Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the doors of the Smiths Falls Community Hospital Auxiliary Gift Shop have been shuttered since March 11. But thanks to a generous offer from the Settlers Ridge Centre, the shop will be back in business just in time to serve Christmas shoppers.
Auxiliary President Jackie Staples recently met with Chris Saumure, president of the Saumure Group which has owned and operated the mall since 2017. Saumure offered to donate space at the mall for the gift shop to relocate.
“We’re so fortunate to have someone like the Saumures that are helping us out,” said Staples, who manages the gift shop and has been auxiliary president for the past 12 years.
“This is a really good cause that’s near and dear to the Saumure Group,” said Emily Smith, who looks after leasing arrangements for the company. “It seemed like a good fit.”
The gift shop reopens Friday, Nov. 20 in a location next to the Rotary Hall at Settlers Ridge Centre, and will operate from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday each week. How soon the shop can move back to the hospital will depend on the course of the pandemic.
“With Christmas coming we’re wanting to get some funds to give back to the hospital,” said Staples. Two years ago the auxiliary donated $35,000 to the Smiths Falls Site of the Perth & Smiths Falls District Hospital from gift shop sales and some regular fundraising events, including an auction, bazaar and golf tournament. The gift shop is run entirely by volunteer labour.
The auxiliary also provides every baby born at the hospital with a baby quilt and a crib sheet. The quilts are purchased from a quilting group called Heart to Heart Quilts of Lanark County. So far in 2020, 210 quilts have been provided to the hospital.
In its new location the shop will be offering a variety of items including Christmas decorations, purses, clothing for children and adults, baby gifts, decorative plates, and jewellery.
On Nov. 20 and 21 the shop will mark its reopening with a special “Scratch and Save Sale.” Customers can buy scratch tickets to win a chance to save between 10 to 50 per cent on various items. The gift shop will be observing Covid-19 protocols, with masks required.
Staples expressed her gratitude for the support of the auxiliary’s volunteers, the hospital staff, and Chris Saumure.