Loar Auxiliary Gift Shop Charity Basket Raffle raised over $12,000 for Cindy’s Fund

Garrett Regional Medical Center’s Loar Auxiliary Gift Shop has helped raise over $12,000 for Cindy’s Fund, the local charity that benefits Garrett County cancer patients and their families.

The gift shop, located in the hospital’s lobby, coordinated and sponsored a series of themed basket raffles over the past year. The volunteers who operate the Gift Shop sold chances on each basket to hospital staff. Winners were drawn each month.

“This was such a wonderful fundraiser because the money stays in our community,” noted Kendra Thayer, Chief Operating Officer at GRMC. “It also involved our staff across departments in both creating the baskets and buying chances to win them. It was a welcome respite from the pressures we’ve experienced in the COVID pandemic.”

Orchestrated by Sarah Folio, GRMC’s Gift Shop Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, and Darcie Ashby, Emergency Room Technician at GRMC, the raffle originally started as an annual fundraiser. Once each year various departments would provide themed baskets – movie night, pets, camping, etc. – and the Gift Shop would sell chances for winning each basket.

In 2021, the decision was made to do multiple baskets every few months. Over the course of the year, 24 baskets were created by the hospital’s various departments and donated to the Loar Auxiliary Gift Shop. Selling chances mostly to hospital staff allowed the Gift Shop to donate over $12,000 to Cindy’s Fund.

“Hospital staff are completely responsible for the success of this fundraising effort,” said Ms. Folio. “They not only purchased chances on the monthly baskets, they also donated the items for the various baskets. Almost all of the hospital’s departments donated baskets in this effort. It’s a really wonderful show of support for cancer patients in our community.”

Cindy’s Fund helps Garrett County cancer patients, and their families cover miscellaneous expenses involved in seeking treatment that are not covered by insurance. Items supplied by Cindy’s Fund can include gas cards to cover the cost of travelling for care, hotel stays, medications, nutritional supplements, as well as hospital and physician co-payments.  The charity takes all requests into consideration.  Cindy’s Fund also works very closely with the GRMC Cancer Center to receive referrals of cancer patients in need of assistance.

The next raffle will be held in December 2021 and will include Christmas trees with gift cards from businesses in the Oakland area.

For more information about the basket raffles or Cindy’s Fund, contact Sarah Folio at 301-533-4055 or sdfolio@gcmh.com.