Hartford Hospital Auxiliary

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HH Auxiliary logo

The Hartford Hospital Auxiliary provides funding for improvements and enhancements throughout the hospital community.

Auxiliary funding benefits patients, family members, visitors, employees, and volunteers.

Through membership dues and donations, fundraising events and store revenues, the Auxiliary funds project grants and annual gifts in all areas of the hospital. It is led by a volunteer, self-governed board of directors that also invests hours of service to maintain the many programs it serves.


Founded in 1921, the Hartford Hospital Auxiliary started its rich history by making bandages, clothing and other items needed by the hospital. During WWII many auxiliary members volunteered their time as nurse’s aides. This allowed the administration to keep open an additional third of the hospital. For nearly 100 years, the Auxiliary continues to grow, change and foster advancements in our hospital system.

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News & Events


  • Hartford Hospital Auxiliary Benefit Golf Tournament


  • Auxiliary Hosted Employee Holiday Party
  • Auxiliary Membership Campaign Kick off


  • Rx for Fun Spring Social Event


  • Annual Meeting

For more news and events, read our Bulletin Newsletters.

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Join Today!

Membership Dues make it possible for the Auxiliary to respond to needs identified by staff, which are not covered under the hospital budget. We fund department initiatives, equipment upgrades, facility improvements, new technology, training, and more, to ultimately benefit patients, family members, visitors, employees, and volunteers.

100% of member donations support project grants and annual gifts throughout the hospital.

Your annual contribution, at any level or amount, makes an impact!

Membership includes:

• 10% discount at the Auxiliary Store (exclusions apply)
• The Bulletin periodical
• News blasts and event invitations

Become a member or renew today!


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Project Grants

The Auxiliary awards department or program grants up to twice annually, typically in fall and spring. Grant awards to hospital projects total over $450,000 annually. Submitted proposals include requests for department initiatives, equipment upgrades, facility improvements, new technology, training, and more. Project Grants directly impact all areas of the Hospital and are chosen following a competitive application and review process.

All funded projects will ultimately benefit patients, family members, visitors, employees, and volunteers. Auxiliary membership dues and donations, fundraising events and store revenues all support project grants and annual gifts to the hospital.

Please see a complete listing of recent projects in the links below, and read more about the many initiatives that have been funded in the Auxiliary Bulletin Newsletters.

View the 2019 Fall Project Grants List

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Annual Gifts

The Auxiliary commits funds and hours of service to support Annual Gifts throughout the Hospital. Membership dues and donations, and fundraising and store revenues fund these annual gifts to ultimately benefit patients, family members, visitors, employees, and volunteers. Some highlights include:

Sons and Daughters Scholarships and Hazel Vail Award

For Children of Employees

Hazel Vail
Hazel Vail pictured with Maura Donahue, first Hazel Vail Award Recipient in 2016

In 1968, the Auxiliary established the scholarship fund for children of Hartford Hospital employees. Today, the Auxiliary funds up to $75,000 annually in undergraduate scholarships for children of employees. The Sons and Daughters Scholarships are competitive, one-time, merit-based awards of $1,000 to $10,000.

The top award of up to $10,000, is given in honor of Hazel Vail, an Auxiliary Board Member from 1992 to 2015. Established in 2016, this award honors Hazel, a Hartford Hospital volunteer since 1979, who has dedicated over 15,000 hours of service.

To apply, employees can visit the Hartford Hospital intranet under Human Resources | Employee Services & Programs | Sons & Daughters / Hazel Vail Scholarships

Read to Grow “Books for Babies”

books for babies
Read to Grow Volunteer (and Auxiliary Board member) Patti Maciag meets with new parents Karalyn and Devon to deliver information packet and welcome baby Ben.

The Auxiliary funds the early childhood literacy initiative at Hartford Hospital. This $30,000 annual commitment, implemented by the Auxiliary Board in 2008, brought the Connecticut-based Read to Grow “Books for Babies” program to the hospital. Literacy information is provided to new moms, trained volunteers meet with parents and families, and books are provided for newborns and siblings.

“Books for Babies” helps parents understand how books and reading play a role in developing language skills. It is an effective and powerful strategy that directly serves the over 3500 babies born each year at Hartford Hospital. Auxiliary members also donate nearly 1,000 books annually to the Read to Grow statewide program.

Employee Holiday Party

The Auxiliary commits $10,000 towards the cost of this annual December event. Working with the hospital Human Resources Department since 1980, Auxiliary board members volunteer to make this a special day for staff.

Holiday Party
Auxiliary Board members on hand to support kitchen staff in keeping the food well stocked and ready for employees.
Holiday PartyLunch is served!

Fresh Flowers

The Auxiliary has played an active role in enhancing the physical appearance of our hospital spaces since the 1930’s. Today, the Auxiliary provides fresh flowers for the main lobby and multi-faith chapel. Arrangements are updated monthly and purchased through the Auxiliary Store florist to brighten the spaces throughout the year.

VolunTeen Scholarship

Since 2004 and in support of Volunteer Services, the Auxiliary funds an annual Volunteer Scholarship to a deserving high school senior who is a VolunTeen at Hartford Hospital. Eligible VolunTeens must be planning to pursue a medical or healthcare related field of study.

Handmade Gifts

Crocheted for our Patients

Handmade Gifts Crocheted for our PatientsHandmade Gifts Crocheted for our Patients

In collaboration with Volunteer Services, the Auxiliary has funded the yarn for the crochet and knitting program since the mid 1980’s. Currently, members of the Aetna Volunteer Council give their time and talents to create lap afghans, caps, baby afghans, and baby hats for Hartford Hospital patients.

Handmade Gifts Crocheted for our Patients

Bereavement Support

Fetal and Infant Loss

Hartford Hospital’s Women’s Health Services work to support families experiencing fetal and infant loss. Together, the Bereavement Team, Labor and Delivery, Postpartum, and High Risk Obstetrics provide supportive materials and memories for the grieving families. Upon hearing of these unique and caring memory boxes assembled and funded by the nurses themselves, the Auxiliary began funding them in 2017.

Institute of Living Holiday Gifts

Beginning in 2017, holiday gifts were delivered to children and adolescent patients in the IOL. An annual commitment of $1500 was made by the Auxiliary to provide games, puzzles, arts and crafts, and personal items.

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Fundraising Events and Activities

100% of Auxiliary Fundraising Events and Proceeds from Revenue Generating Activities Directly Benefit the Hospital Community


Auxiliary Benefit Golf Tournament

One of the finest outings in the region, the Hartford Hospital Auxiliary Benefit Golf Tournament has raised over $5M since its inception 30 years ago.

2019 Golf Tournament2019 Golf Tournament

This annual event is the Auxiliary’s largest fundraising endeavor and a wonderful celebration of the hospital and its supporters. A program beneficiary is designated each year and proceeds make a significant impact to the hospital. Scheduled in September, the tournament is now hosted at the Hartford Golf Club in West Hartford. Hospital volunteers participate from various departments and generous sponsors and supporters contribute to the tournament’s success.

2019 Golf Tournament2019 Golf Tournament

For more information on the upcoming tournament and sponsorship, donation and volunteer opportunities, please contact Lori Flaks (Lbflaks@yahoo.com) or Virginia Van Dyk (virginiavandyk@yahoo.com).

Read about recent Auxiliary Benefit Golf Tournaments in our Bulletin Newsletters.

Rx for Fun

Rx for Fun, 2019
2019 Rx for Fun at Montana Nights to benefit CESI

For over 10 years, “Rx for Fun” has brought Auxiliary members and friends together to raise money and awareness for a designated hospital project or department.

A $10,000 check is presented annually at this fun spring event.

Read about recent Rx for Fun events in our Bulletin Newsletters.

The Auxiliary Store

The Auxiliary Store

The Auxiliary Store is a custom gift shop experience with a rich history. Conceived to serve the comfort of the patient and raise funds for the benefit of the hospital, the Auxiliary opened the original store in 1943 in the Brownstone Building and soon expanded into the “new” South Building. By 1948, a store cart known as The Yankee Pedlar was introduced to serve patient rooms on the expanding campus. The Store became a model for success and was visited by Auxiliaries and administrators from around the country. In June 1972, the official ribbon cutting ceremony of the Auxiliary Store marked the first occupant of the new Bliss Wing.

For over 70 years, Auxiliary members and volunteers gave endless hours of service to staff the store and cart. For continuity in store hours and revenue, the Auxiliary partnered with a professional management company in 2015. The Auxiliary is now partnered with Lori’s Gifts, the nation’s largest hospital gift shop specialist, to provide the best in visitor service and selection. An online shop is now available for the convenience of patients and well-wishers.

The Auxiliary continues its oversight of the Store and all Auxiliary proceeds directly benefit the many projects and gifts awarded throughout the hospital community.

Shop Online, Hours of Operation and More Info ››

The Lobby Café

Au Bon Pain Cafe

The lobby café, Au Bon Pain, offers a convenient space for visitors and staff to take a break. The café serves salads, sandwiches and desserts, and also provides catering options for hospital meetings and group gatherings.

The Auxiliary opened the first permanent café, Streetscape Café, in 2002 to serve staff and visitors and to raise funds to support hospital projects. In 2010, Au Bon Pain opened in the space. The Auxiliary continues to receive fees from the café for the benefit of the hospital community.

Hours of Operation >>

Baby Portraits

Since 1948, the Auxiliary has sponsored professional baby portraits to provide families with special pictures in the first days of their newborn’s life. Mr. Schaller, the hospital’s original photographer, was a staple in the Maternity Department for the first 20 years! The tradition continues today under contracted services of Bella Baby Photography. Highest quality photos from the comfort of the hospital room capture this once in a lifetime memory. The program raises nearly $10,000 annually and directly benefits the hospital community.

Hospital portraits of Sara Quadrato, Nurse Manager and new mom to baby Justin and big brother Evan.

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Bulletin Newsletters

HHA-Bulletin View past issues of the Hartford Hospital Auxiliary Bulletin

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Board of Directors (2019-20)


Co-Presidents: Shelley Dodd, Marri Fairbanks
VP Projects: Gretchen Haimes
Recording Secretary: Virginia Van Dyk
Corresponding Secretary: Cindy Klein
Treasurer: Jane Robinson
Assistant Treasurer: Falguni Patel
VP Public Relations: Julie LeBlanc
VP Retail Operations: Christina Rossi
VP Membership: Lynn Robinson
Immediate Past President & Nominating: Jennifer Wedeles

Committee Chairpersons

Annual Meeting: Paige Abrams, Jen Pace
Bulletin & Website: Kim Shea
Employee Holiday Party: Cornelia Hull
Golf Tournament Chairs: Lori Flaks, Virginia Van Dyk, Patti Maciag
Golf Tournament Auction/Raffle: Alison Keating
Golf Tournament Volunteer Coordinators: Robin Kriesberg, Jen Pace
Hospital Liaisons: Erin Healer, Susanne Yeakel
Membership: Christine Bennett
Read to Grow: Patti Maciag
Rx for Fun Annual Event: Jillian Puzzo, Amy Steinberg
Scholarship Fund: Linda Atkins, Kim Conrad
IOL Liaison: Hilary Allen, Kathy Herzog

Members Ex-Officio

Bimal Patel
President, Hartford Hospital
Hartford Region Senior Vice President, Hartford HealthCare

Carol Garlick, CFRE
Vice President, Philanthropy, Hartford Hospital

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Contact the Auxiliary