Auxiliary and Club Volunteers Support Local Organizations

You Can Join the Movement

By Christine A. Holliday

There is no doubt that Americans are generous people. We buy band candy, Girl Scout cookies, wrapping paper, magazines, even light bulbs and trash bags to support the work or our favorite schools, church groups, and social organizations

Many also work to raise significant funds through auxiliary groups connected to larger social and cultural organizations. The auxiliaries are groups committed to supporting groups like hospitals, the symphony or opera, and other civic organizations, providing money for equipment, services, and outreach programs to demonstrate support for the larger organization.  Volunteers commit time, planning, and plenty of effort to raise those funds, in a job where the only pay is the feeling of satisfaction for a job well done.

Volunteer Profile

So, who are these volunteers and what motivates them to add more meetings to their busy schedules? Why do they join auxiliaries and what do they get for all of their efforts?

Laura Draheim is a veteran of several auxiliaries, including the Lions Club. When she worked as a social worker with the Lucas County Children’s Services Board, she delivered a speech about adoption and foster care to the Club, and was invited to join. She explains, “I had just gotten a divorce, and I was truly in survival mode and everything I did was strategic—building my experiences/skills/contacts etc. I met many people from several walks of life. It was a great experience for me. I was young (mid 30’s) and I interacted with company executives, small business owners, non-profit executives. I believe this was the first time I realized that being involved in a service club presents a winning experience in many ways. We helped the blind and sight-impaired and I met many business people in the community…I believe that experience validated for me that I had certain skills and qualities to offer.”


Draheim’s work with the Lions Club led to invitations to join other auxiliaries, including the Opera Guild, where she met and worked with Shelli Jacobs. Currently the president of the Guild, Mrs. Jacobs admits she never went to the opera before she got involved with the Guild. “I have grown to appreciate the opera. I am a stay-at-home mom, and the Guild gives me something I can do while my children are at school. I have met many friends and I love seeing a special event to the end.”

The Auxiliary at Mercy/St. Charles Hospital includes almost 200 members who plan a variety of activities to raise money for medical equipment and assistance for nurses and staff members. President Cheryl Pappenfus explains that work at card parties, Bingo, and craft events helps to provide funds for items like cafeteria equipment and blood pressure cuffs. “We also provide scholarships for students at Mercy College, and it is rewarding to see that our work helps so much! We’ve done a lot of good for more than 50 years. Many of our members become close friends with others on the committee, and they really enjoy working together to do good for the community.”


Anne Marie Blank works as the Treasurer for the Christ Child Society. “I was looking for something I could do in the community, and I thought that this was a perfect fit. We are doing more than just raising money, we are actually working with people who need our help. We can choose where we want to help—making layettes, tutoring children, working with the children whose parents are attending educational programs. These really are hands-on projects, where we hold the babies, read to the children. We have an immediate impact on them and that is a wonderful feeling!”

Why Volunteer

Laura Draheim explains why she and so many others join auxiliaries. “We like being part of something where individuals are working together toward a positive end. We meet people who become our good friends, and we learn about the inner workings of organizations. We learn first-hand why these support organizations are so important and how grateful the groups are for this much needed support.”

Contact info for several auxilaries

Lion’s Club

Toledo Symphony League 419 867-1220 |

The Toledo Hospital auxiliary Kelly | 419 291-3765

Toledo Opera Guild | 419 255-7464

The Christ Child Society

Mercy St. Charles Auxiliary Cheryl Pappenfus 419 276-4703


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