Renovations to Langley Memorial Hospital (LMH) have forced the suspension of a program that raises approximately $20,000 a year for the hospital auxiliary by renting tables to vendors in the hospital entrance lobby.
“It is loss of revenue to the auxiliary but we understand their position. We just have to bite the bullet.”
The renovations at LMH include earthquake- and fire-proofing, asbestos removal and construction of a new ER.
In March, a $30 million expansion to the LMH emergency room was announced that will increase the number of treatment spaces in the emergency department from 31 to 49, while also creating a dedicated pediatric waiting area for children.
There will also be separate entries for walk-in patients and ambulance arrivals to increase privacy, and a second trauma bay will be added.
The Fraser Health Authority has informed the auxiliary that it may require the lobby space as a staging area while renovations are underway.
After Jan. 1, the auxiliary may continue to set up tables in the lobby, but would have to be prepared to take them out without much notice if circumstances require use of the space.
Because of that, Thornton said the auxiliary would be unable to provide the kind of long-term commitment vendors require.
“We couldn’t give them that,” Thornton said.
“Some of them book a whole year (in advance),.”
The vendor program has been operating for well over a decade, Thornton said, with people selling everything from clothing and jewelry to nuts and plastic containers.
Thornton said the health authority understands the funds raised by the vendor program go to benefit the hospital.
”They know they’re taking a (financial) hit, too.”
The auxiliary plans to continue its book sale in the hospital lobby.
Thornton said some of the loss in revenue will be offset by the fact the auxiliary thrift store has been generating more revenue at its new location since it moved in 2015.
“It’s doing very well,” she said.
The auxiliary was able to save enough money that it could purchase the former Coast Capital building on Fraser Highway while continuing to contribute donations to the hospital, including $500,000 to the new maternity unit.
Located at 20560 Fraser Hwy., the store is open Monday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. offering deals on everything from coffee makers to clothing and books, with 100 per cent of revenue going to LMH to pay for equipment and programs.
The success of the store has helped the auxiliary donate upwards of $300,000 each year to the hospital.