"Pink Ladies", hospital volunteers celebrate 30 years of service
They have been known as the "Pink Ladies" for the past 30 years and although their name has changed to hospital volunteers their goal today is the same as it was when they formed back in 1973. That goal is to assist the hospital and help out with patients.
The group was organized following a meeting August 29, 1973. State officers of the organization, headed by Ruth Stewart of Salt Lake City came to Price and worked with Bea Thompson to get the first meeting set up. There were 14 people at that first meeting and today two of these volunteers who attended that first meeting are still active members of the auxiliary group. Loma Davis, although not in the first official picture when the uniforms were handed out and Dorothy Blackham, are both still volunteers today.
Loma Davis has been part of the volunteer group the entire time, served as its president eight different times and has twice been elected to the state board. Loma volunteers twice a week now and for the past 30 years has come to the hospital in either her pink blazer, vest or pinafore. Currently there are about 55 members of "Pink Ladies." As times change so does the membership of the volunteer organization. Currently one man volunteers with the group, but in the past as many as three males have been part of the "Pink Ladies" organization. It's hard for some of the ladies to think of their new group called the hospital volunteers.
Although Dorothy Blackham was part of the original 14 volunteers she did take a couple leaves of absences over the years and has around 25 years of attendance.
Among the accomplishments reported 25 years ago in the Sun Advocate when the organization was celebrating its fifth anniversary included the refurbishing of the lobby and visitor's waiting room, furnishing one obstetrics room with two beds and bedside tables, donating two hypothermia blankets, an anesthesia machine for the operating room, a pediatric examining table and a salad bar for the dining room.
Even though all these accomplishments happened the first five years, the donations and the contributions continue, even through moving to the new hospital.
According to that news report Mrs. Thompson said that when she moved to Price in 1972 she was disappointed to find there was no hospital auxiliary. She contacted a friend who was a nurse at the hospital, Judy Yoakum, who encouraged her efforts. Thompson arranged a meeting with Don Fifield, who was then hospital administrator, who also encouraged her.
Loma and Dorothy remember those early days when the group was being organized. We met at Margaret Robertson's home and our first dues were $3 a year. Soon after the group was organized their volunteering efforts sent them to the floors or the desk. "I remember in the old hospital we had to wheel patients into the elevator," says Loma.
|Many members of the "Pink Ladies, now called hospital volunteers are honored for their volunteer efforts at the RSVP luncheon held Saturday at the Senior Center. currently there are 55 volunteers in the group, which began in Price 30 years ago this August.|
They remember giving water to patients and making beds in the old hospital. Dorothy also recalls taking care of flowers and working with the auto caving machine which sterilized the equipment. "We also washed dishes, worked at the counter and operated the meals on wheels program. We delivered mail and delivered reports to various offices," they recalled.
And a big part of their volunteering over the years has been taking baby pictures. Loma took baby photos for many years and remembers one particular set of twins when she tried to fit them on a tray to set up the photo. They were too large for the tray so she had to arrange one lower than the other.
Loma turns 85 in December and her volunteering has kept her busy. "This work is what keeps me going," she says. Both Dorothy and Loma says that they are all like sisters. "We have a lot of fun, and form companionship with each other." They explain.
Loma remembers attending many conventions, and recalls that in the early years they went along with the doctors and nurses. The funniest convention was in Denver when the group traveled to Colorado on Amtrak. She also remembers meetings and workshops held in California.
She still operate the gift shop, raises money through bake sales and now serve a hospital tea.
Loma was born in Roosevelt and came to Carbon County with her father, who was a baker. One of five children, her mother worked in the laundry for years. As Loma became old enough to join the work force, she worked in the creamery making pop cycles and wrapping and testing butter. She married and had to quit her job because the creamery would allow married women to work there. She moved to Standardville, up above Helper where her husband worked as a mechanic and electrician for the mine.
Dorothy grew up in North Dakota and when her husband retired from the Airforce they settled here where he worked with Sears and she raised their three children. She remembers seeing the advertisement in the newspaper announcing that the group was going to start.
"I remember the grey ladies who volunteered in the military so I called a friend and we attended the meeting," she recalls. She currently works one afternoon a week. "To be honest I need the hospital more than they need me," says Dorothy, summarizing her work as a Pink Lady.