(left) and Becky Halsey browse through some scarves at Mercy Hospital auxiliary's $6 sale Thursday in the lobby.(Ruth Campbell/Herald-Tribune)
Held in the lobby of the Fort Scott facility, it raised funds for nursing scholarships and equipment that department budgets won't allow, Auxiliary President Cliff Patterson said. HCI, a nationwide fundraising group, brings in the merchandise and awards the auxiliary a commission on sales. Jim Ahrens owns HCI in Kansas and Oklahoma.
This is the third annual sale the auxiliary has hosted. "It's a bigger show than we've had here before. We have more merchandise," Patterson said. He added his organization typically awards six scholarships. Last year, seven were given.
Shoppers can pay upfront and Mercy staffers can take payroll deductions for their purchases.
"I think we picked up the equivalent of one, but we can count on six," Patterson said.
The sale usually grosses $12,000. "They've got to pay for their stuff. We get a commission. We've been real happy with the way things have worked out. We have a lot of payroll deductions. We've been real pleased to see so many people out from the community," Patterson said.
The auxiliary had a board meeting last Tuesday where a list of needs was presented. "We appointed a committee to study those requests and came up with ... what we can do," Patterson said.
Based in Manhattan, Ahrens said HCI can buy goods straight from the manufacturer like large department stores.
Emily Shadden, an admitting representative at Mercy's Convenient Care Clinic in Fort Scott, said she usually finds Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers at the sale.
Elizabeth McDowell, a registered nurse at Mercy's Arma clinic, said she drove up last year at lunchtime for the sale. "It's a nice thing to come up and do right before Christmas. I can find stocking stuffers for the kids. It's nice and it's for a good cause," she said.