The Northern Dutchess Hospital Auxiliary will hold their first trivia contest fundraiser at Sidelines Restaurant and Sports Bar in Red Hook on May 19, but the members who are organizing the fun event will be carrying on a tradition of providing funds for vital hospital projects that began in 1931.
In an article in The Rhinebeck Gazette on Sept. 13, 1965, it was reported that the Rhinebeck unit of the Auxiliary’s “elephant booth” at the Dutchess County Fair was successful in its fund-raising efforts, and the proceeds would benefit the hospital’s intensive care project, the linen fund, and the rescue squad.
Recently, the three individual units—Red Hook, Rhinebeck, and Hyde Park—joined as one. Lois Chenkus, the current Auxiliary President, explained why. “We decided we could do bigger things and better things if we all worked together, so now we have one cohesive unit,” she said.
The Auxiliary typically brings in about $100,000 a year for the hospital. The Northern Dutchess Hospital Foundation, a non-profit organization, advises the Auxiliary which projects have been approved, and then the Auxiliary gets to choose where they want their money to go.
Most recently, the Auxiliary contributed $220,000 towards the Wound Care Center, which opened in March.
“We won’t know until June what the next big projects are going to be that we can participate in, and we’re anxious to find that out,” Lois said. “In the meantime, we won’t stop making money for the hospital.”
The current membership of approximately 80 (about 40 of whom are active members) organizes a lot of holiday bake sales and also conducts book sales in the hospital lobby. They also run the gift shop located there, donating a large amount yearly (they will provide a gift basket as one of the Trivia Contest prizes). But the largest source of Auxiliary funds is their Thrift Shop, located on the Montgomery Street side of the hospital grounds. Open six days a week, it has two floors and an outside building that are filled with affordable treasures, from baby clothes to wheelchairs, evening gowns, and the occasional waffle iron.
“We’re looking for new events that will get people excited about coming and learning about the auxiliary,” said Lois of the May event at Sidelines. “We’ve all been to a trivia contest, so we know how much fun they are.”
In addition to the fun and snacks, prizes will be rewarded, including a signed Yankee baseball donated by Sidelines owner Matt Michael, who happens to be the son of Yankee legend Gene Michael.
Those interested in participating in the trivia contest, which starts at 1pm, should form teams of five to six people, choose a great team name, and send a check for $20 per person made out to Northern Dutchess Hospital Auxiliary to 6511 Springbrook Avenue, Rhinebeck 12572, Attention: Volunteer Services.
The deadline for signup is Friday, May 3. For further information, call Volunteer Services 845-871-3470.