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After three years closed, auxiliary-run hospital gift shop set to reopen

On Monday, June 5th, the gift shop at Cochrane’s Lady Minto Hospital opens for the first time in over three years.

Hospital auxiliary president Joan Parsons – whose volunteer group operates Aline’s Boutique – says most of them are elderly, and were afraid of contracting or spreading COVID-19.

When the shop reopens, Parsons says there won’t be any new attractions… yet.

“But our old stock, it’s been there three years since we closed, so everything is 50% off,” she advises. “Everything in the store is 50% off.”

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Parsons says the hospital appreciates the fundraising work her group does in the shop and elsewhere.

“Every cent we make goes to the hospital for whatever they want. We’ve made donations for their new portable x-ray machine, their palliative care room…”

The palliative care room got $5,000.  And the auxiliary recently spent $10,000 for flat screen TVs in patients’ rooms.

The one exception to that “every cent to the hospital”, Parsons says, is the annual bursary for a student pursuing a health- care career.

Because of a shortage of volunteers, the gift shop will only be open a couple hours in the afternoon.  Parsons welcomes any new volunteers, and says if high schoolers looking for hours come forward, it might extend hours into the evening.

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