Northern Inyo Healthcare District’s Birch Street Annex is many things to many people – meeting facility, support group home, utility space for the hospital. Most months of the year, a particular corner room in the annex resembles Santa’s Workshop as members of the Northern Inyo Hospital Auxiliary craft items for their annual Christmas Boutique.
This year’s boutique is set for Saturday, Nov. 4, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and for the first time in years the boutique has a new, but familiar home: The Birch Street Annex.
“It just makes sense,” explains Judy Fratella, Auxiliary president. “We use to spend days packing and then transporting all our items downtown. Now, we can just walk them down the hall to the Board of Directors Meeting Room, where we will hold this year’s boutique.”
Located at 2957 Birch St., in Bishop, the annex is kitty-corner from the Jill Kinmont Boothe School in the Manor Market region.
Of course, as with any change, a new location is a bit of a gamble, one that Fratella readily acknowledges.
“We are hoping the people who have supported us in the past will come out to the annex, enjoy some baked goods, and shop with us,” she says. “The money we raise goes toward the purchase of equipment for the hospital, so it’s all for a good cause that benefits the community.”
As time seemingly speeds toward Nov. 4, the Auxiliary’s craft room steadily hums with activity. Glue guns, spray snow and tube of colorful holiday glitter are scattered across work tables. Fratella and Sharon Moore, the Auxiliary’s Treasurer, gracefully move finished items to the staging area. A guest, watching the activity from the sidelines, compliments the group on their organization.
With creative eyes, caring hands and dedicated hearts, the members assemble festive decorations for local homes – a snappy wooden snowman for the yard, ornamental miniature Christmas trees for indoors, and hand-painted goodies galore. In addition to the handmade items, the boutique will feature a variety of See’s Candy for sale.
The Auxiliary will also host a cash drawing as part of the event. Prizes are $1,000, $300 and $200. Tickets for the drawing are $1 each or six for $5. Get your tickets at the boutique, from any Auxiliary member or by calling Cheryl Underhill at (760) 920-0106.
The purpose of the NIH Auxiliary is to render service to the hospital and its patients through ways approved or proposed by the Governing Board of the Northern Inyo Healthcare District.
Founded in the early 1960s, the Auxiliary has given in excess of $500,000 toward equipment purchases for the hospital.
Equipment purchases offset by Auxiliary donations include the Emergency Department’s Ultrasound machine, the Automated Breast Ultrasound machine which allows early detection of breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue, and a mini Immunoassay Analyzer, which increased the hospital’s ability to diagnose and treat bacterial infections.
The Auxiliary raises its funds through its hospital gift shop sales and the Holiday Craft Boutique. Anyone with questions about the boutique, or interested in joining the Auxiliary, may call Sharon Moore at (760) 872-4198.
About Northern Inyo Healthcare District: Founded in 1946, Northern Inyo Healthcare District features a 25-bed critical access hospital, a 24-hour emergency department, a primary care rural health clinic, a diagnostic imaging center, and clinics specializing in women’s health, orthopedics, internal medicine, pediatrics and allergies and general surgery. Continually striving to improve the health outcomes of those who rely on its services, Northern Inyo Healthcare District aims to improve our communities one life at a time. One team, one goal, your health.