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FUND-RAISING BECOMES A WAY OF LIFE
Local fund-raising continued while the puzzle contests and arguments with the IRS ran their course. Dr. Gould, for example, spent many evenings calling on his colleagues and asking for their support. There were a few resisters, some who didn't want to turn their initial loans into gifts, and one or two who thought the whole thing was a real estate scheme.
But on the whole, Dr. Gould was successful. He was well liked and respected. As his daughter, Lindsay Ann Gould Schaefer, put it, "Anyone that knew him knew he was very conservative financially, so anybody he talked to probably would have believed him!"
The young Miss Gould did her part, too. "I was over in school in eastern Washington," she recalled, "and I knew that this [hospital] was my father's heart's desire. I was very naive about financial things, too, and I thought that if I could just enter a current ad [contest] I might win it. You had to send in a slogan with each one and ideas for advertising. I sent in about 30 of those so that I could contribute to my father's dream.
"I didn't win, but it was moral support. Fortunately, he had a lot more practical help out there!"
By the late 1950s, fund-raising efforts were more public and more polished. Bill Speidel had been retained in March 1957, to handle the major gifts and memorials drive and advertising. Neal Tourtellotte was elected to the board and put in charge of the building-fund drive. Dr. Koutsky raised several thousand dollars' worth of pledges from doctors in the area. Roy Campbell headed up the special gifts committee, which sought large donations from businesses. Keith Jackson of KOMO-TV and Al Cummings of KING were elected to the board and put to work on publicity. Byron Lane, as advance gifts chairman, exhorted "zone leaders" to "get going now!" Board member Ery Parent's team was "pointing the way," with a kick-off dinner for his group of 40; they'd need a lot of enthusiasm to reach their goal of $100,000 by January 1, 1958, and the incentive was dinner and drinks, bought by any team of 10 men that didn't meet its goal for the teams that did. J. J. Jackson worked with local civic and service clubs.
The board made a 20-minute movie that began with the ticking of a watch and an announcer ominously declaring: "This is a street in North Seattle. It's quiet now, almost deserted. Everything seems as usual. The families who live in these houses could not have known, but in their midst [a predator] walks. His name is ... Time. A doctor knows that time wears two faces. He uses time in the diagnosis and treatment of disease ... but often prays that it will not overtake him in his fight to save a life."
The point, of course, was that with a hospital in North Seattle, time would be on the doctor's side.
One brochure exhorted people to "Be a Lifesaver." "Rx Action!," another brochure, was aimed at memorial giving and described the proposed hospital as "new in design and fresh in concept — nearly every patient will have 'a room with a view," and these rooms would be "reassuringly home-like."
Word was starting to get around. An insurance company suggested selling $5000 life insurance policies to prospective donors with the proceeds used to pay their contributions. A jukebox distributor offered to put jukeboxes in North End supermarkets and give half the proceeds to Northwest Memorial. (The trustees rejected both proposals.)
Doctors and druggists had their own campaign. The druggists were an independent group, defying official board organization. Board meeting minutes reveal that "the druggists reported through Dr. Koutsky they will have a meeting this coming Friday and asked that the board keep the pressure off and they will run their own campaign and do it successfully designed to meet their own needs."
Newspapers started carrying articles about the fund drives and stressing the need for the hospital. The February 20, 1958 Shoreline Reporter reported that Drs. Richard E. Rust and Thomas Corlew, "members of a special North End doctors' committee to raise funds for the Northwest Memorial Hospital ... emphasized they did not believe in 'scaring people' into building a hospital, still their experiences serve to point out the immediate and urgent need, not only for more hospital beds generally, but for an adequate sized (sic) hospital to specifically serve the needs of North End residents."
Dr. Rust told of a patient with acute appendicitis. "A rupture was feared at any moment. The man was in considerable pain. An immediate operation was vital," the paper reported, but it took Dr. Rust seven tries before he could find a hospital to take his patient. Dr. Corlew faced a similar situation with a patient with abdominal bleeding. "Her face was chalky, her pulse thready and fast. There was not an instant to be lost," but he had to convince a North End hospital to take her, and they had nowhere to put her but the pediatrics ward. 'But what else could we do?' asked Dr. Corlew. It was the nearest — in fact the only hospital in the North End and the pediatrics ward was absolutely the only place in which another bed could be put."
What the hospital needed now, the board realized, was a broader base of support. Bill Speidel was given the task of organizing a campaign to solicit $10, $25, and $50 donations. As board member Fred Baker pointed out, a fund raising campaign would identify the people of the community with the hospital in a way an auxiliary could not at that time: who would be interested in being an auxiliary to a piece of vacant ground?
By May 15, according to the Seattle Daily Times, there were 300 women knocking on doors in the Shoreline School District asking for donations from their neighbors.
The first guilds were an outgrowth of these early door-to-door campaigns. Ruth McCloy, whom the board had retained to handle publicity and to organize auxiliaries, sent postcard questionnaires to all the volunteers who worked on the Shoreline drive. She met in June 1958, with Harriet Oneal, Edna Wylie, and June Cleary, and by September the four women had organized the Westover, Maywood, and The Pines guilds. Together, these guilds were known as the Women's Association of Northwest Memorial Hospital.
"By May 1959," Mrs. McCloy wrote to the board, "the all-guilds meeting brought almost two hundred women from ten guilds together for a program at one of the North End public schools."
In 1959, Mrs. McCloy developed a "President's Council," or executive board, of all the guilds to allow them to "multiply almost indefinitely and still be tightly enough organized so that they will be a genuine asset to the hospital in the future."
Because guilds were primarily local neighborhood groups, Mrs. McCloy also began to organize auxiliaries. These groups would not provide volunteer labor once the hospital was built, but their larger membership offered excellent fund-raising potential. One of the first auxiliaries, the Nightinguild, was composed entirely of registered nurses. Another, with Sally Gould, Dr. Gould's wife, as president, and Mrs. Reuben Nelson as vice president, was the Caritas Guild, a group of doctors' wives.
The board, recognizing the contribution the guilds and auxiliaries were making to the hospital, asked the women to elect a representative to serve on the board. "I was that person," said Winnie Hageman, "and they just kept re-electing me (little knowing the trouble I'd cause!). I thought it was a really unique opportunity. Most boards [at that time] were primarily men, so for about 13 years I was the only woman on the board."
Mrs. Hageman, who has been a trustee ever since, first became involved in Northwest Memorial Hospital at the urging of her obstetrician, Dr. Reuben Nelson. "He had a painting of this hospital [in his office]," she said. "We were starting our family then and, of course, at that time I was really interested in having something closer than Swedish, which is where I was going. He was so enthusiastic. He asked me if I would be interested in trying to get some women together to help raise money. We started with small groups of women ringing doorbells. In truth I don't think we raised much money, but we raised an awareness."
At the first all-guilds meeting in 1959, the Women's Association presented the board a check for $1,300 — not "much," perhaps, but the beginnings of what was to become a truly outstanding hospital-volunteer organization that today includes 370 men and women who donate 50,000 hours of volunteer labor to the hospital and raise some $60,000 a year.
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