Cast Off celebrates 45 years of service

This November marks the 45th anniversary of the Mammoth Hospital Auxiliary, which raises money through the Cast Off thrift store.

The funds raised go to purchasing equipment for the hospital, continuing education for hospital staff, community health programs, college scholarships, and high school achievement awards, said Jan McPherson, parliamentarian for the Cast Off.

Since its start, the Auxiliary has raised almost $3.9 million for these causes, said Judy Bornfeld, president of the Mammoth Hospital Auxiliary.

“The Auxiliary has been instrumental in providing continuing education for the staff, and scholarships for high school and college students,” said Gary Myers, CEO of Mammoth Hospital.

Some local students have even gone off to college with these scholarships and come back to work at the hospital, Myers said.

“The Auxiliary gave a significant amount of money for mammography equipment,” Myers said, as well as for a machine that determines bone density and body composition.

The Auxiliary started in November 1968 when “a group of people got together to talk about getting a hospital in Mammoth,” said Jan McPherson.

Ten years later, she said, it happened.

“The Cast Off was an experiment at first,” McPherson said. It started as a fundraiser for the hospital.

“It’s a fun place to work. You never know what we’re going to get!”

Unfortunately, sometimes people leave trash, but she said she thinks it’s usually an accident.

“We spend a ton of money every year on trash removal and paying people to remove TVs, rotten couches, and mattresses,” which they can’t accept, Bornfeld said.

Just this September, McPherson said, they spent almost $1,500 on trash removal.

“The Cast Off is a service to the community,” McPherson said, “because we recycle.”

Among the more pleasant surprises, she said, “sometimes people bring things with tags still on them.”

This November, to celebrate the Auxiliary’s birthday and thank loyal patrons and donors, the Cast Off is holding a weekly drawing, for a $45 Cast Off gift certificate (and $100 on Nov. 30), which you can enter by shopping at the store.