Auxiliary Thrift Shop Celebrates 25 Years of Giving

August 25, 2014

The Auxiliary Thrift Shop kicked off a week-long celebration Monday, August 25, in honor of its 25th anniversary. Since it opened in 1989, the Thrift Shop has donated nearly $2 million to Rockford Memorial Hospital.

The funds raised by the thrift shop touch every department. The donations help support the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, which offers free dental and medical care to uninsured and underinsured children in our community. The thrift shop raises funds for medical equipment in many hospital units and renovation projects like those in Women & Infant Services, the Pediatric Unit and the Pediatric Outpatient Unit. It also helps provide educational assistance for employees through the employee education assistance fund, scholarship programs and grants.

While this is the thrift shop’s 25th anniversary, the auxiliary has been raising money for Rockford Memorial for more than 90 years. That’s when Alma Fringer founded the auxiliary and started the annual attic sale. The attic sales grew into the famous Big Top Rummage Sale, which made the Guinness Book of World Records in 1975. In 1989 the annual rummage sale gave way to a year-round thrift shop called the “Big Top Shop,” which became today’s Auxiliary Thrift Shop. During those 90 years, the auxiliary raised more than $7 million for the hospital.

This week’s celebration events include:

Monday, August 25: Celebration kick-off

Tuesday, August 26: Silver Day

  • First 100 customers receive silver beads
  • 25 percent off everything in the store (except yellow-ticket items)

Wednesday, August 27: Test your luck

  • Draw a coupon for 25, 50 or 75 percent off

Thursday, August 28: Gold Day

  • First 100 customers receive gold beads
  • 25 percent off yellow-ticket items

Friday, August 29 – Sidewalk Sale

Daily Drawings: Come in and sign up for great prizes


Contact the News Room Staff

Rockford Health System Marketing and Public Relations staff are available 24 hours a day to assist local, regional, and national news media in locating an expert spokesperson, obtaining information on a news item, or answering questions about a news release or event.

Members of the news media may contact Marketing and Public Relations at (815) 971-6239 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. After hours or on weekends, call the main hospital at (815) 971-5000, and ask the operator to page the Marketing and Public Relations staff member on call.