By Dan Hust
HARRIS Monday’s wine-and-cheese reception inside Catskill Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in Harris was a bittersweet affair.
Interim CRMC CEO Rosemary Frado complimented the Harris hospital’s auxiliary as representing “the best of our commitment to the community.”
“Your dedication has had a significant impact not just on this hospital but on the community in general,” she remarked.
Yet she and other hospital leaders had gathered in the boardroom that evening to bid farewell to the auxiliary, which is dissolving in the face of dwindling volunteers and support.
Auxiliary President Ellen Cutler admitted it’s hard to shut the doors on a non-profit organization that has existed since CRMC first was born in the 1970s and has roots going back to the 1920s, when auxiliaries served both the Monticello and Liberty hospitals.
CRMC Board member Joan Farrow shared some of those memories, thanking Myron Gittell in particular for bringing a display of historical photographs and memorabilia that night.
“You were part of a grand undertaking that served with great accomplishment,” she told the half-dozen auxilians in the room.
“Your fundraising efforts were key to us,” agreed CRMC Board Chairman Gerald Skoda, noting the equipment and cutting-edge technology the auxiliary brought to the Harris facility over the years. (The Callicoon Auxiliary is separate and remains active.)
“We thank you for your dedication and commitment to our hospital,” he acknowledged, handing roses to each member present.
Over more than three decades, the Auxiliary has raised close to $3 million for the hospital. And on Monday, it had one last gift to give all the money left in its checking account, totalling $22,371.34.
Cutler handed it over to hospital officials with some sorrow but a far greater amount of pride.
“We have a lot to be proud of,” she affirmed.