Northwestern Medicine resale shops closing in Wheaton, Geneva

  • Northwestern Medicine is closing the Wise Penny Resale Shop and selling the downtown Wheaton building. The Hi-Hat Resale Shop in Geneva also will shutter next month.

      Northwestern Medicine is closing the Wise Penny Resale Shop and selling the downtown Wheaton building. The Hi-Hat Resale Shop in Geneva also will shutter next month. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • The Wise Penny Resale Shop has operated at its current space along Main Street in downtown Wheaton since 1992.

      The Wise Penny Resale Shop has operated at its current space along Main Street in downtown Wheaton since 1992. Katlyn Smith | Staff Photographer

 
 

Two resale shops that have raised funds for the charitable arm of Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage and Delnor hospitals for nearly 60 years will close next month.

Northwestern Medicine is shuttering the Wise Penny and Hi-Hat shops, both fixtures in downtown Wheaton and downtown Geneva, respectively. The last day of operations is March 29, said Kim Waterman, a spokeswoman for the health system.

"After great consideration, Northwestern Medicine made the decision to close its resale shops in response to the changing health care environment," she said in a statement.

"In recent years health care has grown increasingly complex, making it imperative that we focus on the heart of our mission and philosophy: caring for patients and their families. Attempts to effectively support and sustain operations outside our core business, such as the resale shops, are no longer viable."

Wise Penny originally opened in the 1960s on Central DuPage's Winfield campus to raise funds for the hospital's auxiliary, a group that, among other causes, provides scholarships to students pursuing careers in health care. The shop later moved to Glen Ellyn before relocating to its current space along Main Street in Wheaton in 1992.

A shop manager who answered the phone Monday said store operators weren't allowed to comment about the closing.

Hi-Hat opened in 1960 in Wheaton and later moved to Geneva to support the Delnor Hospital Auxiliary. Since 1998, it has operated in a former Methodist church on Hamilton Street.

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Northwestern Medicine intends to sell both buildings, Waterman said.

The proceeds from the resale shops -- offering consignment furniture, antiques and clothes -- have benefitted the Auxiliary of Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage and Delnor Hospitals. A group of volunteers and a small paid staff run the shops with help from health system departments, Waterman said.

"Northwestern Medicine values the dedication of our volunteers and we are encouraging them to continue serving Central DuPage Hospital, Delnor Hospital, and the auxiliary in other volunteer positions," she said.

The auxiliary will continue to raise funds through the gift shops at Central DuPage and Delnor hospitals, among other initiatives, Waterman said.

Overall, Waterman said, the auxiliary has raised and donated more than $10 million to the hospitals and the communities they serve since they were formed in the 1960s.

Waterman said recent projects funded by the auxiliary include $1.2 million raised to build the Ronald McDonald House, which provides a low-cost or free place to stay for families of sick children receiving treatment at Central DuPage Hospital across the street; a $500,000 pledge for the The LivingWell Cancer Center in Geneva; ongoing support of the HomeCare Physicians Group; a $450,000 pledge for the Douglas L. Johnson Endowed Chair for Neurosciences Award and Behavioral Health Services; and ongoing support for pediatric patients.

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