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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
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Auxiliary fundraiser begins this week

Grinnellians+can+buy+a+fundraising+tag+at+the+Grinnell+Regional+Medical+Center%0APhoto+by+Elena+Copell.
Grinnellians can buy a fundraising “tag” at the Grinnell Regional Medical Center Photo by Elena Copell.

A fundraising tradition that has lasted over 90 years, the Tag Day fundraiser, led by Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC) Auxiliary, has changed from its original form over the years.

Originally Balloon Day, in which brightly colored balloons were given to donors, Tag Day arose when the shortage of rubber from World War II decreased the number of produced balloons. The fundraising organizers instead gave tags to donors. However, the initial goal of the fundraiser has not changed.

The Community Hospital Auxiliary, a community organization that focused on the welfare of the people by fundraising and donations, created Balloon Day in 1924. The Community Hospital Auxiliary set out to “help personalize health care,” using volunteers and fundraising, said Cara Kenkel, volunteer and gift shop coordinator at the GRMC Auxiliary. The most notable of these fundraisers is what is now known as Tag Day.

The tags are given to anyone who donates to the fundraiser during Tag Week. Though World War II has ended, the GRMC banned balloons to accommodate people with latex allergies. But what the tags may lack in flair, they make up for in monetary significance.

“The [Tag Day] fundraiser raises around $2,300 a year,” Kenkel said. Proceeds from Tag Day go to funds that provide increased patient care, including the additions of new chemotherapy medicines, radiation machines and medicinal infusions for cancer patients, as well as giving out car seats to new parents in the obstetrics department.

According to Leah Van Rees, Communications and Development Specialist at GRMC, Tag Day proceeds also go towards scholarships for students who live in the GRMC service area and plan to pursue a degree in health care. The scholarship offers $2,000.

For those eager to continue the 90-year tradition of giving to those in need, donating to Tag Day is very simple. The modern donation method incorporates parts of the original method of going to local businesses for physical donations and the slightly newer social media approach. Donors thus have the option to donate at GRMC or through the hospital’s website

“Even though the Auxiliary is independent from the [Grinnell Regional Medical Center], it still supports the hospital’s goals,” Van Rees said.

Those interested in donating can visit the GRMC Auxiliary at 210 Fourth Ave., or donate through https://www.unitypoint.org/grinnell/tag-day-2018.aspx.

Grinnellians can buy a fundraising “tag” at the Grinnell Regional Medical Center
Photo by Elena Copell.
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