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The AMH White Cross Auxiliary team included (front row, from left) Susie Pruetzel, Ruth Scanlan and Rose Lammers; (back row, from left) Irene McLaughlin, Joyce Fleming and Meg Dorris. Not pictured are Tish Preston-Stubbs, Mary Nickell and Ellar Duff.

Not having its usual Girls On Grapes, Boys On Brew fundraiser in 2020 caused the Alton Memorial Hospital White Cross Auxiliary to think outside the box, but the public came through by raising more than $12,000 in a mail-in campaign.

“Irene McLaughlin brought the idea to me and it was discussed with many of our past restaurant participants,” said Ruth Scanlan, vice president of the WCA and chairman of its Ways and Means Committee. “They all said we should go ahead with it.”

More than 1,000 letters were mailed in August explaining how the fundraiser would work. Depending on how much a donor gave, that donor would receive a gift card ranging from $10 to $50 from one of the participating restaurants and businesses. More than $2,000 in gift cards were purchased by the auxiliary based on the responses, leaving the group with a net of $10,000.

“This was a win-win situation for the businesses, the community and Alton Memorial Hospital,” Scanlan said. “With 2021 approaching, our methods of fundraising are limited due to the pandemic. The virtual fundraiser will allow us to use $10,000 toward the approved 2021 department grants.” 

Each year the White Cross satisfies department grant requests with funds from a WCA major fundraiser (usually Girls On Grapes, Boys On Brew), Miss Eunice’s Hatbox and lobby sales. 

“Fortunately, we were able to meet 2020’s grants of around $26,000,” Scanlan said. “Some of the items purchased were two recumbent bikes, a recumbent stepper and an ultrasound electrical stimulator for physical therapy; and a biopectral index monitor for ICU, to name a few.

“On behalf of the White Cross Auxiliary board, we say ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped make this event a success.”

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