Pink ladies: PRMC Auxiliary has been providing services for nearly 40 years

Ramona Parker delivers balloon bouquets Tuesday. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)

By Sharna Johnson

Best known as the “Pink Ladies,” the Clovis Plains Regional Medical Center Auxiliary has been in Clovis for almost half a century. Beginning with 12 women, they now boast a membership of more than 100, performing a multitude of volunteer functions at the hospital, according to Phyllis Davidson, auxiliary president.

Over the years, the auxiliary has added diversity to its repertoire. It now has many male members, referred to as the “Red Coats” in addition to a corps of junior volunteers, according to Davidson. But she said, the majority of volunteers are still women.

“In the past when women didn’t work so much this was just something they did. Now we have to wait until they retire,” she said, explaining that the typical volunteer is 65 or older.

Auxiliary volunteers are intricately networked into many aspects of the hospital. Their duties range from managing the gift shop and information desk, delivering newspapers, flowers and menus to patients, to working in clinics providing patients with wheel chairs and running errands.

The proceeds from the gift shop are used to grant annual wishes for the hospital. Davidson said this year some of those wishes were wheel chairs, a scale for the nursery, car seats for newborns and equipment for the rehabilitation center.

In addition to purchases for the hospital, Davidson said the auxiliary hosts fund-raisers, bake and book sales, the proceeds of which are used to give scholarships to local students.

VOLUNTEER PROFILES
Phyllis Davidson
Occupation: Retired as director of business affairs, Clovis Community College, president of Clovis Plains Regional Medical Center Auxiliary

How long have you been a volunteer: Three years

Why do you volunteer: “My mother was on the auxiliary at the hospital in Portales. I always thought that was a neat thing that she did. I’d go out and have coffee with her (at the hospital), it was just a real pleasant
experience.”

What is your favorite thing about what you do: “The thing that really touches me is when we have babies in the hospital and their mothers will bring them into the gift shop in these little wagons. A lot of times they have IVs hooked up to them. They have a lot of fun just looking around.”

Helen Miles
Occupation: Retired obstetric nurse

How long have you been a volunteer: Five years

Why do you volunteer: “That’s just part of my persona — I like doing stuff for people.

What is your favorite thing about what you do: “Just the gratification. I enjoy helping people. You get to meet all different kinds of people here. It’s just fun. You talk to people that you know and people that you don’t know. It’s just fun.”

Paige Smith
Occupation: Retired school teacher

How long have you been a volunteer: Three years

Why do you volunteer: “I have time. I’ve made an awful lot of friends. It’s a pleasure to make people who are upset smile. It makes you feel good because you make other people feel good.”

What is your favorite thing about what you do: “The new babies, when the families come in. It’s just exciting. I get to see the family excitement. It’s just fun. A lot of children come in to visit and that’s fun.”

Eva Verdile
Occupation: Retired from Wal-Mart

How long have you been a volunteer: Eight years

Why do you volunteer: I have the time and you need
something to do in your life.

What is your favorite thing about what you do: “Taking flowers to the patients. People’s faces light up. They might be sick but they still smile when they get flowers. Anytime you can make a patient smile that’s good. It’s a fun job, no pressure. If we’re happy, anybody that comes to the desk, we’re going to make them happy.”

Carol Krake
Occupation: Retired from Sears as store trainer

How long have you been a volunteer: Nine months

Why do you volunteer: “It’s just the personal satisfaction that you get. You’re doing something to help the hospital. It’s personally gratifying.”

What is your favorite thing about what you do: “The people. The doctors, the nurses, they’re all very precious. And the
members (of the Auxiliary) themselves. It’s a great organization.”

Ramona Parker
Occupation: Homemaker, president-elect of Clovis Plains Regional Medical Center Auxiliary

How long have you been a volunteer: Nine months

Why do you volunteer: “I like being of service to the
community. I wanted to do something that would enlarge my world, it makes me feel useful.”

What is your favorite thing about what you do: “I think it’s the friendships that I’m making. That’s not what I went into it for but you do so many things that you end up with a new circle of friends. I think it’s lots of fun to deliver the flowers. You’re delivering a little happiness. It’s like you’re getting to deliver something beautiful to a place that’s sad.”

BY THE NUMBERS
• 3 — Length of one shift for an Auxiliary member

• 7 — Days a week, Auxiliary members are at the hospital

• 9 — Hours per day Auxiliary members perform volunteer duties

• 49 — Years the Clovis Auxiliary has been in exsistence. It was founded in 1967 by Helen Simms of Clovis

• 108 — Active members in the Auxiliary staff

• 7,200 — Scholarship money awarded by the Auxiliary this year