More than 340 people turned out for the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary's Volunteer Banquet on April 20.

More than 340 people turned out for the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary's Volunteer Banquet on April 20.

Chad Hoffman, chairman of the board of trustees, said he was awestruck when he stepped into Der Dutchman in Plain City.

"When I walked into the room I was like, 'Wow,' I had never seen that many people, I don't think, at a banquet before," he said.

Hoffman said he was amazed by the amount of supporters working behind the scenes.

President and CEO Olas "Chip" Hubbs III shared a similar response.

"I have been to five or six volunteer banquets," he told members of the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary during a board of trustees meeting on April 23, "but I had the same reaction that Chad did. It seemed like there were more people there this year."

Hubbs said they could not have put any more people in the room. Attendance was 342.

"I think that is the comment we have heard," said volunteer director Debbie George.

George said the auxiliary is in the midst of its "Volunteer Week."

"It is a great time to celebrate volunteers and all that they have done," she said.

Bonnie Spurling, auxiliary president, told board members when they read the Auxiliary's Annual Report they will see a variety of events conducted over the past year.

"There are all kinds of things going on in the hospital," she said. "We feel we are very fortunate here and that our hospital has an auxiliary that really cares about what is going on and wants to continue to be out in front here at the hospital."

Last year, she said, the auxiliary turned over $37,000 to the hospital's Health Center for equipment and renovation.

"We didn't know how things were going to go last year with the economy and everything, but we were just ecstatic," Spurling said. "We went over our goal."

This year, she said, the auxiliary is attempting to raise $40,000 for anesthesia equipment for the obstetrics (OB) department.

"We are keeping our fingers crossed and we are trying to start raising money so we can be able to have that," she said. "With all the things going on in the OB department and all new families coming in, we think that is a very important piece of machinery for that department."

On April 30, George said, Keith and Jaynie Lambert will have a sale at Lambert's Jewelers from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. A percentage of the proceeds will go to the auxiliary.

"Last year we made about $1,500 on that event and all we do is show up and greet people when they come in the door and they do all the selling and provide refreshments for the guests that come in," she said.

A flower sale will be held on May 8.

George said the auxiliary had a good run with Marie's Candy of West Liberty when they teamed up for Valentine's Day and Easter.

"We really are trying to work harder with local vendors," she said.

Spurling said the auxiliary started out 2009 with a planning retreat to make sure that it could afford to do all the projects on its list as well as trying new projects.

"We continue to have many fundraisers here at the hospital," she said. "If it wasn't for the loyalty of our employees here we couldn't raise the money that we do."

While people come in from outside to participate, Spurling said, the hospital employees are the best customers.