History of the Associated Auxiliaries of Riddle Hospital

The History of the Associated Auxiliaries of Riddle Hospital

The term "auxiliary" is derived from the Latin noun, "auxilium," meaning, "help." Thus the auxiliary stands as a supplemental organization providing service to the hospital.

By 1958, there was a Board of Directors in place for the new hospital to be built in Media and from this board, Mrs. David Pomeroy was named to be the Chairman of the Women's Committee of the first Riddle Country Fair and Horse Show. The event was held at the Rose Tree Hunt Club Grounds. This event was two years before groundbreaking for the Hospital and 4.5 years before the doors of the Hospital were opened. The net profit was approximately $6,202.00.

The Board of Directors and the Women's Committee shared an office located at 5 West Front Street in Media, PA. They shared this address until the hospital was opened and room was available for both organizations in the hospital. The Hospital Board meetings were held at the Media Federal Savings & Loan Association Building as well as the Auxiliary Board meetings.

The Auxiliaries grew ot of a handful of committees formed in 1958 that helped to support the fair with their many different booths.

The first Auxiliary to be officially established and named was Beatty Hills Auxiliary, on March 24, 1959 under the leadership of Mrs. Charles McCafferty, wife of the then President of Riddle Memorial Hospital's Board of Directors.

Individual Auxiliaries
Beatty Hills1959-2010
Bowling Green1959-1976
Nether Providence1959-1998
Rose Tree1959-date
Springfield 1959-1973
Moylan-Rose Valley1960-1978
Newtown Square1960-1961
Upper Providence1960-1960
Cheyney 1962-1976
Men's Auxiliary1975-1980
S.T.A.R. Auxiliary2003-date

By the time of the second Country Fair and Horse Show on September 26, 1959, there were ten auxiliaries. These auxiliaries were named for the commuinities where the members lived: Bowling Green, Gradyville, Lima, Media, Nether Providence, Rose Tree (still active today), Springfield, Springhaven (still active today),and Wyncroft, later to be called Middletown. About 2 months prior to the 1959 Country Fair, on July 8, the predecessor of the 1964 Women's Board was formed. It was called the Coordinating Committee of the Associated Auxiliaries, and it consisted of the presidents of the ten original auxiliaries.

By June of 1960, about a year after the formation of the Coordinating Committee, the individual auxiliaries had increased to 15. The five new ones that hadbeen added were: Moylan-Rose Valley, Newtown Square, Riddlewood, Swarthmore, and Upper Providence. Other auxiliaries later absorbed Newtown Square.

In May of 1962, Donnie Watson attended a Volunteer Management course at Columbia University. Donnie was an active Auxilian and interested in volunteer work. In May of 1963, she became the coordinator of the Volunteer Department. In February of 1963, Auyxliary Volunteers conducted tours through the newly completed hospital. From that time to date, Auxliary members have been involved with volunteering throughout the entire hospital. From 1962 until 1969, different members of the Associated Auxiliaries were Coordinators of the Volunteers until May of 1969, when Mary Ann Mallon was hired by the hospital to be the Director of Volunteer Services. At one time, volunteers were asked to donate blood as the blood bank was low on supply. In 1964, Candy Stripers were added to the list of Volunteers.

In 1962, three more new auxiliaries were formed: Wawa in March with 23 members, Cheyney in October with 38members and Concord in November with 33 members.

In addition to being responsbile for a booth at the fair, all auxiliares were expected t engage in a variety of activities throughout the year that would provide revenue for the Associated Auxiliares. These events consisted of cruises, garden tours, football game benefits, buffets, swim parties, dances, theater parties, fashion shows, cake sales, cocktail parties, bus trips, days at the races, treasure hunts, bridge parties, dinners, picnics, and cookouts.

By 1964, there were 17 auxliaries and 700 members.

Throughout the first years, there were numerous new events initiatied, in addition to the Horse Shows and Country Fair. Many of these are still going on today. The Annual Ball was started in 1959, being called the "Charity Ball." It has gone by a variety of names, such as "Man O'War Ball" and is currently called the "Man O'War Gala." The Riddle Thrift Shop was started in 1961. The Women's Board rented a hous on Monroe Street in Media. This location became known as the "Riddle Thrift Shop." We still have a very active and productive Thrift Shop today, located on the hospital campus.

The Merry Token Gift Shop became a reality in 1964 as well as the Major Treat Snack Shop. While the Major Treat Snack Shop no longer exists, the Merry Token Gift Shop is located in the front lobby of the hospital.

In 1964, during the term of Mary Ann Mallon as the Associated Auxliaries President, the hospital had a financial problem and could not meet the payroll. The Auxilians were called upon for help. The presidents and treasurers of all 17 Auxilians were notified and they came forward with their monies and the employees wree paid.

The Man O'War Ball has been a major event since 1959. Initially, it was known as the "Charity Ball" and later called the "Trophy Ball." In 1970, the ball was given the name of "Man O'War Ball" until it was changed in 2011 to "Man O'War Gala." A silent auction, excellent food, dancing and social fellowship make up the evening. In 2008, the Associated Auxliaries presented Mr. Dan Kennedy, CEO of Riddle at that time, with a check for $100,000 as the first payment on the 2nd $1,000,000 pledge for the Emergency Department.

The Fair continued to be a major fund raising event for the Auxiliaries until the new millennium. The last fair was held in September 2005. Times changed and Country Fairs were not as popular as they were years prior, especially with the last 2 years being "dampened" by rain. From 1981 until the final fair, Nina Cruice was chairperson, with the help of Jinks Jones and hospital personnel.

When the Auxliaires were first formed, dues for Auxiliary members were $1 per person. By 1977, they had gone up to $2. Today, there are $5 per person and dues for an Associate member are $10.

In 1964, some members attended a PAHA meeting, held in Lancaster PA. PAHA was and is known as the Pennsylvania Association of Hospital Auxiliaries. In later years it has become known as the Pennsylvania Associteion of Health Care Auxiliaries. PAHA is an autonomous organization with officers elected by the members. The six regional presidents serve as voting members of the State Board with the State Officers. WE have had the priviledge of playing hostess of the Philadelphia Region several times. In 1980, Doroty Fear, member of Middletown Auxiliary, was the State Conference Chairman for the 1980 eeting held at Hershey Motor Lodge and Convention Center and also was installed as President of the Philadelphia Region of PAHA. The installation took place at Wills Eye Hospital at a Regional Meeting where 57 hospitals were represented.

1990 say a new annual event held by the Associated Auxiliaries, the "Tree of Lights." Alycia Mallon-Buhle chaired this and in later years, the chairmanship has been passed to several Auxilians. Between December 1990 and December 2007, approximately $150,000 was raised by this event alone.

Lobby sales continued through all of the years and are still a great source of income today. In the past, we had bake sales, flower sales, etc. Today, vendors bring in their wares, accepting cash, checks and credit cards purchases. The public takes advantages of the sales and the employees have the priviledge of shopping during their breaks, before and after work and over lunchtime. Some of the items include shoes, uniforms, hand bags, socks, jewelry, fudge, art work, kids clothing, pottery, pet supplies, etc.

On April 2, 1976, the Auxiliaries reached the first $1,000,000 contribution milestone. They continue their various events and by 2008, more than $9,000,000 has been raised and turned over to Riddle Hospital.

With only a few Auxliaries today, we continue to make pledges of $1,000,000 to the hospital for various major projects. They are usually paid within 3 years. Click here for the donations and their uses to the hospital since 1958.