Perceiving a need for Catholic women to participate in service to the community, Msgr. Joseph Toomey, the first director of Catholic Charities in Binghamton, formed the Patronesses in 1937. In 1954, Lourdes Hospital administrator Sister Celeste requested that the Patronesses organize a women's auxiliary. On February 2, 1955, in response to letters sent to interested individuals and women's groups of all faiths, 84 women met to launch Lourdes Hospital Auxiliary.
The need for separate entities - Auxiliary and Volunteer - became evident as the hospital grew. The Auxiliary would focus on fundraising and social activities while the Volunteers, under the direction of Volunteer Services, made contributions of time and talent to many areas of the hospital.
Auxiliary Donations to Lourdes
2012 - The Auxiliary paid over $150,000 toward its $1 million pledge to the hospital's "Mission 2012" construction project, bringing its cumulative payments on that pledge to $617,300. The Auxiliary's monetary contributions to the hospital since 1955 now stand at over $2.85 million.
2007 - At its annual dinner in October, the Auxiliary paid the final $100,000 on the $1 million pledged in 2001. In November, the Auxiliary pledged ANOTHER $1 million, this time toward the hospital's "Mission 2012" construction project.
2005 - The Auxiliary celebrated its 50th anniversary by instituting the "Making Wishes Come True" grant program. Lourdes employees are invited to apply for funds to purchase items that would enhance their departments. Grants awarded total $5,000 - $7,000 per year.
2001 - $600,000 pledge - raised to $1 million in 2003 - for renovations to the Women & Children's Center, Intensive Care Unit, Ross and Seton floors, and construction of the Medical Oncology building.
1998 - $50,000 for construction of the Lourdes Gift Shop and Café DePaul in the new atrium.
1996 - $350,000 pledge toward the $4.4 million campaign for the Radiation Therapy facility. The pledge was paid in full in October 2000.
1992 - $250,000 pledge toward the $3.5 million campaign to expand the Emergency Department, build a new nursery, and assist in Center/West construction. The pledge was paid in full in October 1995.
1989 - $285,000 pledge to fund construction of an on-campus child care center. In honor of Nelson Ellis, the Auxiliary named the facility "The Kathryn and Nelson Ellis Child Care Center." The pledge was paid in full in October 1991.
1988 - $30,000 for Sweet Shop (now Café dePaul) renovations.
1987 - $25,000 to help purchase a pediatric respirator.
1985 - $10,000 to support the work of the DeMarillac Clinic for women unable to afford prenatal care.
1984 - $25,000 for medical equipment.
1983 - $225,000 pledge toward the $4 million "Campaign for Lourdes" to purchase a CT scanner, Nuclear Medicine equipment, monitors for the Intensive Care Unit and other items. The pledge was paid in full in October 1986.
1981 - $22,000 for Emergency Department two-way radio system to enable ambulances to call and receive
instructions, and $20,000 for Nursery equipment and furnishings.