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This dedicated group of volunteers has been providing programs and raising money for good causes throughout the hospital since 1921.
The Senior Auxiliary was organized on March 17, 1921 to raise charity funds to take care of the poor who were patients in the hospital and unable to pay. Mrs. Joseph Levy was elected the first president and Elizabeth Graham was appointed the first Auxiliary representative the Hospital Board of Directors.
From 1921 to 1937, $13,064 dollars was paid out for 500 patients who could not pay their bills. In addition, $9,741 was donated for other equipment for the hospital.
Not only was money donated in the early years, but large amounts of canned goods, fruits, jellies and other necessities were collected from community members for use by the hospital. Vegetable and linen donation days were an annual event.
In 1937, the first meeting of the Junior Auxiliary was held in the home of Mrs. Allison Kelly. Sixteen ladies joined the organization that night. Mrs. Earl Younkin was elected president.
That year, the first project was a Christmas Ball and proceeds were used to purchase a sewing machine as a Christmas gift to the nurses. A dryer for the Laundry was also donated. Fund raising included a Christmas Ball, later called the Charity Ball. The first Ball was held in 1937 and continued until 1988. Other projects included charity football games, skating parties, square dancing, antique fairs, and selling Christmas decorations.
In 1984, the Senior Auxiliary and the Junior Auxiliary joined forces to become one organization dedicated to the continued improvement of health care of the communities served by Somerset Hospital. Our many projects and programs include: operation of the Snack Bar; operation of the Gift Shop; quarterly flower sales: our annual Giving Tree project for In Touch Hospice; and the awarding of our annual Nursing Scholarships.
Over the years, the Somerset Hospital Auxiliary has raised over $2.8 million, which has directly benefitted Somerset Hospital. The current pledge of $210,000 will be used to purchase new ventilators and anesthesia machines.
In 2019, after Somerset Hospital’s affiliation with UPMC, the Somerset Hospital Auxiliary changed its name to the Friends of UPMC Somerset.
Nursing Scholarship Program
The Friends of UPMC Somerset are now accepting applications for its annual nursing scholarship program. The scholarships are available to current residents of Somerset County, who are pursuing a career as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. Applicants must be attending or will be attending or will be entering a program of studies leading to an Associate Degree in Nursing, a diploma as a Registered Nurse, or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Schools must be an accredited school of nursing. The applicant must be accepted into the school of nursing, not just the college and not pre-nursing.
WE NEED YOU!
The Friends of UPMC Somerset needs your help to carry out our giving tradition. We need your time. We need your experience, your skills and your caring about others. You will, in turn, be rewarded with the warmth and smiles of the people you meet and the knowledge that you made someone’s day a little brighter. Please care enough to join. Contact our Auxiliary President Suzie Sturni.