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In All Things Charity - A Tribute to St. Clare’s Hospital Auxiliary

Grounded in the spirit of volunteerism that gave rise to St. Clare’s, the "Ladies Auxiliary" was founded in October, 1949, one month after the hospital's opening. "Twenty-seven community-minded women came forward and offered their services in any way possible," according to hospital archives. Just one year later, the Auxiliary presented its first of many charitable contributions - a tradition that has continued for well over half a century.

The impact these women (and a few good men) have had on patient care is almost beyond measure. It is estimated they have collectively raised in excess of $1.5 million since the Auxiliary’s inception, while personal support of the hospital and its foundation has unquestionably surpassed that amount. The group’s most recent and significant fund raising goal was $250,000 toward the new Imaging Center, which opened in 2006. The pledge was fulfilled in record time - just three years instead of the anticipated five!

During the ‘50s and ‘60s, the Auxiliary was known for formal teas, replete with silver service, elegant hats and gloves. In the mid-70s, a new fundraising venture was introduced - Follies - a vaudeville-style variety show that would successfully endure for more than two decades.

Over the years, there have been bake sales and craft sales and more recently, specialty sales featuring book dealers and jewelers along with other vendors whose offerings include outerwear and sportswear, uniforms and scrubs and home décor accessories.

The opening of the Elite Repeat Boutique in 1987, proved to be not only an exciting new venue for raising funds but an essential community resource for women (and children) in need. Wardrobe essentials including appropriate workplace attire are provided at no cost to disadvantaged women seeking employment.

With the founding of The Choraliers 1992, seasonal concerts and related promotional activities helped boost awareness of the Auxiliary, attract new members and through ticket sales and sponsorships, create a new revenue stream for the organization.

Strong and cohesive with nearly 350 members, the Auxiliary has always represented a cross section of the community and has been among the hospital’s staunchest supporters. More often than not, if there was something going on anywhere in Schenectady, the Auxiliary’s was there en masse and spreading good news about St. Clare’s.

St. Clare’s Hospital Auxiliary Presidents

  • Mary Alice Egan 1949-1950
  • Kathleen Garahan 1950-1952
  • Helen Shapiro 1952-1954
  • Elizabeth Conway 1954-1955
  • Helen Burns 1955-1957
  • Jewel Jewell 1957-1959
  • Agnes Phibbs 1959-1960
  • Betty Hydorn 1960-1962
  • Tosca Brockbank 1962-1964
  • Martha Crawford 1964-1966
  • Betty Hydorn 1966-1967
  • Ana Cheney 1967-1968
  • Mardy Moore 1968-1970
  • Liz (Hogan) Fuerstein 1970-1972
  • Marie Gorman 1973-1975
  • Connie Scavullo 1975-1977
  • Janet Behan 1977-1979
  • Helen Vacca 1979-1981
  • Rosemary Fellner 1981-1983
  • Betty Lou Scanlan 1983-1986
  • Annette Tolge 1986-1988
  • Dolores Krauss 1988-1990
  • Kathy Selfridge 1990-1992
  • Charlotte Kiggins 1992-1994
  • Maria Andrew 1994-1996
  • Marie Gorman & Dolores Krauss 1996-2000
  • Margaret Connoly 2000-2004
  • Janet Carmichael 2004-2006
  • Judy Nocera 2007-

Friends and Family | Foundation | Auxiliary | Photos | Fund Drives