Tucson Medical Center is marking its 70th anniversary this year, commemorating the day its first patient was admitted, on Nov. 9, 1944.
The TMC Auxiliary is celebrating its own anniversary this November, marking 65 years as the hospital’s official volunteer support organization. Hope Thomas, director of Volunteer Services & Community Programs at TMC, prepared an updated history as a backgrounder for today’s Auxiliary members – this from the Sept./Oct. issue of Patio Post, the Auxiliary’s newsletter:
Even before the first patient was admitted, community volunteers were contributing time, money and great effort to help get TMC started. In February 1946, 10 women, Medical Center Volunteers, pledged time to support the hospital staff. Just two years later, in November of 1948, the Women’s Advisory Board was formed and in 1949 changed its name to the TMC Auxiliary. The Auxiliary came fully armed with a constitution, by-laws, 50 members and $13 in the bank!
In 1951 the first Auxiliary Gift Shop opened and by 1988 was fully renovated and moved to its current location adjacent to the Marshall Conference Center. By the end of the 1950s, Auxilians had donated over 12,000 hours to the hospital.
In the 1960’s, over 600 women supported 18 areas at TMC, and because the times were changing, the Auxiliary ‘piloted’ a Men’s Auxiliary in 1969. The men, wearing special gold jackets, worked 5-8 p.m. shifts in the Father’s Waiting area. By 1984, 75proud, gold jacketed men were actively participating.
Through the next several decades, the hospital prospered and the Auxiliary continued to grow. Fundraising was robust and volunteers peaked at 1,000 by 1989. During these early years many Auxilians donated 40 hours a week and were logging over 20,000 hours in their tenure. The Auxiliary Executive Board was busy and very active in all facets of TMC.
Today, the Auxiliary supports 26 hospital-based services averaging over 7,000 hours each month. With a strong adult volunteer core complemented by college students, our legacy of giving continues.