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Harrison County Hospital Guild calls it quits after 50-plus years

The Harrison County Hospital Guild, a group of women who volunteered their time and raised money for the hospital, have called it quits after 50 years due to the lack of quilters and a place to quilt. The women have sold their quilting frames, sewing machines and other supplies.
In the last 10 years things have slowed down some. “We are getting up in years and it’s hard keeping things going,” said Helen Miller, the Guild treasurer.
The six remaining members — Diane Miller, president, Miller, Elizabeth Thomas, Flossie Best, Viola Crosier and Helen Petty — met Sept. 14 for lunch and decided what to do with the funds left in the group account. A check for $2,695 was given to the hospital to be used toward new equipment for the proposed new surgical wing, said Helen Miller.
The Guild’s first formal meeting was Feb. 17, 1950, with the following townships represented: Helen Ripperdan, Mrs. Fred Stoker, Mrs. Herman R. Fleshman and Mrs. Edward Henderson, all of Washington; Verna Crosier and Mrs. Paul Miller of Boone; Anita Kirkham and Bernice Pendleton of Webster; Mrs. Robert Thomas of Jackson; Mrs. Wesley Sieg and Mrs. Joseph Harmon of Spencer; Mrs. Ott Schneider of Franklin; Mrs. August Yochem and Mrs. James L. Windell of Harrison; Mrs. Shelby Best, Mrs. Shelby Bliss, Mrs. Virgil Bandy and Mrs. James Struble of Heth; Mrs. John E. Brewer and Mrs. Orlin Barger of Taylor, and Mrs. Earl Miller, Mrs. Dewey Hickman and Mrs. Faith O’Bannon of Corydon.
May Enlow was the first president.
Several women volunteered to hold bazaars and rummage sales, embroider pillowcases and sell items to raise money, among other projects, for the new hospital.
Helen Miller, a Guild member for about 15 years, said, “When they first started, the women would quilt for about $20 each quilt.”
It’s much more today. She said people would bring in quilts to be quilted, and Guild members would do the work. The money they made was donated to the hospital.
When the Guild started, there was no place to quilt, so they’d load the quilting frames on their cars and tote them to each others’ homes. Years later, they began meeting in the Senior Citizens Building in Corydon until the flood two years ago put an end to that, said Miller. Then they met in the building where the Emergency Management Services is now.
Helen V. Amy, a member of the Guild for 27 years until she quit in 1997, said when she first started in the 1970s they embroidered pillow slips, made rag rugs and quilted. “We made lots of quilts by hand,” she said. “Too many to count.”
“We also made love bears for the hospital and for the police departments.”
“We have enjoyed being volunteers for the hospital and thank them for the history and their kind words in their newsletter,” said Miller.
“It is with deep sadness that I view the disbanding of this group of Hospital Guild members. For so many years the Guild has been such a strong supporter of the Harrison County Hospital and its mission,” Diane Miller said in a hospital publication earlier this year.
Here are some of the things the Guild has purchased through the years: 1950: X-ray equipment; 1951: orthopedic table, balances for operating lamps, a dishwasher, donation on a water softener; 1952: cooling system; 1953: microfilm reader, hospital beds, baby incubator; 1954: walker, air-conditioner, castle lights, resuscitator; 1955: suction pumps, building booth; 1957: lamps and drapes, etc., furniture for sun room, lift, oxygen tent; 1958: steam table from Children’s Hospital; 1959: mirror, tile for hospital, operating table;
1960: repairs to operating room ceiling; 1961: croupette (an oxygen delivery tent for new borns) and croupaire (oxygen delivery tent for adults), cribs and mattresses; 1962: recovery bed; 1965: kitchen range; 1966: donation for refrigerator; 1967: breathing machine; 1968: wastebaskets for hospital, wheel chairs, nurses at Indiana University; 1969: tuition for nurses training;
1971: tuition for nurses training; 1973: tuition for nurses training, hospital chapel; 1975: heart unit and monitor, hospital donation fund; 1975: casualty simulation kit; 1978: Visa calculator; 1979: temporary pacemaker;
1980: X-ray machine; 1981: two “Life Saving Suits (anti-shcok trousers)”; 1982: blood pressure monitor and donation to Dillman Pavilion; 1984: freezer for the lab and a blender for the kitchen; 1987: equipment for respiratory therapy; and 1989: furniture for chapel and stained glass chapel sign.
1990: VCR, video camera and monitor with film, and a $1,300 nursing scholarship; 1992: outpatient and surgery waiting room; 1994: wheelchair for Diagnostic Imaging; 1996: donation of four wheelchairs and at-home equipment; 1998: mobile weight rack for physical therapy; and 2001: equipment for new surgery wing which is to be built.
Donations totaled $37,393.

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