Mayor Victor Smith (middle) gave an opening speech during the Silent Auction. (Pattie Desjardins/Hope Standard)

Mayor Victor Smith (middle) gave an opening speech during the Silent Auction. (Pattie Desjardins/Hope Standard)

Power outage fails to dim successful return of Silent Auction at Legion Hall

Silent Auction and raffle garners $19,000 for Fraser Canyon Hospital

Not even a raging windstorm, and an untimely power outage, could stop the Auxiliary to the Fraser Canyon Hospital and Fraser Hope Lodge from bringing the Silent Auction back to Hope.

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Silent Auction and raffle made its grand return on Sunday (Nov. 6) and raised close to $19,000 for the Fraser Canyon Hospital. Originally scheduled for Saturday (Nov. 5), the unexpected power outage forced members to move the auction to 2 p.m. the next day at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall.

“It was a lot of fun,” says Nancy Hutsul, an Auxiliary member and one of the organizers for the event. “There was no light. There was no power at the Legion Hall and [on Saturday] a little party of us went down, with headlamps, and lanterns, and the big drum of raffle tickets, and did the draw… and then in the dark we phoned people, like the lady from Boston Bar who won the raffle and it was pretty cool.”

According to Hutsul, the Auxiliary was legally required by their raffling licence to do the draw that night at 9 p.m. She says that despite their “bafflement” over the outage, many of the members had fun figuring out what to do and how to still bring the Silent Auction back to Hope.

“The Auxiliary is a really great group,” says Hutsul. “We kept saying we were getting even more bonded through facing this challenge.”

A number of items were auctioned including tickets to the Vancouver Canucks, day passes to Bridal Falls, a helicopter ride for four, a wide variety of gift certificates, spa baskets, and cozy scarves — even a portable grill. Value for the items ranged from $10 to $1,000 and those attending also had the chance to win door prizes and enter a raffle during the event. Tickets were $10 and could be bought at Canyon Cable, Pharmasave, Hospital Gift Shop, and from various Auxiliary members.

All the items were auctioned off.

Hutsul says the Auxiliary is “incredibly grateful” for the community’s support, and for the understanding that was shown despite the inconvenience the outage caused.

“Everyone was so understanding,” says Hutsul. “That’s the nice thing about being part of a small town… at first [on Sunday] it was a little slow and not too many people were coming in the door. We were glad we could go ahead [with the Silent Auction] but we were a little nervous. But then it started to build, and build, and by quarter after two the room was nicely full and buzzing.”

The Auxiliary is a non-profit that raises money and provides services to help with the care and comfort of patients in the Fraser Canyon Hospital and residents in their connected long-term care facility. Through their fundraising, they’ve provided items such as modern stretcher beds for the Emergency Ward and fold-out chair beds that allow family members to stay with their loved ones during the end of their lives.

Hutsul says the Auxiliary is currently looking for members and welcomes anyone wishing to join and volunteer. Those interested in joining can email them at auxiliaryhopehospital@gmail.com. Their next big event is the Spring Fashion show which will take place in Spring 2023.

READ MORE: $1700 raised for Fraser Canyon hospital in Run for Hope


@KemoneMoodley
kemone.moodley@hopestandard.com

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A wide variety of items were available as door prizes and for auction during the event. (Pattie Desjardins/Hope Standard)

A wide variety of items were available as door prizes and for auction during the event. (Pattie Desjardins/Hope Standard)

Turnout was strong, with a decently sized crowd, despite the unexpected power outage. (Pattie Desjardins/Hope Standard)

Turnout was strong, with a decently sized crowd, despite the unexpected power outage. (Pattie Desjardins/Hope Standard)

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