Guild President's Corner

A Note from the President of the Bridgton Hospital Guild

In 1915, a woman by the name of Clara Fogg left in her will a bequest of seed money to build a sanitarium in Bridgton.  Bridgton was, then as now,  a resort area due to its beautiful lakes and Pleasant Mountain.  At the same time, the medical profession were prescribing "mountain air" as a possible cure for the dreaded and common disease of tuberculosis. It is entirely possible the Clara Fogg had this in mind when she made her bequest.

From this gift, a group of civic-minded people in and around Bridgton organized to raise the funds to add to Clara's seed money.  Those citizens were the forerunners of what eventually became the Bridgton Hospital Guild.  It would take another 25 years to raise the money to obtain the property for a hospital (no longer called a sanitarium) on Maine Street which became known as the  Northern Cumberland Memorial Hospital.  Those tireless fundraisers became known as the Hospital Auxiliary and then, the Guild, when the hospital moved to North High Street  and was re-named Bridgton Hospital.

The Bridgton Hospital Guild is a 100% volunteer organization of men and women that operate two businesses: the Thrift Shop located on Maine Street in Bridgton and the Twitchell Campus Café.  Both shops provide an exceptional community service to the entire region.  The Thrift Shop offers nearly new clothing and housewares for families at modest prices.  It provides assistance to families in distress, such as after a fire or domestic upheaval, and clean clothing to the hospital for rape victims and domestic abuse patients.  The Twitchell Campus Café, located in the "old hospital"  serves breakfast and lunch meals to patient visitors, hospital staff and to the public at large at affordable prices.

The Guild is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization.  One hundred percent of net profits go to benefit Bridgton Hospital and to fund (5) $1,000 scholarships for local high school seniors who will pursue careers in health care or physical therapy.  In October, the Guild presented President David Frum with its annual hospital gift, a check for $38,000.   The money will fund diagnostic and therapeutic capital equipment in 4 areas:  respiratory therapy, physical therapy, in-patient care and the pediatric practice.  In past years, the Guild has funded state-of –the art capital equipment such as a portable ventilator to be used when patients are transferred from Bridgon to another facility; a fetal heart monitor; and an overhead light for the second operating room.  The Guild also equipped the fledgling swing bed program that has now blossomed to a comprehensive rehabilitative program local to home. In the past 10 years, we've contributed over $300,000 to Bridgton Hospital and $30,000 in scholarships.

Guild members donated over 6800 hours last year to achieve these results or an average of 135hours/volunteer.    If you are interested in joining this fantastic organization, please stop by our Thrift Shop or Café and leave your name and contact information or call me, Phyllis Ginzler, at 647-8257.

Phyllis Ginzler, Bridgton Hospital Guild President