Members of Moss Vale's United Hospital Auxiliary (UHA) are sad to close their doors after 94 years, but also proud of the funds they have raised for the Bowral District Hospital.
The branch and representatives from the state UHA, the Bowral United Hospital Auxiliary, the Illawarra region and Exeter's Red Cross came together on Thursday for the final AGM.
Moss Vale UHA president Sandra D'Adam said the executive team agreed that the decision to close was not an easy one, but one that could not be avoided.
"It is a pretty sad day, but we've had wonderful times over the years and lots of laughs," Ms D'Adam said.
"We've made wonderful friends, and worked hard."
Dwindling membership, the challenge of raising funds and the impacts of the pandemic all informed the decision.
State president Linda Swales said she was saddened by the news and mentioned a few other closures had also occurred across NSW.
Many thanks were shared by the executive team and all attendees.
The contributions made over the years have put smiles, not only on the faces of patients, hospital staff and families, but also on the members themselves.
While they purchased an endless list of equipment for the hospital such as anesthetic pumps, medical and linen trolleys and monitors, they also got creative with their fundraising.
Handmade craft stalls lined the streets, raffles were drawn and soups were made for their 'Soup and Slice' days.
Some UHA members even sported Millers frocks and took to the catwalk for their fashion parades.
The branch also sponsored Bing the Labradoodle who visited the hospital and nuzzled himself into the hearts of patients, their staff and families and donated an annual 'Christmas Cheer' cheque to provide some festivity to patients.
Bowral UHA president Lucy Tonkin said the Moss Vale Branch would be "deeply missed."
"We always looked forward to the social events," she added.
Treasurer Pam Webster has been a member of the Moss Vale branch for 10 years.
"I loved the social side and coming down and talking to people," Ms Webster said.
"I will even miss doing the paperwork," she chuckled.
Ms Webster said it was difficult to determine how much had been raised over the 94 years, but said more than $70,000 was raised over the last decade.
President D'Adam is a life member, and internal life member Jenny Sheerman also attended the meeting.
An acknowledgement was made for life member Min McGuiness who was unable to attend and deceased members.
Attendees stayed for a cuppa and afternoon tea afterwards.
The Moss Vale branch said their motto let us hold high the lamp of service, for the welfare of our hospitals for the last time.
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