On Thursday, October 2, 2014 the Colusa Regional Medical Center’s Auxiliary honored and remembered two of its members with a unique rose ceremony.
In the hospitals rose garden, located just west of the main entrance, two rose bushes were planted to celebrate the achievements of Auxiliary members, Phyllis Spiller, and Frances Etchepare.
Phillis Spiller, 84 of Colusa, has lived in Colusa for over eight years but felt as if Colusa is her home.
“Being a part of this community is wonderful,” Said Spiller, “everyone is so friendly.”
Phyllis is married to her husband of 33 years, Bob Spiller.
She began her journey with the auxiliary six years ago when she was asked to join.
“I was at a luncheon put on by the auxiliary and Maggie came up to me and told me I would be a great addition to their group.”
However, she may be new with the auxiliary; she is no stranger to volunteering.
“Several years ago my husband and I volunteered with the Senior Center here in Colusa,” said Spiller.
“Being a part of the auxiliary made a tremendous difference in my life,” said Spiller, “I feel like I am doing something to make a difference.”
Phyllis can always be found helping people, from comforting a small child to helping a guest find the restrooms.
“I love my job,” said Spiller, “I love talking with people and the staff here is fantastic.”
“Phyllis is one of the most kind, loveable, and generous person we know,” said Sheila Etchepare, “She is not only our trainer, she is our friend and we love her dearly.”
“This is the most rewarding experience of my life,” said Spiller, “this is such a blessing, WOW!”
A Classic American Red Rose was planted in the hospitals rose garden in honor of Phyllis.
“I am very blessed.”
In her spare time, Phyllis can be found embroidering.
Fran Etchepare loved the hospital and her community.
“Fran was strong and loyal,” said Brock, “She believed in this hospital.”
When the hospital was up for a dissolution sale in 2000, she stepped up and began helping with fundraising to save the community hospital.
Involved with the hospital for over 20 years, she served on the Hospital Board of Directors, the Hospital Foundation Board and with volunteered many hours with the Auxiliary.
Born on May 15, 1926, Frances ‘Fran’ Etchepare was born to Willis and Bertha Dunning of Colusa, California.
Fran married Leon Etchepare in 1948 and shared two children, Allen and Jeanmarie.
Fran was also a member of many community organizations including the Children’s Home Society, and the Colusa Theatre Foundation. She was most proud for her contribution to the restoration of
Etchepare Hall at the Colusa County Fairgrounds that was named after her late husband Leon.
Fran passed away at her home in Maxwell in July of 2013.
An Apricot Pink Rose was planted in the hospitals rose garden in memory of Fran.
Michele and Sheila Etchepare read the ‘Volunteer’s Prayer’ in honor of Phyllis Spiller, and in memory of Fran Etchepare.
The event concluded with the unveiling of the rose bushes, and light refreshments.
“We honored some great ladies who well deserve the recognition,” said Colusa Regional Medical Center CEO, Walt Beck, “Phyllis is one of the biggest hospital supporters I have met.”
“Our Auxiliary does great work, and we’ve couldn’t have done it without them,” Beck added.
“The outpouring of support from the staff, the foundation, and the board is wonderful,” said Auxiliary member, Sheila Etchepare.
The Colusa County Auxiliary began in 1966 with the help of Irene Grenfell to provide support for the hospital.
“At one time, the Auxiliary had over 50 members,” said Colleen Brock, the CRMC Foundation & Auxiliary Liaison, “Today we have only 17 members.”
Once known as the ‘Pink Ladies’ the organization changed its name to the Auxiliary in 2002.
Since its creation in 1966, Auxiliary members have collectedly donated over $3-Million working hours and fundraised over $125,000 to the hospital.
“The Colusa Regional Medical Center would not be where it is today, without the support of volunteers,” said Colusa County Board President, Gary Teragawa, “they all do it with true love and commitment. Today’s dedication was well deserved.”