A flower market stood in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower and the smell of pastries filled the air at The Mathis Guild Luncheon at the Kitsap Golf and Country Club.
The Mathis Guild started in 1961 as a handful of friends gathered to support the hospital.
The guild’s founding members named the guild in honor of Dr. Maurice S. Mathis, a robust down-to-earth man who held community close to his heart. Dr. Mathis served as CEO of Franklin Delano Roosevelt Hospital, which after World War II merged with Harrison Hospital and is now St. Michael Medical Center. While the group’s activities have changed over the years, the enthusiasm for friendship and dedication to community services remains unwavering.
The Guild chose to direct the $45,000 raised at this year’s event to upgrade the hospital’s therapeutic pool operating system. Guild Co-Presidents, Jennifer Mentor Mills and Judy Mentor Eagleson, sisters and local business owners welcomed 150 attendees to the annual event on May 12. Guests were given a glass of champagne when they arrived to get them excited about the lavish silent and dessert auctions. They also had an opportunity to buy raffle tickets and bid on wines. But it was the cause that brought all these women together.
“Our guild often focuses our fundraising efforts on programs that benefit women and children. We chose the therapy pool because it’s one of those places in the hospital that spans all types of care and is one of its kind on the Peninsula,” Jennifer says. “Kids who have had treatments, surgeries or live with conditions that make mobility difficult rely upon the therapy pool.”
The new equipment will include additional underwater cameras and a new computer. It will give the rehabilitation medicine team programs that are specifically designed for pediatric aquatic therapy. This type of therapy can help kids with conditions like cerebral palsy and spina bifida help improve muscle strength and coordination. It can also help kids who are recovering from surgery or an injury rebuild their strength.
“Supporting rehabilitative care means improving patients’ lives in and outside the hospital. It’s important work and we’re honored to help patient families in our community live healthier and happier lives,” Judy says. “We’re very happy to help the providers at St. Michael Medical Center give patients the very best care.”
Jennifer and Judy offer exceptional recognition to their fellow guild members for the hundreds of hours they gave to put the Parisian-themed event together.
“Our members are very active go above and beyond our vision for events and community building. Our ability to work together makes our events a great success,” Jennifer says.
The Mathis Guild is made up of 42 women who work together year-round to make their fundraisers a success. The co-presidents were exceptionally complimentary of their decoration committee, led by Coreen Haydock, Laurie Johnson and Danna Pristach, whose efforts brought the event to life.
The sisters also stress the importance of community support and specifically hospital support.
“We were so fortunate to grow up with such strong community-minded women in our family,” Judy says.
Jennifer and Judy’s grandmother, Seleta Mentor Miller, worked in the hospital gift shop for many years and their mother, Joan Mentor Carter, was one of the founding Mathis Guild members and remains a member today. The commitment appears to be carrying down to the next generation with Jennifer’s daughter Sophia volunteering at the event.
“Joining the Mathis Guild was natural for us and we truly enjoy working together to work with the amazing women in the Guild to support our hospital. It is by working together that we made a great hospital an exceptional one,” Jennifer says.
The members are already back at work planning next year’s event set for April 19, 2024.