Kadlec volunteers raise record-setting amount - courtesy of Tri-City Herald

BY CAMERON PROBERT

cprobert@tricityherald.com

Jeanne Davis’ volunteer work for Kadlec started when she was a teenager.

“Actually, I was a candy striper here in high school, back when they were still in the Army barracks,” said Davis, outgoing president of the Kadlec Auxiliary, with a grin.

Davis was one of 225 volunteers who worked thousands of hours raising a record-setting amount of money to help the hospital and its patients.

The auxiliary members presented a check for $260,000 on Thursday afternoon to the Kadlec Foundation. The donation topped last year’s donation by about $25,000.

It is the single largest donation the foundation will receive this year, said Glenn Welch, the foundation’s executive director.

The volunteers staffed the hospital system’s two gift shops for three shifts a day, selling clothing, snacks and other gifts to raise the majority of the money.

Davis credited the gift shop’s success with a combination of gift shop coordinator Vivian McKinlay’s ability to find beautiful items at a reasonable price, and the friendliness of the volunteers who worked in the store.

The remainder came from fundraisers the group conducted through the year, including a holiday bazaar, bake sale and raffles.

Volunteers come from across the region and are driven by a desire to help the patients at the hospital. They range from college students wanting hours working with patients, to retirees looking for a chance to continue working.

“We do not care if they’re in Kennewick, Pasco, Benton City, Walla Walla. We even have one from Connell,” she said.

Along with fundraising, they donated hours sewing and provided other assistance. In total, they worked more than 50,000 hours during the year, which is the equivalent of 24 full-time employees.

“A lot of our people had wonderful family experiences at Kadlec and want to give back because their family members were treated well,” Davis said. “We have a lot of people who were in the medical field ... and they just want to give back to the community.”

LAST YEAR’S FUNDRAISING: $235,000 THIS YEAR’S FUNDRAISING: $260,000

The majority of the money will help with breast cancer prevention efforts. The auxiliary asked for $100,000, split across the next five years, to help people pay for mammograms. Another $14,500 is slated for a chair specially designed for the procedure, and $39,500 is going toward a 3-D mammogram machine.

Davis lost a sister to Stage 4 breast cancer when she was 38 years old, leaving behind a 4-year-old son, who Davis raised.

“That was before we did mammograms early,” she said.

Her mom, a longtime auxiliary member with 20,000 hours of volunteering at the hospital, survived two bouts with the disease.

They also donated $72,500 toward a portable ultrasound machine for the intensive care unit, which allows the doctors to perform the test without needing to move patients.

Money is slated for a medical library and a fund to help the family members of patients in the hospital.

Cameron Probert: 509-582-1402, @cameroncprobert


- Published on December 29, 2016