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Halfmoon Happenings: Spotlight on…the Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary

Seventeen women of the Halfmoon Bay Branch of the Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary (SCHA) representing thousands of hours of service to their community held their first monthly meeting of 2024. 
Karyn Henwood, publicity; Peggy Halliday, secretary; Joyce Quart, treasurer; Anne Selder, past HMB branch chair and new CEO of the SCHA; Jacqui Jones-Cox – new HMB branch chair and EO of the SCHA; Karen Biddlecombe (on the Zoom screen) – a former HMB branch chair.

Inside the gathering space of the community hall, I embraced the camaraderie and joined in the laughter of the group assembled there. The mood was in direct opposition to the dreary weather outside. A vase of flowers sat on one table and a tray of brownies on another. Upon first inspection, one might think this was a bunch of women who came together for some idle chit chat and gossip. Far from it! These 17 women of the Halfmoon Bay Branch of the Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary (SCHA), representing thousands of hours of service to their community, were holding their first monthly meeting of 2024. 

We spoke aloud the affirmation that begins every meeting: “May we as Auxilians bring comfort and hope to all who are distressed in mind or body. May we be guided to serve the aged, the ill, and the very young. May we serve with generosity, discretion, and gentleness. May we have the strength to work diligently and the courage to think and speak with clarity and conviction without prejudice or pride. May both wisdom and humility direct our united efforts to do for others as we would have them do for us.” 

Retiring executive members were applauded, and new members welcomed. They received a bouquet of flowers – a small token of thanks for all they do. After being installed as the new chair of the Halfmoon Bay Branch and executive officer of the SCHA, Jacqui Jones-Cox thanked everyone for their fundraising efforts over the holiday season. These activities bring in thousands of dollars, supplementing the bulk of their revenue that is generated by the gift and thrift stores. In a proud moment in SCHA history, last June the SCHA purchased the Thrift Store from the Sechelt Hospital Foundation. Non-profits can access funds through the SCHA’s grant program; applications will be accepted up until Feb. 28. ( 

Many members are engaged in supporting the residents of Shorncliffe and Totem Extended Care facilities. They will be instrumental in assisting residents as they move to the new Silverstone Care Center in Sechelt this month. Jacqui confirmed that “as many residents do not have family close by to assist with packing and unpacking for the move, Auxiliary volunteers will be helping with this transition.” The importance of this support cannot be underestimated, as it will be a challenging process, both emotionally and physically, for the residents. 

An American poet wrote “The purpose of education is to expand our consciousness, to lift us and enlarge how we see, so we can return and make use of what we learn in the days we have on Earth.” Learn about the important work of the SCHA at Communities cannot meet the needs of its vulnerable residents without volunteers. Learn how you can become a member and volunteer at