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Rady Auxiliary unit celebrates 50 years

Rady Children’s Hospital – Scripps Ranch Auxiliary Unit members enjoy camaraderie while raising funds and supporting Rady Children’s Hospital. (courtesy of Rady Children’s Hospital – Scripps Ranch Auxiliary Unit)

Rady Auxiliary unit celebrates 50 years

By Ashley Shah

This year marks 50 years in which the Rady Children’s Hospital – Scripps Ranch Auxiliary Unit has been serving the hospital. 

Rady Children’s Hospital is a non-profit organization that primarily serves children in San Diego, and there are auxiliary units across San Diego that help raise funds for the hospital and support it in any way they can.

“Across San Diego there are 20 units with about 1,200 members,” said Scripps Ranch Auxiliary Unit Publicity Chair Nancy Fleischman. 

In celebration of their anniversary, the members will have a champagne toast as well as cake prior to their monthly meeting.

“Our celebration will take place on April 18, which is exactly one day before the first ever meeting for the Scripps Ranch auxiliary unit happened 50 years ago,” Fleischman said. 

Current active and supporting members are invited to join.

“We are being cautious about the amount of people because of COVID. We are hoping that for our 55th or 60th anniversary we are able to have old members join as well like we did for our 40th anniversary,” Fleischman said.

The unit was first formed with 35 members. 

Now, there are 30 active members, and 25 supporting members. 

In 50 years, the unit’s mission has stayed the same. However, fundraising, and activities have changed. 

“When the unit first started, they would do horse shows to raise money for the hospital,” Fleischman said. “There were also unit-wide fundraisers that would happen. There was a thrift house, similar to Goodwill or Salvation Army, in which clothes were donated and sold. The proceeds went to the hospital.”

Since those days, the unit, and all units, have grown in the work they do for the hospital. 

“We have a lot of unit-wide fundraisers, and ways to support the hospital. We have the ice-rink at Liberty Station; making brown bags filled with water and food for families waiting in the emergency room; the clothes closet next to the emergency room for kids that need new clothes; and more,” Fleischman said. 

Besides their unit-wide fundraisers and support, each unit in San Diego holds a fundraiser for a center of their choice in the hospital. 

“When the units first started, we weren’t able to choose where we wanted the proceeds to go. Now, we get to choose, which makes the fundraising even more special because we have a connection to the center,” Fleischman said. 

This year, the Scripps Ranch unit will hold its fundraiser on June 4. The members will raise funds for the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. 

“We chose the Peckham Center because we have two children from members in our organization that received treatment from that center. It is so heart-warming to be able to give back to the center that gave so much to us,” Fleischman said. 

The event will take place in the evening. 

“The theme is golfing. We are doing a play on nine holes. We will have our ‘watering hole,’ which will be a bar; cornhole, but with golf balls; and more,” Fleischman said. “There will be opportunity baskets, paddle raising, and opportunities to donate.” 

The unit is hoping to raise $50,000. 

“It really just comes down to how many people come out and support. Brandy [coordinator of the event] has put so much work into the event, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. It is for a great cause as well,” Fleischman said. 

The Scripps Ranch unit has raised $372,610 since it began keeping records in 2001.

“I would be confidently sure that in the past 50 years our unit has raised at least half a million dollars for the hospital,” Fleischman said. 

The Scripps Ranch unit meets once per month from September to June. 

To get involved with any auxiliary unit, contact the auxiliary office at (858) 966-5887. 

“A lot of miracles happen at Rady Children’s Hospital. They think of the most innovative and creative ways to help take care of the kids and their families. It is such a rewarding experience to be a part of an organization that helps out with that,” Fleischman said.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to purchase tickets and help sponsor the Chip’n FORE event. Visit rchascrippsranch.com

Members of the Rady Children’s Hospital – Scripps Ranch Auxiliary Unit during a Cheers for Children event in 2020. (courtesy of Rady Children’s Hospital – Scripps Ranch Auxiliary Unit)