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Red Stocking auction benefits Mercy staffers

Saturday, December 8, 2012

(Photo)
Local resident Kay Cosens browses items up for bid during the fourth annual Red Stocking Silent Auction held Thursday in the Mercy Cafe.(Submitted Photo)
FORT SCOTT, Kan. -- For the last four years, Nancy Crumpacker has given of her own time around the holiday season to help organize an annual fundraiser at Mercy Hospital Fort Scott.

Crumpacker, a medical staff coordinator, is one of the key people behind Mercy's Red Stocking Silent Auction, an annual event that benefits Mercy employees who are having financial difficulties during the holiday season. This year's event was held Thursday in the Mercy Cafe.

Why does Crumpacker do it each year?

"Because it's helping my fellow coworkers," she said, adding she and her coworkers are "like a family."

Mercy spokeswoman Tina Rockhold said Crumpacker "uses a day of vacation to make this happen." Crumpacker gets help from another key person behind the planning, Pamela Judson, a health information services clerk who works alongside Crumpacker.

"What a heart she has, and how compassionate for her to give of her personal time," Rockhold said. "She does it every year. There is so much coordination that has to happen. Every year they can be counted on to make it happen."

Crumpacker said she is part of a group of employees on a committee that, prior to the Red Stocking Silent Auction that started in 2009, organized a similar fundraiser on a smaller scale. They have also put together a silent auction in the past called Christmas in July that Crumpacker said "went over pretty good."

"We did a silent auction in July to see how it would work," she said. "We hoped we'd get a good reception, and there was."

Crumpacker added $1,900 was raised through the Christmas in July event. The Red Stocking Silent Auction brought in more than $2,000.

Proceeds go toward the Red Stocking Fund, an annual campaign that assists Mercy employees who need extra financial assistance during the Christmas season.

"We have other various fundraisers throughout the year with proceeds going toward that fund," Rockhold said. "They go toward maybe single-income families and those who don't make the higher salaries at Mercy; families who need it during the holidays."

The Red Stocking Silent Auction involved a joint effort between several departments at Mercy, as opposed to the previous event, which was put together by one department.

"Other departments and coworkers join the effort for a larger event," Rockhold said. "We had 169 items this year. That first year, we were happy with, we had over 100 items that year. Every time it just grows a little bit more. And along with that, it blossoms into more coworkers that we're able to assist."

Items in this year's auction ranged from food, such as homemade peanut brittle, to antique candy dishes, as well as several crocheted items and jewelry. Rockhold said the auction even included aluminum letters taken off the hospital building when Mercy officials changed the hospital's name from Mercy Health Center to Mercy Hospital Fort Scott this past spring.

"We have so many creative people who work here and beautiful items that come in every year," Crumpacker said. "Yesterday was kind of like Black Friday. Close to 4 (p.m.), it got really intense."

Crumpacker said Judson and several other employees help out with the effort.

"It's a hospital effort ... a joint effort; it's not just one person that does it," Crumpacker said.

As far as how long it takes to organize the yearly auction, Crumpacker said she has "already started asking for donations (of items) for next year."

The red stockings that are hung at various Mercy facilities in the area serve as drop-off points for donations to the Red Stocking campaign.



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