Health auxiliary pledges $1M toward recovery center

Submitted photo
Julie Davis, center, the new president of Western Maryland Health Services Auxiliary, signs the $1 million pledge. The WMHS Auxiliary unanimously supported the decision to make this multi-year commitment, which was kicked off with a $400,000 check presented by immediate Past President Sherry Schmitt, left, and will continue through Davis’s two-year term and into the term of President-elect Kim Kremer, right.

CUMBERLAND, Md. — For the second time in recent history, the Western Maryland Health System Auxiliary’s leadership team has pledged $1 million in support of new advances at WMHS.

Sacred Heart and Memorial Auxiliaries combined to form the WMHS Auxiliary in 2005, and since, then the organization has given more than
$2.75 million to the health system, through multiyear pledges and cash donations.

This year’s commitment, signed in May at the spring membership dinner, was unanimously approved by the 200-member organization, according to a news release.

The funds are earmarked to support construction and operation of the new yet-to-be-named WMHS recovery center for individuals battling opioid addiction or other substance abuse and behavioral health issues.

A $400,000 gift was the first payment of a total $1 million pledge that will help fund the residential step-down facility, which will provide resources to patients reintegrating into the community and will enhance the Allegany County continuum of care for mental health and substance abuse patients.

Though the auxiliary’s initial intent was to dedicate proceeds from this year’s Snow Ball — $100,000 — toward the center, the size of the gift grew in proportion to the amount needed for construction and operation. After consulting their treasurer, Sharon Livengood, the board was able to allocate funds from their investments and other fundraisers toward this year’s gift of $400,000, the first installment in the $1 million pledge. The commitment also gives the Auxiliary naming rights over the new facility.

Incoming Auxiliary President Julie Davis, fire administration officer for the city of Cumberland Fire Department, agreed.

The pledge will also fall under the direction of President-elect Kim Kremer, who will succeed Davis.