THE MEMORIAL AUXILIARY celebrated 100 years of service to Memorial Healthcare, its patients and the community on Tuesday, May 14 in Owosso. Since its creation in 1919, the Memorial Auxiliary has had 76 presidents. Seventeen of those ladies were in attendance for the 100th anniversary party.
Shown prior to the program on May 14 are Past Presidents (front row, from left) Jo Hannah, Barbara Elow, Nancy McIntyre, Pam Starkweather, Jeannette Smith, Jeri Ramos, Mary Plowman and Jane Hofstra. In the back row is (from left) B.J. Alliton, Patricia Shaw-Urick, Dianna Maurer, Sue Newcom, Becky Chargo, Peggy Rychman, Meredith Keating, Ginny Brooks and Bobbi Bruckman.
(Courtesy Photo/Schutt Photography)
by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
The Memorial Healthcare Auxiliary celebrated its 100th anniversary on Tuesday, May 14 at the Owosso Country Club. The program featured a musical performance by Owosso High School junior Rachel Dahl, as well as a history of Memorial Healthcare’s Auxiliary, Nursing Program and Four Seasons’ Gift Shop, presented by featured speakers Pat Shaw-Urick, Peggy Gulick and Pam Starkweather. And as a special bonus, the dinner was attended by a host of past Memorial Auxiliary presidents.
The evening’s featured musician, Rachel Dahl, was also honored during the program for recently placing 9th nationally in the VFW audio essay contest, which she attended as Michigan’s representative after winning her post, regional and state contests. Rachel will compete at the national level for the Future Career and Community Leaders of America this summer in California, with her illustrated talk on the evolution of human trafficking in first world countries, and she plans to study reconstructive surgery at the University of Michigan following graduation. On top of her skills as a guitarist, Rachel enjoys drawing, musical theater and figure skating, and she is a member of the National Honor Society and the Youth Advisory Council.
The Memorial Healthcare Auxiliary was established on July 21, 1919, nearly two years prior to the opening of the hospital, on May 1, 1921. Moneys from dues amounted to $1,335 in that first year, and the Auxiliary had a patient load of 48 per day. After surviving the Great Depression, the Auxiliary continued to grow, reaching 500 members in the group’s 50th year, and the group has continually raised and contributed large sums of money to fund hospital improvements, equipment purchases and programming. The Auxiliary’s most recent noteworthy contribution came in 2016, in the form of a $40,000 pledge toward the renovation of the hospital’s emergency department.