SoutheastHEALTH Auxiliary Honors Volunteers

October 13, 2014

The SoutheastHEALTH Auxiliary honored the contributions of three of its volunteers at the Volunteer Appreciation Banquet on Thursday, Oct. 9, at the Drury Lodge in Cape Girardeau.

Dorothy Taylor received the Margaret Foster Roberts Spirit Award, and Edna Ruth Fischer and Mel Schmidt received the Ilena Aslin Service Award. More than 120 Auxiliary members attended the annual dinner.

The Auxiliary also presented a “check” to SoutheastHEALTH. The “check” represents the $775,098 worth of volunteer labor provided by Auxiliary members over the past 12 months. Volunteers contributed nearly 41,000 hours of service to SoutheastHEALTH, staffing everything from waiting rooms to the gift shop and raising money for Southeast programs and projects.

Cape Girardeau Police and Fire/Rescue officers escorted Auxiliary members to their tables in association with Southeast’s “Bravest Wear Pink” breast cancer campaign in which the two departments have been actively involved.

The spirit award was established in 2003 in honor of Margaret Foster Roberts, who was an innovative and dedicated Auxiliary president and an exceptional fundraising chairperson. She died in February 2004.

The service award is named for Ilena Aslin who continues to serve as a volunteer at the Hospital, in the community and throughout the region. A past president of the Auxiliary, she was Missouri’s Auxilian of the Year in 2002 and served as president of the Missouri Association of Hospital Auxiliaries from 2008 to 2009.

Dorothy Taylor

VolBanquet_DorothyTaylorTaylor has donated more than 6,400 hours of her time and talents since joining the Auxiliary in 2004. She has served as vice president and then president of the Auxiliary, and continued to serve on the board in 2012 and 2013.

Known for her attention to detail, Taylor has served on numerous Auxiliary committees over the years. She has worked in the Volunteer office and taken baby photos. She continues to volunteer at the front desk in the Hospital Lobby.

(Pictured Right: Dorothy Taylor (left) receives the Margaret Foster Roberts Spirit Award at the SoutheastHEALTH Auxiliary Volunteer Appreciation Banquet. Also pictured is Mary Gerlach, who chairs the Auxiliary Awards Committee.)

Edna Ruth Fischer


Edna Ruth Fischer and Ilena Aslin Fischer has been a loyal member of the Auxiliary for the past 55 years. She joined shortly after the Auxiliary was reorganized in 1958.

She has volunteered more than 2,500 hours over the years, but that doesn’t reflect all of our contributions. Volunteer hours weren’t recorded until 1983. In addition, she doesn’t record all the hours of volunteer service she contributes to Southeast.

Auxiliary President Nancy Bray said that Fischer has used her expertise in gardening and flower arranging to help beauty Southeast Hospital’s interior and exterior and to raise money. “For years, she served on the Hospital’s Gardening and Landscape Committee, actually doing grounds keeping work,” Bray noted.

The Hospital’s Board of Trustees presented her with the prestigious Special Service Award in 1998. Bray said Fischer regularly volunteers in the Auxiliary’s gift shop, creating silk and fresh flower arrangements to be sold.

(Pictured Right: Edna Ruth Fischer receives the Ilena Aslin Service Award at the Volunteer Appreciation Banquet. Ilena Aslin is at right.)

Mel Schmidt


Schmidt began volunteering in 2000. To date, he has volunteered more than 2,300 hours of service to SoutheastHEALTH. He volunteers in the Surgical Waiting Room, along with his wife Doris.

“Mel’s professional training and expertise as a CPA is such an asset when the Auxiliary’s investments are being evaluated, financial statements are being reviewed and annual budgets are being prepared,” Bray said.

“Like E.F. Hutton, when Mel speaks, we listen because he knows what he is talking about, is always worth listening to, and will guide us thoughtfully in the right direction” Bray added.

This year’s banquet centered on the theme, “The Magic of Volunteering.”

(Pictured Right: Mel Schmidt receives Ilena Aslin Service Award at the Volunteer Appreciation Banquet. Pictured with Schmidt is Ilena Aslin.)


(SoutheastHEALTH Auxiliary presents a “check” representing the $775,098 worth of volunteer labor provided by Auxiliary members over the past 12 months. Pictured from left: SoutheastHEALTH President and CEO Wayne Smith; John Thompson, chairman of the SoutheastHEALTH System Board of Directors; Cathy Goodman, director of Volunteer Services; and Auxiliary President Nancy Bray.)