The History of Children's Hospital
The Seattle Children's story began when Anna Clise's 6-year-old son, Willis, died in 1898 of inflammatory rheumatism (acute swelling of the joints).
At the time of Willis' death, only six physicians in the nation focused exclusively on pediatric medicine, and the most established children's hospital was in Philadelphia, 2,800 miles away.
After Willis' death, Anna dreamed of helping other children. Her cousin, a Philadelphia-based physician, advised her to find out what wasn'tbeing done for children in Seattle - and do that.
Anna learned that many children endured treatable bone and joint disorders, caused by common childhood ailments such as rickets, polio and malnutrition, because most families could not afford to pay for treatment. She set her sights on establishing an organization in Seattle to care for these children.
In 1907, she and a group of 23 women founded our first unofficial guild, donating $20 each to establish Children's Orthopedic Hospital Association. Since then, guilds have played an essential role in the evolution of Seatttle Children's:
1911- Funds raised by guild members help build a hospital capable of accommodating 70 patients.
1915- Trustees open a café and a thrift shop to financially support the hospital.
1929- Children's Orthopedic Hospital has 51 guilds. Hospital Association dues, gifts, investment income and volunteer labor make it possible for 90% of patients to receive free care.
1932- The board launches its first Penny Drive, a door-to-door effort used for the next 52 years to raise money for the hospital.
Junior Guild Members circa 1922
1938- The Mary Meyers Guild begins to sell appointment calendars, a fundraising effort still used today.
1950- Trustees and guild members begin a $5 million campaign to build a new hospital.
1987- The board of trustees establishes the Seattle Children's Hospital Guild Association as a separate entity.
2000 to 2003- The Guild Association directs $6 million as a founding gift for the Janet Sinegal Patient Care Building.
2001- Children's embarks on its first major campaign in more than 25 years to raise funds for facilities, uncompensated care and research.
We are a guild associated with Seattle Children's Hospital, we raise funds for uncompensated care for patients so no child is refused treatment because of his families ability to pay. This year we are hosting a virtual 5K, you can buy tickets on our home page or just donate what you can if you don't want to participate in the 5K.