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NEWS

June 12, 2008

Claremore Hospital Auxiliary Continues Legacy of Support

The Claremore Hospital Auxiliary continued its support of the Rogers State University nursing program this year with a gift in honor of "Doctors Day."

Marjie Purkey presented the gift to Dr. Danette Boyle, RSU vice president for development, at a luncheon RSU hosted in honor of the Auxiliary this spring.

During the past 20 years, the Auxiliary has contributed more than $160,000 to the RSU Foundation in support of the RSU nursing program. These funds have provided scholarships for many students over the years and have helped purchase much-needed educational equipment and materials.

In December 1990, the Auxiliary established, through the RSU Foundation, the Claremore Regional Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship Endowment. The purpose of the endowment is to provide annual scholarships to RSU students enrolled in the nursing or emergency medicine programs.

Five RSU students received scholarships this year through funds provided by the Auxiliary. Receiving scholarships are Erin Chanquex, Cynthia Darden, Sharalyn Donikowshi, Kathleen Hansen and Meagan Monroe.

In addition, the Claremore Hospital Auxiliary honored RSU student Jean Bruer with the Auxiliary Endowed Scholarship. This scholarship pays much of the educational costs for a highly accomplished second-year nursing student.

Today the Claremore Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship Endowment is valued at nearly $97,000.

Patricia Pixley, a founding member of the Auxiliary, said the total sum of the endowment is significant given the humble beginnings of the volunteer group.

Pixley remembers when the group was founded in 1969 and when they began working in 1970 with a mere $118 of merchandise.

"It is phenomenal that we have come from the very beginning when every penny counted, to now when we can give greater gifts," she said.

The Auxiliary now boasts more than 80 members who volunteer more than 12,000 hours each year.

Officers of the Auxiliary include Margie Purkey, president; Cindy Baker, vice president; Doris Butler, recording secretary; Karen Flowers, corresponding secretary; Carol Akerman, treasurer; and Ruth Cherry, past president.

The group raises funds through its volunteer-run hospital gift shop and several fundraisers during the year.

Pixley said the Auxiliary supports the RSU nursing program because it believes in helping future health care providers earn the education they need to serve patients better.

"The Auxiliary has been a major factor in the establishment of the RSU Nursing program," Boyle said. "Their continued support is one of the foundations this program was built on."

In addition to supporting RSU nurses, the Auxiliary donates to other community groups and works to brighten hospital patients' days.

For more information about the Claremore Hospital Auxiliary or to become a volunteer call Marsha Chisum at (918) 342-6712.