Community Memorial Health System, Where Excellence Begins With Caring
Facebook Twitter Instagram

Media Room

News Releases / 2012

CMH’s Auxiliary Celebrates 50th Anniversary 1962 – 2012

Ventura, California, 02/22/2012

Community Memorial Hospital’s Auxiliary celebrated its 50th anniversary at an Annual Awards Luncheon and Installation on Friday, February 10, 2012. Special guests included Gary Wilde, President and CEO; Gary Wolfe, Board of Trustee representative; Michael Ellingson, Vice President of Development & Marketing; and Dr. William Hart, author and historian and Board of Trustee member.

During the luncheon, a presentation of awards took place for those auxiliary members who have reached a high level of service. Special recognition went to Clara Alviani for 12,000 hours, Judy Miller for 17,000 hours, and Lucille Ledner, Ann Simonitsch, Rod Weldon for 20 years, and Suzy Clark for 40 years of service.

Originally, the CMH Auxiliary was started in 1962 by nine members along with fifty-nine (59) Charter Members as an organization of women. Those charter members included:

Miriam Angus (last charter member, passed away 2011), Dorothy Bailey, Annette Barnes, Aletta Berry, Lorraine Blue, Elizabeth Bowker, Nancy Brandt, Bessie Brigham, Gladys Bunge, Allene Craige, Jeanne Culbertson, Ruby Cummins, Josephine Darling, Miriam Dudley, Phyllis Estes, Inez Fluetsch, Mattie Gleichmann, Lucille Goodenough, Jeanne Goodge, Vena Hardison, Betty Hatley, Leigh Henderson, Margaret Henderson, Allene Henry, Jean Herian, Elizabeth Hey, Nancy Hey, Mary Hollingsworth, Ida Iliff, Betty Johnson, Marticia Jones, Edie Le Fevre, Polly Martin, Edith Mercer, Ella Moore, Elsie Mosher, Mary Mumby, E. Jo Neilsen, Patty Neilsen, Louise Nesbitt, Ida Nichols, Mary Ann Off, Jean Palmer, D. Leigh Peacocke, Virginia Pinkerton, Helen Plant, Dorothy Ranger, Ellen Rogers, Jean Seward, Kathleen Shore, Josephine Snodgrass, Marie Soares, Jeanne Stump, Lucy Tauber, Edith Toohey, Laura Toomey, Elizabeth Wade, Natalie Wallace, and Mary Woolsey.

The Auxiliary at CMH has evolved over the past 50 years to include men, women and teenage volunteers (1966) known as “Juniors.” Today there are now 250 active members who volunteer on a scheduled basis. In 2011 the auxiliary worked a total of 40,628.5 hours. The mission statement of the Auxiliary pledges to be for the benefit of patients and they have demonstrated this throughout 50 years of service not only to the hospital, but to the community.

Starting out very small, the original Auxiliary services included working in the Reception Room, Flower Arrangements, the Baby Photo service in Maternity and helping in Central Supply by wrapping bandages and sterilizing instruments. They also made patients beds and other chores to help relieve the nurses to care for the patients. The auxiliary members wore a pink smock and tie and were referred to as “Pink Ladies.” Much of these tasks are no longer provided by the auxiliary, rather the auxiliary has taken on many more in their place. Auxiliary now work in the front lobby as Flyers and Desk Receptionists, and also in the Emergency Department, Pharmacy, Same Day Surgery, Recovery Room, Central Dispatch, Book Cart, Gift Shop, Maternity, NICU, Reiki, Complementary Therapy (including Heart, Stroke, Diabetes assessment programs), as well as having a volunteer Sewing group making pillows for patients who have had surgeries and stuffed toys for hurt and scared children. And, coming into the 21st century with Computer services.

In 2003, long time volunteer, Maria Cavallo passed away and left an auxiliary legacy called the Maria Cavallo Scholarship Fund, which was established by her family to honor the 15,000 hours of service she provided as a member of the CMH Auxiliary. Through kind and thoughtful annual donations to the fund, the auxiliary has been able to help many of the Juniors who are going into the medical field with their college education. Through this program, many of the former Juniors return to the community after finishing their schooling.

This year, with the help of funds raised through the Gift Shop, fundraisers, baby photo’s, souvenir birth certificate and the dine out program, the auxiliary has once again donated over $100,000 to the hospital. Four years ago, the auxiliary pledged to donate a total of $500,000 in five years to the CMH building project, as they are right on track. Over the past 50 years, the auxiliary has donated a total of $3,178,002.90 to CMH.

For information about how to become an Adult Volunteer or Junior Volunteer please stop by the Reception Desk in the main CMH lobby and pick up an application or call 652-5043.

Community Memorial Hospital is a member of Community Memorial Health System, a not-for-profit health system, which is comprised of Community Memorial Hospital, Ojai Valley Community Hospital, and twelve family-practice health centers entitled Centers for Family Health. The health system is located in Ventura County, California.

Photo Caption: CMH’s Auxiliary presents a donation to CMH. From left to right: Gary Wolfe, Board of Trustee, Katie Weldon, Auxiliary Treasurer, and Gary Wilde, President & CEO of Community Memorial Health System.