and 200 lbs of sugar and $25.00 for fruit.

The Ladies' Auxiliary served the Orangemen on July 13th.


According to the annual report, rates for the hospital ranged from $.70 to $3.00 per day. The hospital earned $8,650.84 this year.


Although many claims created by the war continued to draw the efforts of women towards caring for the wounded on the battlefields of Europe, it was noted that the Ladies' Auxiliary of Ross Memorial Hospital made a substantial contribution to bedding, clothing for patients, and other requisites.

The Ladies' Auxiliary held a New Years Dance.


The work of the Ladies' Auxiliary was virtually suspended. There is no mention of them through to 1921. During this time there was an epidemic of influenza.


The Ladies' Auxiliary began to make their own reports in the Hospital's annual report.

58 gowns, made by members, were distributed.

The Treasurer had a balance of $20.00.


The Ladies' Auxiliary made a large number of garments and prepared many supplies.


Served afternoon tea to the opening of the new Victoria Wing of the Ross Memorial Hospital.


24 members attended the annual meeting and the balance in the treasury was $3.71.


The Treasurer's balance increased to $10.71


Ladies' Auxiliary dues were raised to $1.00. The only other previous rate mentioned was $.25, when the Ladies Auxiliary began.


The Ladies' Auxiliary felt that a scholarship or a prize to the graduate with the highest standing for efficiency would be a great incentive. Miss Campbell won the first $25.00 award.       


In lieu of a Tag Day in 1949, Town Council donated a sum of money to the Ladies' Auxiliary from the Community Chest Fund.

The Ladies' Auxiliary hosted a Pound Week. Boxes were placed in all grocery stores and the public was asked to leave a pound of food or canned goods for the Hospital. This event also took place in 1950, 1951 and 1952.


Meetings were increased from once to twice per year, held in Spring and Autumn. 


Each student was asked to bring an egg to school for the hospital.


Each public and high school student was asked to bring a cake of soap for the hospital.


President of the Women’s Hospital Association, Mrs. Horning, spoke about the formation of Hospital Auxiliaries, tracing their history to 1639. The organization as we know it today dates only to 1865.  She stated Auxiliaries have a creed, which they have lived up to “We do not wish to run hospitals, but to assist the Superintendent to do so”.  The chief aim of the Auxiliary should be to assist patients.


The Ladies' Auxiliary boasts 100 members and $1,025.33 in the treasury.


Thousands of items were sewn and mended by the Ladies' Auxiliary, including wash cloths, utility bags, tray cloths, dressing gowns, hot water bottle covers, sheets, pillow cases, crib sheets, operating gowns, night gowns, bassinette pads, syringe covers, mop cloths, draw sheets, tea towels, bandages, pneumonia jackets, and more.

Many events took place this year including Florence Nightingale Tea, Christmas Card Sales, and Telephone Bridge. Funds raised were used for cups and saucers, stainless steel individual teapots, foam rubber pillows, six pairs of Dacron curtains, the complete renovation of the women's ward, the refurbishing of a waiting room ($600.00), the remodeling of a chesterfield, two small chairs, three tables, three lamp tables and drapes, twelve small chairs with spring seats for patient rooms ($439.95). In total, the purchases and renovations cost $1,491.66.


The Ladies' Auxiliary moved that each year, one member of the Ladies' Auxiliary be elected for a life membership in the Ontario Women's Auxiliary and the $15 fee be paid on her behalf. The four elected members were Miss Ethel Flavelle, Mrs. Etta Weldon, Mrs. W.G. Dunoon, and Mrs. Ed C. Armstrong.

The official name of the Ladies' Auxiliary changed from the Women's Hospital Board to the Women's Hospital Auxiliary. The Regional President was Mrs. McCarty and the Regional Secretary-Treasurer was Mrs. Vrooman.

The Tuck Wagon was introduced.


Presents were given to all patients for Christmas.

The Auxiliary raised $187.56 from the sale of Hasti Notes and $726.09 from its first Tag Day. Other fundraising events included Telephone Bridge, Tea, Marathon Bridge Club, Community Chest and $500 was donated to the Hospital building fund.


Proceeds from Tag Day exceeded $1,000.

The Auxiliary became affiliated with the National, Provincial, and Regional Hospital Auxiliary Organization. There were 117 auxiliaries in Ontario.


The Auxiliary furnished the new boardroom with drapes and stacking chairs. In addition, they contributed funds for the construction of a new gift shop.

Honourable life memberships were presented to Miss Ethel Needlands and Mrs. C.M. Squier in recognition of their years of service and loyalty to the Auxiliary and to the Hospital.


Mrs. McCarty received a provincial life membership.

The new gift shop opened and an open house was held at the Hospital. Auxiliary members conducted tours and served tea in the boardroom. 


The Auxiliary received several bequests, which were used to provide various pieces of equipment for the hospital and also were given as memorials to the benefactors. A donation of $2,000.00 from Mrs. Everett Bell, of Belleville, was used to purchase a urological operating room table. In addition, $500.00 from Miss Flavelle, as a memorial to Miss Flavelle, was used to purchase an ultrasound unit for Physiotherapy, an ultraviolet lamp in memory of Mrs. Benson, and a flower stand for front lobby.


The Diamond Jubilee Year for the Hospital's Auxiliary was marked with an open house with guided tours and a Florence Nightingale Tea.

The Auxiliary had grown from 25 members to 197.


The Auxiliary hosted the Region 8 (now Region 7) Spring Rally where two prizes of $50 each were presented to graduates of the RNA course - one for bedside nursing and one for paediatrics nursing.

Many purchases were made this year, including nine artificial trees for Christmas decorations at Hospital, croupette for paediatrics, traction table for physiotherapy, oxygen tent and re-upholstery of furniture in the main lobby, Christmas gifts and decorations for paediatric ward.


The Auxiliary sponsored and participated in the newly initiated in-service volunteer organization. 

350 silver spoons were donated to babies born during the Centennial year.

The first class of teenage volunteers were presented with crests and certificates at the Hospital Christmas party.  


A Conference for Women and fashion show, sponsored by the Auxiliary, was held at the Academy Theatre on March 6th.


Two awards to RNAs and the purchase of candy striper caps, certificates, crests and pins, Christmas decorations and gifts, and 11 pieces of equipment cost the Auxiliary $5,427.00.


In October, 31 Auxiliary members staffed Eaton’s Hospital Tent at the International Ploughing Match. 


The Auxiliary set a goal to pledge $29,000 to provide equipment for the intensive care unit in the new addition to the hospital.


The Auxiliary presented a cheque for $15,000 to the Hospital Board as the first installment of the pledge for the intensive care unit.

Meetings were held at the Kawartha Lakes Training School, the Lindsay Armoury, and the Salvation Army Citadel since the boardroom was unavailable due to renovations.

A bequest of $4,000.00 was received from the estate of Mrs. Flora Lee Ann Bell.  

The word Women’s was dropped from the Auxiliary name.


The Auxiliary contributed mementos to be contained in the cornerstone of the new building. The cornerstone laying ceremony took place in May.

The gift shop was relocated.


A 70th birthday Volunteer Tea was held in the boardroom to encourage the recruitment of new members - 25 new people enrolled.

New construction began in March with the coffee shop and a new gift shop opened in September.

The Auxiliary had 301 members. 

Thought about presenting babies to their mothers in red stockings at Christmas time.


Plastic bibs were provided for patients of the Chronic Care Ward.  


The Auxiliary donated $25,000.00 to the intensive care unit for additional equipment. These funds had accumulated during the hospital construction period. 

Refreshments were served to visitors touring the Hospital on Hospital Day.


The Auxiliary donated $11,000.00 to furnish the new Mental Health Unit.

Wintario tickets started.  


A Wheelchair bus was available for patients in November to Christmas shop.

Birthday parties were held in Extended Care.

Tea changed to St. Paul's United Church.


The Auxiliary Cookbook was released. 


A Whirlpool Hydrotherapy tub and electric lift were presented to Extended Care in memory of Miss Ethel Reid, longtime Superintendent of the Hospital.

Lindsay This Week was delivered to patients.  


A strike occurred at the Hospital and Auxiliary members and their husbands helped in every way possible to keep the Hospital operating.

The Hospital Board of Governors held an appreciation party for the Auxiliary volunteers at the Golf Club.

Tea changed to Queen Street United Church.

Four three-year Candy Stripers were taken to the Royal York at attend a luncheon and conference for teenagers.

A Wheelchair bus was provided for a tour of the autumn leaves and shopping at Christmas for Extended Care patients.

The Craft Group supplied favours for trays on special holidays.  


Lindsay hosted the Fall Conference for Region 7 at the Armoury, with 250 people in attendance. 


Four teenage volunteers were sent to the Hospital Convention and luncheon.

Terry cloth bibs were provided for Extended Care patients.  


A luncheon was held to celebrate the Auxiliary's 80th anniversary. Cake was given to customers in the coffee shop.

Over $4,000.00 was raised during Tag Days. 

The Auxiliary donated a President's Pin, to be handed down to future President's.

49 lap robes were donated for Extended Care patients.

An $8,000.00 bequest was received from Mrs. Mae Blackwell. The funds were used to refurbish a ward of the Surgical Floor in her memory.  


The Auxiliary donated $16,000.00 for the purchase of ten Hi-Lo beds for the Extended Care Nursing unit.


The Auxiliary continues to staff the Gift Shop, Coffee Shop, Tuck Cart, Information Desk, does newspaper deliveries and crafts.

This year, $25,216.00 was donated for a cardiac rhythm simulator, a life pack monitor, and a defibrillator.


This year, the 300 Auxiliary members, including three men, provided 15,000 hours of service and donated $30,104.00 for new equipment.

Tag Days raised $4,000.00.

The Lieutenant Governor, Lincoln Alexander, attended the Region 7 Spring Conference hosted by the Auxiliary.


In November, unification of the In-Service Volunteer Department and the Auxiliary to place.  

In February, the Hospital Equipment Lottery Program for People (HELPP) was initiated and run by the Auxiliary, raising approximately $8,000 annually.

The Gift Shop hours were extended to include mornings from 10 a.m. until noon.

Tag Days in Lindsay, Fenelon Falls, and Bobcaygeon raised $6,000.00

A cheque for $40,000.00 was presented towards the purchase of a carbon dioxide laser for gynecological procedures.

The Board of Governors gave an Appreciation Reception on May 23rd, at the Admiral Inn.


In June, The Board of Governors asked the Auxiliary to raise $90,000.00 for a mammography suite. The goal was achieved in May 1991. The Auxiliary raised $50,000.00 and more than 30 service clubs and private donors raised an additional $40,000.00.

Tag Days were extended to include Coboconk, raising a total of $9,700.00.

Knitting was added to the Gift Shop and the new Quilting Group supplies Baby Quilts.


The Auxiliary donated $82,505.00 for the purchase of laparoscopic equipment for the surgical department.

The H.E.L.P.P Lottery raised $11,000.00

The Spring Tea and Raffle raised $4,616.00

Tag Days raised $11,482.00.


The Annual Spring Tea, held at Cambridge Street United Church, raised $6,400.00.

340 members, including 19 men, provided 42,958 hours of service.

Tag Days raised $12,000.

A volunTEEN program was reinstated.


The first Auxiliary office, including voice mail and a computer, was established in the basement of the Hospital facing Kent Street. 

The President of the Auxiliary was asked to sit on the Foundation Board of Directors.

The Auxiliary celebrated its 90th anniversary with a Victorian Tea.

The colour of Auxiliary uniforms was changed from coral to royal blue.

The Auxiliary donated $59,500.00 for the purchase of operating room equipment to further the use of the Laparoscopic equipment donated in the previous year.


The new Gift Shop and Coffee Shop opened in July at the front lobby of the Hospital at Angeline Street. The first electronic cash register and safe were purchased for the Gift Shop.

An easily to sterilize, metal Tuck Cart was purchased.  

A party was held in October for Continuing Care patients with entertainment and refreshments.

The fourth annual Kris Kringle Sales were held by the gift shop and included a bake sale.  

Hand knit booties were given to all newborns and flannel stockings were made to present newborns to their mothers on Christmas morning. 


The Auxiliary continued to create handmade Tray Favours for all patients at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

A Spring Luncheon replaced the annual Spring Tea. A Silent Auction was held at the event, raising $6,287.00

Job descriptions and policy and procedure manuals were developed. Two new Auxiliary positions were created - Volunteer Convener and Patient Care Convener.  


The Ross Memorial Hospital Foundation launched its Make Us Better campaign. The Auxiliary pledged $300,000 towards the campaign.

The first fashion show was held in conjunction with the Spring Luncheon.

$5,000.00 was raised through the Loblaws "Round Up" campaign. These funds were used to replace the Nurse Call System on the second floor.

The Information Desk moved to the Angeline Street entrance.

The Gift Shop installed an Interac machine.  

The Hospital's closure to visitors due to the Influenza outbreak was a temporary setback to Auxiliary volunteer participation in activities at the hospital.   


The Auxiliary elected its first male President, Peter Fraser.

Revenue Canada granted a charitable donations number to the Auxiliary.


The Gift Shop began to accept payment by VISA.

The Auxiliary nominated four of its members for H.A.A.O. provincial life memberships, the first recorded nominations since 1962.

The RMH Auxiliary Student Achievement Awards Program was established.

A conference was hosted for Directors of Adult and Student Volunteers for Associations in Region 7.


The Executive agreed that funds received over the next five years should be accumulated and invested so that a sum of approximately $500,000.00 would be available to make a significant donation to the hospital's redevelopment project, and the Auxiliary's 100th anniversary, in 2004. 


The mother of the first baby born at the Ross in 2000 received a special package indicating that this was our “millennium baby”.

The Region 7 Gift Shop Conference was held in Lindsay.

The Auxiliary confirmed the $750,000.00 pledge to the redevelopment fund by the year 2006.

The first video about the Auxiliary was completed through Auxiliary cooperation with the local Video Club and Channel 10.

Eight Auxiliary members earned a $1000 donation by counting ballots after the municipal election.

All members were advised of the necessity of flu shots.


A $20,000 cheque from the HELPP Lottery was presented to the hospital towards the purchase of the CT scanner.

For the first time, the Auxiliary had co-Presidents.

Auxiliary members volunteered to assist the Kawartha Pine Ridge Health Unit with the public immunization clinics.

The Region 7 Spring Conference was hosted in Lindsay for the first time since 1989.

In June, the Ross Memorial Hospital Foundation launched its Caring for Tomorrow campaign, with a goal of raising $6 million. At the launch, the campaign had raised $4.225 million, due in large part to the cornerstone lead gift of $750,000 from the Auxiliary. As part of that campaign, a telemarketing program was launched with Ralph Griffin, a long time volunteer with the Auxiliary as the spokesperson. When Ralph retired, his wife Louise (now deceased) encouraged Ralph to join the Auxiliary, becoming the first husband and wife team.

The Kris Kringle sale was renamed Santa’s Sale.


The first training sessions for adults and students dealing with patient feeding were held.

The Auxiliary decided that a donation of $25.00 would be transferred to the donations account on the death of any active or inactive member. Each family will be notified, in writing, of the donation and the Auxiliary will maintain a separate Memorial Book.

Gift Shop and Coffee Shop Conveners, along with the Co-Presidents have been meeting with consultants retained by the Ross to develop the retail component of the expansion.

The Ontario Public Service Quarter Century Club's Award for Community Service was presented to Ralph Griffin. The $1000 cheque was designated to the Auxiliary.

The Auxiliary Board held its first formal Board Orientation and Strategic Planning Sessions and also passed its first budget. The Board hired a consultant to conduct an Organizational Review of the Board's 22 member structure and operations, as well as a review of the Volunteer Services management practices.


A "Name the Shops" contest resulted in "Reflections" being chosen as the new name for the expanded Gift Shop and Café.

In March, all volunteers were temporarily closed-out of the Hospital for 10 days due to a SARS outbreak in Toronto and a WHO Advisory.

The Auxiliary changed its logo to incorporate the Hospital logo and a new Auxiliary motto, "Part of the Team".

Several administration changes occurred within the Auxiliary including the computerization of accounting, volunteer scheduling, and volunteer records. These updates were designed to help the Auxiliary meet future business needs in a more effective and efficient manner. 

The Board approved, and the General Membership ratified, the consultant’s recommendation that a smaller Board of 10-12 elected members could focus more on governance responsibilities. Directors were to report management issues requiring policy decisions to the Board and oversee the day-to-day operations for Membership, Volunteer Services, Retail Operations, Fundraising and Public Relations. It was recommended that this smaller board structure be on a six-month trial basis.

The CT Scanner Suite and Waiting Room will be dedicated to the Auxiliary in recognition of being the lead donor in the capital expansion, as recommended by the Foundation. The Board agreed that the surgical suite in the new APA area would also be dedicated to the Auxiliary in recognition of the $300,000 donated to the Hospital in the first capital campaign.

Planning began for the Auxiliary's 100th anniversary celebration in 2004. On November 26th, 2004 an afternoon celebration will be held at LCVI. Other commemorative ideas were discussed, including a cookbook, a commemorative history booklet, and the spring fundraiser with a fashion show and raffle. The board will attend all functions in 1904 attire.


This year, the Auxiliary celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Special events included a fashion show entitled, “A Walk Down Memory Lane: One Hundred Years of Fashion" and the entire Board of Directors appeared in 1904 costumes. The Spring Raffle prizewinners were announced at this venue.

On November 26th, an afternoon celebration was held at LCVI. A commemorative booklet was prepared for this occasion. A cheque for $750,000 was presented to the Ross Memorial Hospital Foundation at this time, bringing the total donated to the hospital expansion to $1,050,000. The Auxiliary also produced and sold a cookbook. 

A new Constitution was approved in May.

The Lindsay and District Rug Hookers presented a hooked wall hanging of the Auxiliary Logo, which hangs opposite the elevators near the Rotunda.

River Bend Designs also donated plaques featuring the Board of Directors and the Centennial Committee in centennial costume to hang in the hospital.                   


The Auxiliary returned to normal after the busy Centennial year.

A spring raffle was held with Westjet airline tickets as first prize.

The Valentine Silent Auction raised nearly $1,000.00.  

An Attic Treasures Sale was held in August and in November.

Extravaganza Gift Show was successful. 

This year, HELPP raised $16,000.00 and a further $84,000.00 was donated to the hospital for the purchase of pain relief mattresses for Palliative Care patients. $30,000.00 of this amount was given for the refurbishment and expansion of the cafeteria patio. 


The Board reviewed the Policy and Procedures, undertaking a major revision.

The Spring Raffle with cash prizes raised $6278.00.

The Auxiliary moved into a new office that includes two rooms for offices and an additional storage area. The offices were furnished through donations of money and items, including a large table for meetings. The President and Director of Volunteer Services now each have their own office.

At the Annual meeting $160,000.00 was donated to the Foundation.

A variety concert named “An Evening With the Ross”, took place on October 14 with entertainment provided by staff and auxiliary members.

The second Extravaganza Gift Show was held on October 21.

Ten local artists were approached to donate paintings that would be used to produce Christmas cards. The cards will be for sale and the paintings will be auctioned off at a later date. 

A lottery calendar for 2007 was produced.

The Christmas bake sale will continue. 


Fundraising initiatives included a Spring Raffle, Tommy Cash concert, Lottery Calendars, Evening of Elegance at East Side Mario’s, Fall Concert, Extravaganza Gift Show, Valentine’s Silent Auction, tag days, and others.


The Auxiliary presented a donation totalling $202,000 to the Foundation at the May 2008 Annual General Meeting.

2009 The Auxiliary announced fulfillment of its commitment to donate $500,000 to the new dialysis unit. Our new challenge was approved by members: we're raising $300,000 toward new digital mammography equipment over the next 2 and a half years.

Presidents of the Hospital Auxiliary

1904 - 1914 Mrs. W. E. Edwards
1915 - 1921 Mrs. Jessie McIntyre
1922 - 1930 Mrs. Stewart
1931 - 1937 Mrs. McLennan
1938 - 1943 Miss EttaWeldon
1944 - 1949 Miss E. Flavelle
1950 - 1952 Mrs. Vrooman
1953 - 1961 Mrs. W. McCarty
1962 - 1963 Mrs.Grace Wilford
1964 - 1965 Mrs. Ken Griffin
1966 - 1967 Mrs. Ellen Thomas
1968 - 1969 Mrs. A. B. Patterson
1970 - 1972 Mrs. W. Richardson

Presidents of the Ross Memorial Hospital â€‹Auxiliary

1973 - 1974 Mrs. (Carew) Simester
1975 - 1976 Mrs. A. B. Paterson
1977 Mrs. Helen Paterson
1978 - 1979 Miss Isabell Varcoe
1980 - 1981 Mrs. Madeleine Gamble
1982 Miss Isabell Varcoe
1983 - 1985 Mrs. Audrey Allan
1985 - 1987 Mrs. Amy Moir
1987 - 1989 Mrs. Janet Smith
1989 - 1991 Mrs. Betty Pickering
1991 - 1993 Mrs. Leila Atchison
1993 - 1995 Mrs. Linda Sheppard
1995 - 1997 Mrs. Helen Boston
1997 - 1999 Mr. Peter Fraser
1999 - 2001 Mrs. Dorothy McTaggart
2001 - 2002 Mrs. Helen Boston/Mrs. Linda Sheppard
2002 - 2003 Mrs. Margot Fawcett
2003 - 2004 Mrs. Pat Angiers
2005 May - September Mrs. Kathleen Leenders
2005 - 2007 Mrs. Pat Angiers
2007 - 2009 Mr. Jim Young
2009-2012 Mr. Peter DeJong
2012 Mr. John Albin