Windsor Regional Hospital Auxiliary

Welcome to the home of the Windsor Regional Hospital Auxiliary, dedicated to raising funds for the betterment of patient and hospital life for over 83 years.

WRH auxiliary

 

A Brief History of the Metropolitan General Hospital Auxiliary

Based on The History of the Metropolitan General Hospital Auxiliary: sixty Years of Dedication, 1934-1994 by David Williamson

 

historyauxiliaryphoto 

The Metropolitan General Hospital Aid, as the Auxiliary was initially known, was organized on May 16, 1934. Its creation was stimulated by both the governing body of the hospital and other interested individuals. During the initial meeting, officers were chosen, committees were organized, an advisory board was formed and meeting dates and times were set. Then, the women set to the task of raising money and in their first year, a total of $416 was given to the hospital.

In the early years, the Auxiliary hosted a variety of fundraising activities: the annual tea, bridge parties, rummage sales, a musical comedy, and the sale of jam and jellies. Sewing and the marking of hospital linens also played a large part in Auxiliary’s early activities. Significant purchases included picture and reading material for the children’s ward and other patients and a Bronchoscope, which was subsequently made available to the other hospitals in the city. World War II had a drastic impact on the nature of fundraising. The Auxiliary collected salvageable materials [tin, tinfoil, glass, cotton, clothes hangers] for sale, canning and preserving were limited due to a lack of Certo and sugar, and tea was not served at the meetings in an effort to conserve resources. Post war fundraising activities took a new turn with the advent of a new, popular event – an annual fair.

With the opening of the School of Nursing at Metropolitan General Hospital in 1949 until its closure in 1974, the Auxiliary made a significant contribution. It hosted parties, occasionally helped financially needy students, provided prizes, gifts, a scholarship, entertainment, and helped to furnish a place of relaxation. Perhaps most importantly, they helped to host the graduation ceremonies, providing the nurses with corsages, pins, and diploma covers.

The 1950’s brought an increase in membership and the establishment of a Junior Group [later known as the Evening Auxiliary] which was made up of younger women who were unavailable for duty during the day. They played an important role in the history of the Auxiliary, being responsible for the opening of the Hospitality [Gift] Shop. By 1959, when the group celebrated its the twenty-fifth anniversary, contributions to the hospital in one form or another had exceeded $80,000.

Social gatherings were no longer the best way to raise the money needed in an increasingly expensive and expanding health-care system. Accordingly, the 1960’s are marked by new ventures on the part of the Auxiliary. In April of 1960, the group started its hospitality cart service, wheeling the cart around to the wards to provide shopping opportunities for bed-ridden patients. By 1962, the importance of the cart became evident as it replaced the annual fair as the group’s prime fundraiser and the fair was phased out in 1966. After much discussion and planning, the Gift Shop was opened in October of 1963. The following March, the selling of baby pictures was introduced in the maternity ward. That same month, the Junior Group was amalgamated with the regular Auxiliary.

An expansion of services was the natural outgrowth of an increase in funds raised by the Auxiliary during the 1970’s. Within a span of a few short years, many changes occurred which again, demonstrated the group’s ability and willingness to keep itself viable and integral to community service. In 1973, the coffee shop was opened as a new and different source of income. The year also brought a touch of sadness as it was the final year for student nursing classes at the Hospital. By 1974, it was decided to discontinue the library cart service. To counter that, however, the significant impact that the Auxiliary had on the hospital was brought into sharp focus when the Intensive Care Unit was totally equipped through the efforts of the group. The following year saw the start of both the hairdressing shop and the Escort Service which provided patients with assistance during admitting and departure procedures. Also in 1975, the Auxiliary purchased heart telemetry monitoring units which were instantly put to constant use.

The Auxiliary continued to expand its range of service throughout the 1980’s and ‘90’s. Throughout the early 1990’s, Gift Shop sales were averaging $1,000.00 a day. The amalgamation of hospitals had a large impact on volunteer services, with Windsor Western Campus, Malden Park and the Metropolitan Campus requiring a new level of coordinated volunteerism. Café Met was closed in 1996 which dealt a blow to volunteer fundraising efforts. This was countered by the building of a new Gift Shop in conjunction with a major building plan at the hospital. There was more participation in patient care and rehabilitation, and in helping staff with time consuming but ultimately important day-to-day tasks. In the spirit of teamwork and coordinated effort, a gala was held in 1999 for hospital volunteers from all Windsor hospitals. Massive funds were pledged towards the Together in Caring fundraising campaign. The Auxiliary also supported the Clown Doctor Program which began at the Metropolitan Campus. As a result of hospital services moving and merging, the Auxiliary has been indispensable at a new Help Desk which assists patients and their families or visitors with their questions.

The Metropolitan General Hospital Auxiliary has had a history of community service distinguished by tireless service and significant contribution. It has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars which in turn has improved the quality of life for countless patients. This year, as it celebrates its 70th anniversary, it can be proud of all it’s done and know that the people of Windsor and surrounding area owe it a huge debt of gratitude.

Funds Raised

Donations from the Hospital Auxiliary to The Metropolitan General Hospital for the Purchase of Medical Equipment and Furnishings.

*Years marked with an asterisk represent estimated donations*


Years Donation
1934-59 $80,281.00 
1961 $500.00 
1962
$742.00 
1963
$3,024.00 
1964*
$4,860.00 
1965
$6,696.00 
1966
$5,291.00 
1967*
$5,319.00 
1968 $5,347.00 
1969*
$4,854.00
1970   $4,361.00 
1971   $3,644.00 
1972  
$15,000.00 
1973   $7,010.00 
1974*   $16,128.00 
1975   $25,245.00 
1976
$31,091.00 
1977   $22,524.00
1978
$36,923.00 
1979*   $34,362.00
1980
$31,800.00 
1981   $60,000.00
1982 $56,506.00
1983 $56,497.00
1984 $23,075.00
1985 $60,000.00 
1986 $65,000.00 
1987 $89,525.00 
1988 $165,000.00 
1989 $50,000.00
1990 $125,000.00 
1991 $101,200.00 
1992 $144,000.00
1993 $149,200.00 
1994 $160,000.00 
1995 $138,545.00 
1996 $148,010.00 
1997 $85,000.00 
1998 $128,497.00
1999 $108,150.00
2000 $163,632.00 
2001 $130,133.00
2002 $109,957.00 
2003 $155,075.00 
2004 $120,674.00 
2005 $115,150.00 
2006 $99,834.00 
2007 $153,492.00 
2008 $170,498.00
2009 $160,000.00
2010 $198,300.00 
2011 $183,600.00
2012 $164,280.00
2013 $152,300.00
2014 $117,290.00 
2015 $138,472.00 
2016 $109,198.00 
2017 $115,000.00 
2018 $122,210.00 
Grand Total $4,815,092.00

Past Presidents

The Metropolitan General Hospital Aid  [later Afternoon Auxiliary] established May 1934                                

Year Name
1934-35

Mrs. C.D. Brown

1936-37
Mrs. A.M. Blakely
1938
Mrs. G. Laing
1939-40
Mrs. R. Robson
1941-42
Mrs. F.J. Pollock
1943-44
Mrs. C.V. Waters
1945-46
Mrs. C.S. Sanborn
1947-48
Mrs. H.L. Savage
1949-50
Mrs. W.D. Kelly
1951-52
Mrs. G.G. Henderson
1953-54
Mrs. N.A. McCormick
1955-56
Mrs. L.D. Carmichael
1957-58
Mrs. D.C. Bawtenheimer
1959-60
Mrs. J. Miskew
1961-62 Mrs. G.H. Shepherd
1963-1964 Mrs. S.S. Black

The Metropolitan General Hospital “Junior Group” Evening Auxiliary established 1952  

Year Name
1954-55
Mrs. G.L. Sandler
1955-56 
Mrs. R.F. Inch
1957-58
Mrs. J. Fry
1959-60
Mrs. B. Bland
1961-62 Mrs. L.B. Menard
1961-62
Mrs. D.W. Gallinger 
1963-1964 Mrs. R.B. Andrew

Afternoon and Evening Auxiliaries- Amalgamated 1964

Year Name
1964

Mrs. R.B. Andrew

1965-66
Mrs. A.T. Dickenson
1967-68
Mrs. N.W. Sansbu
1969-70
Mrs. A.B. Harris
1971-72
Mrs. D.M. Allen
1973-74
Mrs. A.R. Taylor
1975-76
Mrs. G.E. Millward
1977-78 Mrs. J.K. Collins
1979-80
Mrs. R.J. McMonagle
1981-82
Mrs. G. Crozier
1983-84
Mrs. D. Pizzutti
1985-86
Mrs. E. Squire
1987-88
Mrs. J.S. Urie
1989-91 Mrs. J.K. Collins
1991-92 Mrs. S. Janisse
1993-95 Mrs. F. Pennington
1995-97 Mrs. Doris Dennison
1998-2000 Ms. Margaret Millmun 
2001-2005 Mrs. Fae Gillespie
2005-2006 Ms. Iris Brown 
2006-2007 Ms. Florence Pennington

WRH Auxiliary Archives

auxiliary

The Auxiliary recently posed with the "C-Arm" in the Operating Room. This piece of equipment was purchased as a result of a three year pledge made by the Auxiliary.

The Auxiliary also recently made a stop to see the Family Waiting Room they sponsor in the Paediatric area.

From the minute books...

“A meeting took place at the Metropolitan General Hospital on Wednesday, May 16, 1934, at 3:30 p.m. for the purpose of discussing and probably forming a Ladies Auxiliary to the hospital. The Hospital Board was represented by Mr. R.B. Braid Mr. R.W. Wilson and Mr. J. Clark Keith. Mrs. R.E. Holmes was appointed Chairman and took the chair.”
One of the histories about the Auxiliary states:

That “during the year [1935-36], a bronchoscope was purchased - $200.00; radium safe - $175.00 and radium bench - $150.00”.

The minutes expand on this:

“Mrs. McLachlan submitted a report re: Bronchoscope which stated Dr. L.A. Douglas was detailed to take care of this. A second hand Bronchoscope, in good condition, can be purchased for $200.00. The society was instructed to get in touch with Dr. Douglas and state he had authority to purchase same provided in was in perfect shape”.

Windsor Star: 15 September 1950

“Workmen Transform Mrs. H.H. Eager’s Garden into ‘Country Fair’ Setting for Met Hospital

Activity at Mrs. H.H. Eager’s home on Riverside Drive this week all centres around the fourth annual Metropolitan General Hospital Aid County Fair to be held Saturday afternoon and evening. Mrs. Allan S. Harrison, general convener of the fair is shown…with Mr. Ralph Cherwinski and Tyrrell O’Rourke as they build the super-structure for the fish pond. Always a popular feature, the hospital fair’s fish pond is particularly tricky because it includes real water”
Windsor Star: 15 September 1950

“Workmen Transform Mrs. H.H. Eager’s Garden into ‘Country Fair’ Setting for Met Hospital

Activity at Mrs. H.H. Eager’s home on Riverside Drive this week all centres around the fourth annual Metropolitan General Hospital Aid County Fair to be held Saturday afternoon and evening. Mrs. Allan S. Harrison, general convener of the fair is shown…with Mr. Ralph Cherwinski and Tyrrell O’Rourke as they build the super-structure for the fish pond. Always a popular feature, the hospital fair’s fish pond is particularly tricky because it includes real water”.
Windsor Star: 18 January 1955
In a retrospective article on the previous year, it was noted that:

“May [1954] was an important month for the auxiliary as the 20th birthday was celebrated. In reminiscing about the auxiliary’s growth and accomplishments it was found that the auxiliary had raised $50,000.00 during those 20 years”.
Windsor Star: 18 January 1955

In a retrospective article on the previous year, it was noted that:


“May [1954] was an important month for the auxiliary as the 20th birthday was celebrated. In reminiscing about the auxiliary’s growth and accomplishments it was found that the auxiliary had raised $50,000.00 during those 20 years”.
Windsor Star: 23 February 1960 

“The women’s Auxiliary of Metropolitan Hospital was given permission Tuesday night to install vending machines to serve coffee, biscuits and cigarettes in the waiting room of the ambulance entrance. The hospital board of governors granted permission at a general meeting”.
Windsor Star: 2 October 1965

“Metropolitan General Hospital is planning an extensive care unit and the hospital auxiliary will supply the first piece of equipment, a Sanborn Defribullator – at a cost of $3,444.00”.

From the Statement of Cash Receipts and Disbursements for the Junior Group of the Auxiliary – 1955

Purchases on behalf of Metropolitan General Hospital:
  • Examining table $225.33
  • Surgeon’s stool $23.80
  • Work table $45.90
  • Floor lamp $16.82
Teen-age Volunteer Rules and Regulations: 1965-69

Candy Striper Uniforms: Worn only by Volunteers and only during volunteer hospital work periods. A teen-age volunteer wishing to have her own uniform may do so by paying a $3.50 fee. When the uniform is no longer required it will be returned and the $3.50 refunded, if in good condition. A clean white blouse should be worn with the pinafore.

Caps: Worn by girls who have worked 25 hours or more. They are worn squarely on the head, no jaunty angles.

Visiting friends: Do not stop for a lengthy visit with a sick friend. Just a pleasant hello – and on you go.
Windsor Star: 13 February 1969

“At their regular monthly meeting held in the nurses’ lounge, the members of the Metropolitan Hospital Auxiliary voted to establish a driving service to provide transportation to and from the hospital for disabled out-patients. This assistance was requested by the hospital’s social service department and the need will be met by auxiliary members rotating a one day per month schedule”.
Metropolitan General Hospital Women’s Auxiliary, 1959

“Did you ever hear of a Parcel Post Sale?
Well listen now, I’ll tell you a tale.
Our Women’s Auxiliary is having a Fair
And we’re asking all to have a share.
Will you send us a package to sell for a quarter,
It’s lots of fun for man, wife and daughter.
We’ll sell it just as it comes in the mail,
That’s why we call it a Parcel Post Sale.
September 11th we have set for the date,
So please send a parcel that won’t arrive late.
We’ll thank you to address it to the name underlined,
And we’ll thank you a lot for being so kind."