Naponda has been serving the community for 50 years and is the last hospital auxiliary in Deniliquin.
The auxiliary has been supporting the Deniliquin Hospital for all this time, but it’s their most recent efforts that stand out.
‘‘In the past seven years, the Naponda Hospital Auxiliary has raised $194,000 and coordinated the purchase of immediate and much needed extra goods and equipment that the hospital does not have the budget for,’’ president Pam Ellerman said.
‘‘This has included chairs for the Oncology and Dialysis units, a portable ultrasound machine, an Avalo Emergency Cart and extra training and education for staff.’’
In the 2010 drought, the auxiliary expanded its reach and started a store in 2011, which is still successful. They now have 60 families involved as regular producers.
‘‘The aim was to allow community members to produce and create items to earn extra revenue through a community run store who are always behind them, supporting their ventures in hard times,’’ Mrs Ellerman said.
‘‘The shop takes about one third of the profit for hospital funding and gives locals the opportunity to highlight the products of our region.’’
The auxiliary started the Naponda Farmers’ Market at the same time, which usually runs every second Saturday of the month in the Waring Gardens.
The market is unable to be held at the moment due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but Mrs Ellerman is hopeful the easing of restrictions will see it return soon.
‘‘The market gives producers on the land an opportunity to sell their goods and showcase that, much like at the store,’’ Mrs Ellerman said.
‘‘It is also a great opportunity for community members to support shop local and meet our producers.
‘‘It has been so successful in highlighting the goods from our region that three of these producers now sell in retail.’’
Additionally, Naponda produces ‘I know someone from Deni’ merchandise and runs a trolley at the hospital to provide patients with anything from pyjamas to toiletries, books and activities when needed.
Members also visit patients at the hospital twice a week.
‘‘This is what Naponda is,’’ Mrs Ellerman said.
‘‘We do 4400 volunteer hours collectively each year and run three community enterprises.
‘‘So supporting us means we can support our local community and health services.’’
Deniliquin Health Service facility manager Ginny Lange said the hospital’s patients, and the hospital, have benefited greatly from the work Naponda does.
‘‘I would like to acknowledge the great work the Naponda Hospital Auxiliary has carried out over the years, and their valuable contribution in fundraising to provide extra care and comforts for our patients and staff,’’ she said.
‘‘The staff and patients have benefited immensely from the Naponda members’ tireless dedication to all aspects of fundraising for our hospital.
‘‘On behalf of all our staff, I’d like to thank all those men and women for volunteering their time and skills and for making such a positive contribution to your community.
‘‘Each and every item purchased by the Naponda Hospital Auxiliary has a positive impact on the experience a patient has in our hospital, and for that we are very grateful.
‘‘Your generosity and ongoing support is greatly appreciated. Congratulations on your 50th anniversary.’’
The Naponda Community Store is located at 226 Cressy St, Deniliquin from 9am to 5pm Monday through to Friday and 9.30am until 1pm on Saturday.
For more information phone Pam Ellerman on 0427 812 761 or email [email protected]. You can also find them on Facebook.