BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — If you've ever wondered what led to the creation of Boca Raton Regional Hospital, it is a story rich with intrigue and community involvement. And one of the major groups behind raising funds to build this hospital is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Here's the story:
It was April of 1962. Debra Ann and James Randall Drummond, children of well-known Boca Raton residents Gloria and Robert Drummond, had died after being poisoned by a neighbor’s child. With no hospital in Boca Raton at that time, the Drummond’s tragedy spurred a groundswell of concern by local residents for the need of a medical facility in the rapidly growing city.
In September of that year, 351 civic-minded residents gathered to charter an organization whose mission would be to raise funds for the creation of a hospital in Boca Raton and subsequently serve as the institution’s volunteer arm. Out of devastating personal loss and pressing community need, the Debbie-Rand Memorial Service League was created. And so too were the fundraising seeds sown that would eventually result in the creation of what is now known as Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
Over the course of the next fifty years, the League’s fundraising efforts would contribute over $30 million to the Hospital. With a current active roster of nearly 1,200 individuals, the D-RMSL constitutes one of the largest hospital-based volunteer organizations in the nation. In the past five decades, League volunteers have given nearly eight million hours of service to the Hospital and the patients it serves.
“From very humble beginnings, the Debbie-Rand Memorial Service League has grown into a critically important component of Boca Regional,” said Debbie Leising, current President of the D-RMSL. “The contributions we have made financially and through volunteer support of the daily operations of the Hospital have played a significant role not only in the building of the institution but also in its evolution to a preeminent, regional referral medical center.”
The League maintains a host of initiatives, such as its well- known Thrift Shoppe and the Hospital Gift shop, which generate funds to support Boca Regional. It also provides volunteer support throughout the Hospital’s patient units, waiting and treatment areas and emergency department.
“In my twenty-five years as a healthcare executive, I have never witnessed such a robust and productive volunteer program,” said Jerry Fedele, President and CEO of Boca Regional. “The Debbie-Rand Memorial Service League is one of the most distinguishing facets of our Hospital and a shining example of the material difference volunteerism can make in so many ways.”