Two nonagenarians were recognized on Monday for their decades of volunteering with the Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary.
Mary Firkus, 97, and Gwen Goodey, 94, were presented with pins, certificates of appreciation, flowers, and gifts during the group’s AGM this week.
Together, their volunteering totals 95 years. Goodey has been at it for 50 years and Firkus for 45 years.
“I’m overwhelmed. I just don’t know what to say,” said Goodey, who was president of CHA in 1973-74 and 1982. “I think that’s why we’re both alive at our age, because we volunteer. We don’t grow old because we’re too busy.”
Years ago, the reason Goodey got her driver’s licence was so she could volunteer.
“So much of my life has gone into volunteering. I learned to drive to get myself to the hospital,” said Goodey.
Firkus was president in 1985-86.
“I volunteer to make people happy,” she said. “You know you’re doing something worthwhile to help people. I never regretted a moment of work I’ve done there.”
They both agree that volunteering makes one more mentally alert, and it benefits a lot of people.
CHA is celebrating its 104th anniversary this year and has raised $5.25 million for Chilliwack General Hospital, plus they provide funding yearly to Heritage Village, Bradley Centre, psychiatry, Parkholm Lodge and Cedar Ridge. The auxiliary also gives $5000 in bursaries every year to students who are working towards an education in the health care field, and it sponsors the Run for Mom every May with a donation of $800.
CHA’s fundraising efforts come mostly from their Thrift Shoppe located at 9236 Main St., as well as the Knitting Case — located at the information desk at CGH — where all the handmade items donated by local knitters and crocheters are for sale.
Donations of clothing and household items for the store, and yarn for the Knitting Case are always welcome.
Auxiliary volunteers also help out at the information desk and IV therapy at CGH, plus they spend time with patients and serve them tea.
“If more people volunteered there wouldn’t be as much stress in the world,” said Firkus.