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A Salute to The Cooper Foundation Women’s Board Committee

Women' s Board

Members of the Women’s Board Committee From Right to Left: Joan Kelly, Cathy Sharrar, Grace Barr, Fran Gates, Marian Wissman and Tina Cressman. Not Pictured: Marlene Ances, Eileen Archer, Mary Berardi, Marilyn Cohen, Penny Ferrara, Eleanor Gaines, Judith Heuisler, Janet Houston, Anne-Marie Katz, Barbara McMaster, Ruth Palmer, Betsy Sullivan, Ann Thomas and Laura Zank.

It was 1919 when a volunteer Auxiliary of community women came together to support the work of the caregivers at Cooper Hospital.

Since then, the Auxiliary has grown to become the Women’s Board Committee of The Cooper Foundation and has raised millions of dollars for the Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper as well as other hospital initiatives.

Over the decades, Board members have organized flower markets, charity balls, and even a horse show held at the old Garden State Park, all to benefit Cooper. They also ran the Cooper gift shop and coffee shop for nearly 40 years.

In recent years, the Board played an instrumental role in helping to fund renovations to the pediatric unit in the hospital’s Kelemen building, making it a brighter place to be for our littlest patients.

The Board is especially fortunate to have the contributions of longtime members Eleanor Gaines and Ruth Palmer, who have been involved with Cooper since the 1940s.

Ruth began as a member of the Cooper Junior Auxiliary and Eleanor joined the Auxiliary as a Cooper nurse, having attended Cooper’s nursing school. Eleanor, who remains active with the Cooper Nurses Alumni Association, is credited with beginning the pediatric Christmas party, a tradition that continues today.

Thank you, Eleanor and Ruth, for dedicating a lifetime to Cooper.

And thank you to all of the members of the Women’s Board Committee for everything you do for the women and children of South Jersey!