The “Pink Ladies” long have been a fixture at South Central Kansas Medical Center.

SCKMC Auxiliary members
Courtesy photo

“That’s what we’ve been called for years,” said SCKMC Auxiliary member and South Haven resident Leslie Sherman.

Each Auxiliary member — dressed in coral pink smocks, white pants and white shoes — takes a turn staffing the front desk.

The single mission of the group is simply to make SCKMC “the people’s choice for health care in the region.”

Auxiliary members do much more than sit at the desk Mondays through Fridays, though.

“Everything is done for the hospital,” Sherman said.

SCKMC Auxiliary volunteers

Auxiliary members all volunteer during the week, each working a minimum of four hours a month.

There are approximately 50 members of the SCKMC Auxiliary. The youngest is 56 years old.

Some of the ladies volunteer by creating items to sell in the gift shop, which is operated by the Auxiliary.

“We make washcloths, baby blankets, baby bibs, tea towels and potato bags,” Sherman said.

Another offering that can be found in the gift shop is miniature stuffed bears.

These bears often are dressed and then given to sick children who are in the hospital.

Each newborn receives one, as well. “We do not take any money (for this),” Sherman said.

Bake sales and more

Apart from the gift shop, the group conducts several bake sales during the year to raise funds.

From funds raised through their multiple projects, the Pink Ladies give back to SCKMC in the form of “gifts.”

Sometimes this is an item that is needed in the SCKMC kitchen or in the surgical wing of the hospital.

Most recently, the auxiliary was able to help by supplying some of the necessary hardware for the additional telemedicine unit — “robot doctor” — at SKCMC.

The Auxiliary also gives out four scholarships to high school graduates who are going into the medical field.

Joining the Auxiliary

Each year, the Auxiliary sets goals, such as improving community involvement, recruiting younger members or holding more fundraisers.

There is no age requirement to become involved with the Auxiliary, only a willingness to help to further its efforts. “We’re just here to volunteer,” Sherman said.

There is a $10 fee to become a Pink Lady. The hospital provides a free lunch for volunteers who are working, in return for all that they do for SCKMC.

Any individual or business that wants to become involved may call Sara Ward at (620) 741-1218.

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