2008-12-19 / Community

Peninsula Hospital Center Auxiliary Celebrates The Holidays

Auxiliary members Cathy Goldsmith, President Sheila Schwartz, Ann Marie McNerney, Peggy DeMatteis and Joan Ryan were on hand to ring in the holidays at the December meeting of the Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary. Auxiliary members Cathy Goldsmith, President Sheila Schwartz, Ann Marie McNerney, Peggy DeMatteis and Joan Ryan were on hand to ring in the holidays at the December meeting of the Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary. The Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary met on Tuesday, December 2 and celebrated the holiday season with a festive buffet luncheon and holiday sale.

Robert V. Levine, President and Chief Executive Officer, was the featured guest speaker who brought the Auxiliary members up to date on the latest happenings at the Hospital Center.

Levine spoke about the new Hospice Care Unit and plans for a major fundraising program to jump-start the new Cancer Care Center.

This planned Center of Excellence in Cancer Care will be designed to meet the full range of cancer care services for the patient population of PHC, offering local community residents the opportunity to receive these much needed services close to home. He explained that a cancer center in Rockaway is long overdue.

With the realization of this new cancer center at PHC, local patients and their families will no longer be faced with having to travel to Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island or the north shore of Long Island. The cancer center will encompass the existing Ambulatory Chemotherapy Unit and upgrade the Hospital Center's Radiation/Oncology Department with the latest state-of-the art technology, as well as the very successful Cancer Support Group that the PHC hosts monthly in conjunction with other local cancer support groups in Rockaway.

Levine asked Auxilians for their assistance in getting the word out in the community about the program which will require a major capital funding program, along with the support of the entire community.

Sheila Schwartz, Auxiliary President, wished all present a happy holiday season and kicked off their program with a holiday sale of beautiful table arrangements designed by the Belle Harbor Garden Club. The sale was augmented with jewelry, tableware and stuffed animals. All of the proceeds of the sale, as is true of all of the Auxiliary fundraising efforts, go directly to the various hospital projects, in particular the beautification of the Ambulatory Chemotherapy Unit, which the Auxiliary has taken on as its latest project.

Several members brought homemade lap blankets, which are presented to every patient who comes through the new Hospice Unit. New toys, dolls and board games were also donated to be used by the Pediatric staff for their annual community Children's Holiday Party, which was held on December 12.

The January meeting of the Auxiliary is set for Tuesday, January 7, 2009 at 12 noon in the Meditation Room at Peninsula Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation, which is located adjacent to the Hospital Center at 50- 15 Beach Channel Drive. January's program will be presented by Dr. Peter Guiney, Director Medical Education and Rachel Wetzel, Nutrition Director who will be concentrating on a "Happy and Healthy New Year." Anyone wishing to join the Auxilary is invited to attend the January meeting and become familiar with the membership and programs in which the Auxiliary is involved.

The Peninsula Hospital Center Auxiliary is a volunteer service organization with more than 200 dues paying members. Their contributions to the Hospital Center each year are many and diverse.

The volunteers consistently support the hospital's development goals through their fundraising activities as well as their outreach efforts throughout the community. Each year the Auxilary raises thousands of dollars hosting monthly lobby sales and a blockbuster raffle. Over the past few years, proceeds from the organization's fundraising efforts have been directed to the new Hospice Unit, the Mammography Suite and the planned Cardiac Catheterization Unit. Most recently, they have sponsored one of the patient rooms in the new Hospice Care Unit, in memory of Anne Levine, Hospital Center benefactor and past copresident of the Auxiliary. The organization provides other volunteer support services by assisting hospital staff with special projects throughout the year.

The Auxiliary meets the first Tuesday of each month for a luncheon meeting at the Hospital Center. Anyone who would like to learn more about the Peninsula Hospital Center Auxiliary can contact the Public Affairs Department at 718-734-2507.

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