Rooks County Health Center Auxiliary

RCH Auxiliary participates in a variety of hospital, community and fundraising events each year.

Blood Drive

For over 35 years, RCH Auxiliary has been helping give the gift of life through their sponsorship of American Cross Blood Drives. In the past eight years, the number of blood drives has increased to 5 successful blood drives held each year. Each event requires more than 125 volunteer hours from the Auxiliary, high school and community members.

To learn more about the RCH Auxiliary Blood Drives or to get involved contact RCH Auxiliary’s blood drive committee chairperson: Carol Parker.

RCH Auxiliary meets the last Thursday of the month at 10 a.m. on the RCH campus located at 1210 N Washington in Plainville.

RCH Auxiliary Officers
President: June Mongeau
Vice President: Kandie Morain
Secretary: Jill Davis
Treasurer: Shirley Comeau

“The purpose of this organization shall be to promote and advance the welfare of the Rooks County Health Center through the governing board of the hospital. The purpose shall be accomplished by the interpretation of the hospital to the public through service to the hospital and its patients through fundraising endeavors.”

Gift Shop

The RCH Auxiliary Gift Shop has a new look and great new items for inpatients, friends, family and employees. Come by and check us out.

RCH Auxiliary has openings for volunteers at the Gift Shop!

Scheduling can be done in 2-4 hour increments. Contact June Mongeau at 785.434.6800 or Shirley Comeau 785.737.3492 to sign up.

Memorial Tree Lighting & Scholarships

For over 25 years, the RCH Auxiliary has sold Memorial Lights in remembrance of a loved one to fund their annual scholarships. There are two scholarship opportunities given by the RCH Auxiliary. The Memorial scholarships are awarded to Rooks County residents pursuing a career in healthcare. The second is for RCH employees to celebrate their desire to increase and strengthen their health care education no matter where they call home.

To learn more about our scholarships or to get an application contact RCH Auxiliary’s Scholarship Committee members Shirley Comeau or Kathy Ramsay or stop by the RCH Auxiliary Gift Shop to pick up an application. You can also  click here to download an application.

To learn more about our Memorial Tree Lighting contact chairpersons Kathy Ramsay or Shirley Comeau.

History of RCH Auxiliary

The organizational meeting of the Hospital Auxiliary was held September 15, 1983, with the following members attending: Verna Dean Hamblet, Janet Kellerman, Phelma Knight, Geraldine Hrabe, Shirley Comeau, Virginia Engborg, Tracy Fellhoelter, Opal Barb, Ethel Mayhew, Bernice Barta, Donna Brown, Polly Hrabe, Christy Graves, Mary Lou Gilliland and Dorothy Smrcka.

Before that time, attempts had been made to organize an auxiliary, but it had never materialized and moved forward. The feeling was positive in 1983 and the Hospital Board said it would give $75 to the Auxiliary treasury to get things started. A slate of officers were presented and would be voted on at the first meeting on October 14, 1983. Dues were tentatively set at $2 per person.

The group met with an overwhelming public attendance of about 100 people. All were positive to start an Auxiliary for the hospital. The following officers were elected: President Verna Dean Hamblet; Vice-President Janet Kellerman; Secretary Christy Graves; and Treasurer Shirley Comeau.

Many people paid their dues that day but paid $5 to get the Auxiliary started so dues were set at that amount. Lifetime dues of $100 were later added. The Auxiliary also decided to hold its first fundraiser — a bake sale — which has been held annually for over 20 years.

The Auxiliary started doing voluntary work at the hospital in September 1986 and continues to do so under guidance of the Hospital Board and its staff. It also delivers noon meals to shut-ins. Many of the individuals who help with this project are not Auxiliary members, but just caring individuals in the community.

Memorial Lights, a project started in 1986, has been both a fundraiser and a wonderful way to remember a loved one at the start of the Christmas season. A memorial light is bought for $5 in memory of a deceased loved one and then becomes part of the ceremony held the first part of December in the hospital lobby. These funds are used solely for the Auxiliary Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to youth as well as adults who are completing their education in the health care field.

November 1989 marked the beginning of the Auxiliary’s sharing in the cost of installing a Life Line in the home of someone who would need to call immediate health care to their home.

In June 2001, the “Gift Nook” opened in the hospital lobby. Both craft and new items are for sale and funds are used for the many projects of the Auxiliary.

In 2003, the Auxiliary began serving as host to the Red Cross Blood Drives held in Plainville. Elvera Beiker has been the coordinator from the beginning, with duties that include arranging the location, volunteers, notifications to the area donors of the date, location and times, as well as the purchase and the preparation of the canteen food provided to the donors. 

The hospital changed its name in 2003 from Plainville Rural Hospital to the Rooks County Health Center. The Auxiliary followed suit, changing their name from Plainville Rural Hospital Auxiliary to Rooks County Health Center Auxiliary.

The new hospital opened its doors at the new location at 1210 N. Washington in September 2008.

On October 30, 2008, the Auxiliary celebrated “25 years of caring” with an afternoon reception in RCH’s cafeteria.

The Auxiliary hosted an official grand opening of the RCH Gift Shop with a Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony on March 11, 2009. The Gift Shop is located just inside the front doors. Bill Stahl, COO of RCH, addressed Chamber members as well as the many local business representatives who helped welcome this new service to the hospital.  Those in attendance were invited to tour the Gift Shop and view the new merchandise displays, which included selections of unique gifts, baby items, personal care products and various children’s gifts.

The Auxiliary started providing a complimentary infant CPR training kit to every mother who delivered their baby at RCH in May 2013. 

In 2014, the Auxiliary partnered with the 2 county grocery stores to offer gift certificates with the Auxiliary receiving a small percentage. This continues to be a big money maker for the Auxiliary.

Hospital employees were able to start purchasing items in the gift shop via RCH payroll deductions. Staff enjoy the convenience of the program and it has increased sales tremendously. 

On July 2, 2018, the Auxiliary and American Red Cross honored long time Auxiliary member, Elvera Beiker, for her work with the Auxiliary coordinating Red Cross blood drives.

On October 1, 2018, the Auxiliary held a reception in the RCH cafeteria commemorating 35 years of service.

To promote safe sleep, the Auxiliary began offering complimentary Halo Sleep Sacks to every baby born at RCH in October 2019.

The Auxiliary donated over $50,000 over a 6 year period (2015-2021) to the hospital expansion program.

The group of men and women that represent the Rooks County Health Center Auxiliary have given of themselves more than 50,000 hours for the support of the hospital and continued health care to the public.