For a small group, members of the Penobscot Valley Hospital Auxiliary in Lincoln continue to be a major force in the lives of everyone associated with PVH, from the people it serves to the staff who provide those services.

“We have a lot to be proud of,” said PVH Auxiliary President Nancy Shannon of the approximately 25-member organization that was founded in 1973.

The group is most proud, at the moment, that it is the only organization associated with the hospital that has committed the full amount of $6,000 to the 2011 Penobscot Valley Hospital annual fund to purchase a specially designed bed that prevents falls and lifting injuries.

“We really grasped onto that and got our name on it,” Shannon said. “We committed to buying a bed, and we gave $4,000. After the first of the year we will have paid off the balance.”

The auxiliary supports the work of the hospital through benefits, fundraisers and other efforts, and members are in the midst of planning a brand-new fundraiser they hope really catches on with the public.

Tickets are now on sale for “Girls Night Out: Food, Fashion & Fun,” 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Mattanawcook Academy cafeteria.

Presented by Avanti Bridal Salon, PVH and and the PVH Auxiliary, tickets are $20 for general seating and $25 for VIP seating.

People purchasing tickets before Nov. 1 will be entered into a drawing to win a limousine ride to the event, courtesy of Hollywood Custom Rides, and have premium seating at the fashion show.

Only 250 tickets will be sold and they are available at Alana’s Nail & Hair Care, Avanti Bridal Salon, Capello Hair Studio & Day Spa, High Performance, the VH registration desk or by emailing

Master of ceremonies is Ray Grindle; Modern Woodmen of America is the platinum sponsor and 2010 Miss Maine, Arikka Knights, is expected to attend.

The show program is most impressive.

Shannon told me that Rheta Hickey of Avanti Bridal Salon has done a terrific amount of work, donating her time and talents to make this a success.

She not only is providing decorations and setup, Shannon said, Hickey also got the 25 models who will be heading down the runway and into the crowd showing off nearly 160 outfits.

The show will include several segments, including one featuring bridal gowns and everything from prom wear to cruise wear.

Nancy said some of the models may even be wearing their own bridal gowns, and the grand finale will be models wearing faux furs.

“It should be a lot of fun,” Shannon said of the event, which will include gourmet hors d’oeuvres prepared by PVH food services director Peter Merritt and his staff.

“We will have vendors demonstrating nail and hair styles, for example,” Shannon added, “and every attendee will leave with a goodie bag.”

Among the vendors are representatives of Mary Kay, Lia Sophia, Pampered Chef and Transition Hair & Tanning.

Considering the number of auxiliary members and, even by Shannon’s own admission, the fact that most of them are not young women, what they are able to accomplish is quite remarkable.

For example, the auxiliary also will host a craft fair Nov. 12 at the Knights of Columbus Hall and continue its major annual fundraiser, the “Tree of Life,” which averages a return of approximately $2,000 a year.

“People donate in memory of loved ones who passed away and we have our tree-lighting the first Thursday of December,” Shannon said. “We invite the community and, for the past several years, the high school chorus has led us in singing Christmas carols.”

Other activities the auxiliary and its individual members contribute to include filling canvas tote bags for new mothers with everything from baby afghans crocheted by auxiliary member Judy Hanscom to a sleeper, a receiving blanket and little beanies knit by a group of community women for the newborns.

The auxiliary provides magazines for four hospital waiting areas, helps out with the two American Red Cross blood drives each year, and provides nontraditional scholarships to anybody who has been out of school at least a year and is going into the medical field, Shannon said.

In the past, the auxiliary has helped fund the purchase of mammography equipment and birthing room rocking chairs, provided funding for the rehabilitation center and even bought a Wii game system for use in the cardiac department.

And then there are women such as Nancy Bean who make holiday decorations for the food trays that are delivered to each hospitalized patient by the dietary staff.

And while the auxiliary is eagerly seeking new members, Nancy is grateful for the dedication of her officers: Vice President Julie Thibodeau, secretary Judy Hanscom and treasurer Linda Wyman, as well as the continued support of several longtime members.

Barbara Tourtillotte first joined in 1976, Evelyn Stinson joined in 1984, Vera Ann Noyes in 1984 and Ruth Goodwin and Clara Cooke in 1988.

“They have been there on a regular basis and continue to come to meetings,” Shannon said. “We used to meet in the evenings, but we moved it to daytime and we had one women, from the hospital, who could come through her lunch break. We get our business done within the hour and that might work for some people” who are considering joining the PVH Auxiliary.

Dues are only $5 a year and the group meets at 12:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month in Conference Room A at the hospital.

If you cannot attend any of the auxiliary fundraisers but would like to help support the work of the hospital, you can send a donation to PVH Auxiliary, Penobscot Valley Hospital, P.O. Box 368, Lincoln 04457 and designate your contribution either for the annual fund for a specialty bed or for the use of the PVH Auxiliary.