Lismore Electorate Woman of the Year, Betty Saunders of Goonellabah.
Lismore Electorate Woman of the Year, Betty Saunders of Goonellabah.

What a woman! Betty rallies for Base

When it comes to attracting new volunteers to the Lismore Base Hospital Auxiliary, members have high praise for the effervescent Betty Saunders.

Betty moved to the area just over seven years ago and is a driving force behind the Auxiliary stalls in the hospital foyer, which raise funds for much-needed medical equipment.

When she was named the Lismore Electorate Woman of the Year on Monday, her fellow fundraisers were delighted.

“She’s great at rallying knitters and crocheters to the cause,” past president Helen Bryant said. “It’s her bright, blessed nature that gets people in.”

“Yes, she’s very bossy!” added president Jan Clifford.

Betty is also a member of the Alstonville-Wollongbar VIEW Club, a role that includes helping to raise money for Learning for Life, a program providing educational opportunities for disadvantaged children from kindergarten right through to university. She is also a committee member with the Lismore Integrated Cancer Centre Planning & Development Committee.

Betty said, as a retiree, she loves staying active in the community.

“I love this area and the socialising and friendship within the Auxiliary – we have a lot of fun doing the stalls. We have a go at each other and it’s a bit of a lark,” she said. “There’s a serious side of course, but we always try to keep things fun. And I love the fact everything we raise stays at Lismore Base and doesn’t go to Sydney.”

Betty said when Lismore MP Thomas George announced her as the winner on Monday, she was genuinely stunned. She has now been invited to attend the Premier’s Reception for International Women’s Day on March 8 in Sydney.

“I was overwhelmed – I hadn’t bothered to even make the tiniest little speech because I wasn’t thinking of winning,” she said. “I’ve only lived here for seven-and-a-half years and some of these ladies have been here for much, much longer, so I was very surprised.”

However, her peers on the Auxiliary were more than happy to see her honoured.

“She’s been a jewel in the crown as far as the committee is concerned,” Jan Clifford said. “We could certainly do with a few more Bettys.”

The Lismore Base Hospital Auxiliary is always seeking new volunteers to swell their ranks and help raise money for the hospital. For more information, phone Joan McKenzie on 6624 4666.


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