Local Women’s Board Named Recipient of Sandy Spring Museum’s Maryland Champion Award
July 11, 2019
Sandy Spring, MD — Sandy Spring Museum announces the Women’s Board of MGH supporting MedStar Montgomery Medical Center as the recipient of the Maryland Champion Award. Hailed as the Museum’s highest honor, this award is presented annually to a person or organization of distinction who has made state wide impact at a grassroots level. The Women’s Board is being honored at the Maryland Champion Gala on October 17, 2019 at Sandy Spring Museum.
The Women’s Board, formerly known as the Ladies’ Auxiliary, played an instrumental role in founding Montgomery General Hospital (today’s MedStar Montgomery Medical Center), the first rural hospital in the United States in 1919. One hundred years later, the Women’s Board stills plays an important role in the hospital through its fundraising efforts and the volunteer service provided by its members.
“In a rural area like Olney-Sandy Spring, the community had to provide for its own needs. Key businesses like the bank, the insurance company, the hospital, the theater and the museum were built by the community, for the community. Honoring the role members of the Women’s Board played in the establishment of the first rural hospital in the United States is our way of paying tribute to these community heroines,” Allison Weiss, Executive Director, Sandy Spring Museum.
The cornerstone for Montgomery General Hospital was laid in November 1919 and, two months later, the flu epidemic of 1918-1920 hit Olney, Maryland. The new hospital was unprepared to care for the sick because furniture as still in boxes and no supplies had been purchased. The eight members of the Ladies Auxiliary unpacked the furniture, and “begged, borrowed and bought” supplies like surgical dressing, ice caps, hot water bottles, equipment to serve food, and the food itself. They also helped to transport the sick to the hospital during a terrible blizzard.
Today the Women’s Board has grown to more than 100 members. They are the Hospital’s largest philanthropic group, carrying on the traditions of their founding mothers. Their fundraising includes hosting an annual Picnic and Bazaar (celebrating its 99th anniversary) and, in more recent years, running the hospital gift shop and thrift store.
“On behalf of all of us with MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, we remain proud and inspired by the philanthropic spirit of The Women’s Board,” said T.J. Senker, FACHE, president of MedStar Montgomery. “As champions for our community, I commend them for their commitment to legacy through their volunteer work and their celebration of our future with the Scholarship Program for students pursuing a degree in healthcare.”
Members of the Women’s Board of MGH are being honored at the Maryland Champion Gala on Thursday, October 17, 2019 from 7:00-10:30 pm. Proceeds from the gala support Sandy Spring Museum’s community-driven cultural arts programming. Sandy Spring Museum is located at 17901 Bentley Road, Sandy Spring, MD 20860. For more information, visit www.sandyspringmuseum.org
Back to Top