Shawano Medical Center Auxiliary Makes $65,000 Pledge

Auxiliary Pledge is Doubled by SMC Foundation Capital Campaign

The Shawano Medical Center Auxiliary recently pledged $65,000 to the Shawano Medical Center Foundation Capital Campaign, Living Well Together, in support of the new ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano. The new facility, expected to open in 2015, will replace the 82-year-old Shawano Medical Center and create a local center for convenient, coordinated health care.

The $65,000 pledge is the largest donation ever made by the Shawano Medical Center Auxiliary. The  gift will be doubled to $130,000 as part of the foundation’s community challenge grant. Funds raised as part of the Living Well Together Campaign support the medical center’s new gardens, clinic canopy entrance, nurse call system, gift shop, and healing artwork installations.

Elaine Gast, volunteer coordinator for the 45-member auxiliary and a 32-year staff member at SMC, said the auxiliary gave an initial $25,000 and will pay the rest of the pledge in four $10,000 annual installments. Much of the money raised by the auxilians in support of the local hospital is from gift shop receipts and auxiliary-sponsored sales of books, cookies, candy, flowers, and jewelry.

“We are most excited about the design of the new gift shop,” Gast said, referring to the hospital’s Wolf River Boutique. The shop will be located right inside the main entrance of the hospital for optimal traffic, and an attached office is infinitely more convenient than the current set up, which has Gast trekking two floors up to do her administrative work. “We are in a spotlight location in the new hospital. And with the clinic on the same campus, we all expect to have bigger and better sales.”

Gast noted that the shop’s purpose is more than just fund-raising. “The gift shop is one of the first things that visitors will see when they come into the new building,” she said. “It will be bright and colorful—a welcoming sight. We cheer people up.” 

The $65,000 gift coincides with the 65th anniversary of the auxiliary, founded in 1949. Back then, support was provided in the form of painting hospital furniture, mending drapes and sewing robes, canning food for patient meals, and making toys for children. Such craftsmanship continues today, as auxilians have crafted 7,500 rice-filled pillow pals since 2003, which can be warmed or cooled, to comfort patients.

In addition to equipment purchases, the annual Love Light program of the auxiliary funds scholarships for post-secondary students of health care. The SMC Auxiliary has given more than $95,000 in scholarships since its inception.

There are still matching funds available for gifts made to the Living Well Together campaign. To make a donation, please contact Linda Gilbert, executive director of the SMC Foundation, at (715) 526-7149 or  The mailing address for the SMC Foundation is 309 N. Bartlett Street, Shawano WI 54166.

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of seven hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. Community Health Network, which includes Community Memorial Hospital in Berlin, and Wild Rose Memorial Hospital are in the process of affiliating with ThedaCare. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare At Home. ThedaCare is one of the largest employers in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.