The Advisory Board of Silver Cross Hospital is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Encore “resale” Shop. Formed in 1891, the Advisory Board is also celebrating 120 years of service to Silver Cross Hospital—a 100 Top Hospital in the nation for the past 7 years.
In 1891, 15 women from Silver Cross Hospital’s founding organization—Will County Union of King’s Daughters and Sons, were chosen by the Silver Cross Hospital Board of Trustees to serve as the Board of Lady Managers. In 1935, they changed their name to the Advisory Board. Their mission was to raise money for construction and advise on the formation of the Joliet hospital, which opened in 1895.
From the very first meeting on July 6, 1891, members were responsible for the internal management of the 33-bed hospital. “At that time, the members made decisions on room furnishing, provisions, finance, nursing personnel, and even the doctors,” said Nancy Allen, Advisory Board President. Whatever the hospital needed—an operating room cart, a washing machine or cash just to pay the bills, our members found the means to provide.”
A Legacy of Giving
In the early years, the Advisory Board begged cash everywhere they went: at the steel mills, quarries, stores, offices, all through the county and even the penitentiary. After many fund raising events, which included trolley donations, cake walks and even selling a donated horse, the Advisory Board opened a resale shop in 1961. Called the Encore Shop, the thrift store was located in a two-story house on Walnut Street across from the current Joliet Emergency Department. Today, the Shop is still located on Walnut Street and just north of the Silver Cross Hospital’s Emergency Department. The Shop is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and the first Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Since opening the Encore Shop doors on Nov. 1, 1961, the Advisory Board has donated over $1 million to Silver Cross Hospital for state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. The members recently completed a $75,000 pledge to fund the water feature in the Serenity Garden at the replacement hospital opening on February 26. 2012.
“We like to think that our shop helps many people,” says Allen. “The hospital coffers of course, those who buy our merchandise, those who have been hospitalized and because of accident or fire have lost their clothes, and those who are in the process of clearing their closet shelves.”
Friends, family, hospital employees and the community keep the Encore Shop in business through contributions of clothing, household items, antiques and collectibles.
Fifty members volunteer their time to sell donated items. The current Advisory Board Officers are Nancy Allen, President; Kay Hegarty, Vice President; Roberta Rand, Second Vice President; Marilynn Plese, Recording Secretary; Annie Cardwell, Corresponding Secretary; Elaine Boros, Treasurer; and Kay Collins, Encore Shop Treasurer.
To celebrate the momentous occasion, members will gather for a luncheon on Nov 10 at Silver Cross Hospital. Past presidents will be honored and a $5,000 gift will be presented to Silver Cross. In addition, special sales will be featured in the Encore Shop Nov. 1, 2, 4 and 5. For more information, call contact Volunteers Services at Silver Cross Hospital at (815) 300-7117.