The Savvy Sylvanian – Heads to the Cottage Boutique

–by Mary Helen Darah

ProMedica Flower Hospital Auxiliary members Pat Hilfinger and Beverly Janowski are ready to sell gently used items to help the Sylvania community.

Local women are eager to serve Sylvania

Beverly Janowski and Pat Hilfinger, both longtime members of the ProMedica Flower Hospital Auxiliary, are on a mission to serve. The two ladies have an extensive history of making a difference and positively impacting the lives of their fellow Sylvanians as well as the community at large. I was able to get these two “busy bees” to sit down briefly to discuss their new endeavor, the Cottage Boutique, a resale shop in the small white house on the campus of ProMedica Flower Hospital.

Johnny on the spot

Pat Hilfinger is thrilled to be part of the new project. “Bev always wanted a store to help others in the Sylvania community. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I signed on,” she stated. “Through the years Bev and I discovered that you could make money with these types of stores. Historically, Flower Hospital doctors used this house. When they gave the Flower Hospital Auxiliary the cottage, I was johnny-on-the-spot.”

Gently loved

The Cottage Boutique will be part of the Flower Hospital Auxiliary. The store will feature ladies and men’s clothing, holiday items, collectibles, fur coats, leather coats, formal attire, shoes, jewelry and more. “A lot of these items are new, some even have the price tags on them, and other items are slightly loved,” stated Janowski. “We are well-stocked and ready to open, but the Cottage Boutique always needs donations of gently used items.” I happened to have a few items in my trunk that had been there far too long with the good intentions of dropping them off somewhere. It was a great feeling to know they were going to two women on a mission to help others.

Making the difference

 The Cottage Boutique will be opening on Nov. 15 at 9 a.m. Following the grand opening, hours will be 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday-Saturday. Proceeds from the Cottage Boutique will go to a variety of worthy organizations and programs. “Flower Hospital will receive funds as well as other organizations, and in some cases individuals,” said Janowski. “For example, when I was VP of Flower Hospital Auxiliary around 17 years ago, there was a young candy striper at the hospital who lost her parents in a horrific car accident. The Auxiliary stepped in and paid for the funeral of both of her parents. She was so thankful. She became a nurse here at Flower. That is the kind of difference we are hoping to make.”

People may drop off donations during hours of operation. If there is a large quantity, donors may call 419-536-0530, and make arrangements for items to be picked up. The two women hope that guests do not get deterred by parking as there is limited parking directly in front of the little white house. “Guests can come from the Flower Hospital campus and may park behind the building,” explained Hilfinger. “They can also come through the main hospital entrance and head toward Heartland at ProMedica and park nearby. Guests may also park directly off Harroun Road. If the driveway is empty, come on in!”

Don’t stop believing

Both women hope that the Cottage Boutique will succeed and enable them reach out to those in need. “Our main goal is to help the Flower Hospital community and to lend a hand to other nonprofits or anyone else who could use assistance,” stated Janowski. “I just hope we can keep the Cottage Boutique going so that we make a difference in the lives of others,” said Hilfinger. “Just think, the things that hang in your closet that you never get around to wearing, or the items you’ve tucked away in boxes, could have a powerful purpose. They could help change a life.”

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