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Hospital Auxiliary

Medical & Educational Fundraising in Juneau County

The Hess Memorial Hospital Auxiliary was founded as a money-raising entity in 1959 by Louise Hale (a retired nurse) and Elaine Nelson. The purpose was to raise funds for various hospital improvements and to award college scholarships to students pursuing a nursing degree. In 1960, the auxiliary opened a thrift store. The women received donated items from community members, and sold the clothing and household goods at a minimal cost. During that time, they also raised money through bake sales, fruit and candy sales, luncheons, card parties, and other forms of entertainment.

Supporting the Community for More Than 50 Years

After a fire destroyed the original thrift store building, land was purchased to build the thrift store at its current location, 222 Elm Street in Mauston. Over the years, the store has thrived. By 2012, the auxiliary had donated more than $1 million to Mile Bluff Medical Center, and had provided more than $140,000 in college scholarships to high school graduates throughout Juneau County.

At its beginning, the auxiliary donated $94 for the medical center to purchase 12 bathrobes. On average, the group is now able to donate $15,000 to $20,000 each quarter. These funds have been used to purchase items such as a video laryngoscope, mammography machine, a bone density scanning unit, and much more. Mile Bluff Medical Center truly appreciates everything the hospital auxiliary has done for the health of the community!

Visit the Thrift Store's Facebook page for more information, or send an e-mail to