This Year’s Honoree

Anna Farquhar, First Women's Board President, 1920
Anna Farquhar, First Women’s Board President, 1920

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.

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 was 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.

Join us in celebrating this group of dynamic women on Thursday, October 17th at 7pm.

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