Many Groups, Individuals Help To Bring Christmas to Springfield Hospital

December 23, 1954

Trees Provided for All Wards by Brother of Late Dr. Boyer

Not only will each of the 37 wards at Springfield State Hospital be brightened by a decorated Christmas tree, but every dining room and doorway, as well, will glow with their beckoning light.

A gift of one-hundred Christmas trees has been sent to the patients by Dr. S. Meiggs Boyer of Puxsutawney, Pa., in memory of his sister, the late Dr. M. Virginia Boyer, who served the hospital as physician and then as clinical director for 30 years, the first woman to hold the latter post in Maryland’s mental hospital system.

As has long been the custom at Springfield, patients who are well enough to spend the holiday season with family or friends are given convalescent leave. For those who must remain, special effort is made by the staff, employees and the community to bring the warmth and joys of Christmas at home into the hospital.

The rehabilitation of the human spirit is the focus of Christmas activity. To this end every area of the hospital has scheduled a share of parties, dances, and entertainment — the TB unit, the epileptic colony, the very elderly men and women, the medical-surgical patients, the men’s group, the women’s group and the convalescents.

Entertainment is provided by groups of all ages, all religious beliefs, civic, patriotic, service and women’s clubs — people who bring with them the friendly personal interest of good neighbors.

Groups Sponsor Parties

The Junior Red Cross of Baltimore will supply 3500 hundred favors for the Christmas dining halls. The Girl Scouts of America, Troop 494 of Westminster, gave a party for 50 ladies whose ages range from 65 to 93 years. Other elderly ladies were given a Christmas party by the Woman’s Club of Randallstown.

The Bendix Hostesses, the Highland and the Ellicott Chapters of the Order of the Eastern Star and the Howard County Red Cross gave bingo and Christmas parties in the epileptic colony. The Hope Court, Order of the Amaranth, the Gray Ladies of the Carroll County Red Cross and the Lisbon Homemakers will sing carols and also provide a treat and a present for units within the women’s groups.

The Woman’s Auxiliary entertained 100 patients in the Medical Surgical Building, each patient being presented with a cellophane gift bag containing toiletries. In addition, the women were given bed jackets, the men, stretch socks and handkerchiefs.

A Christmas party for 70 disturbed men were given by the Knights of Columbus. The Lutheran Mission will tour the entire hospital with a religious film, sing carols, and give a package of cookies to every patient. The Baltimore Chapter, American Red Cross will entertain the TB patients.

A professional orchestra (Bob Craig’s) volunteered to play for the Annual Christmas Dance in which 500 patients and hospital employees alike participate. A pre-New Year Dance on Dec. 27 will mark the fiftieth appearance since 1951 of Mr. Oscar Apple and members of the Musical Union.

The Springfield Chorus under the direction of Mrs. Camille Almy is scheduled to sing carols on all hospital wards, accompanying the rehabilitation department as it holds a Christmas party for each hospital area. Produced and enacted by the rehabilitation department, too, was the annual Christmas Play given on Dec., 21st, entitled “How Come Christmas”. The cast included Santa and Mrs. Santa Claus, children, and the Nativity Scene.

Two Santa Clauses Busy

Two Santa Clauses will work early and late on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning to be sure that each of the 3500 patients gets a handshake and at least one present. Dr. Robert E. Gardner, superintendent, will bring greetings to all as they assemble in the dining rooms to enjoy their Christmas dinner of:

Roast Maryland turkey, Giblet gravy, celery and sage dressing, whipped potatoes, cranberry sauce, buttered green peas, sauerkraut, candy, nuts, mince pie, mixed fruit, coffee.

To the relatives and friends of Springfield’s family, Dr. Gardner says: “Christmas is a season of miracles that touches the hearts of all men and brightens the world. None other look forward so eagerly to Christmas as do our patients at Springfield. Please help them to realize their eager anticipation and share the true meaning of Christmas day by your visits or remembrances during the holidays. Let us make this the happiest Christmas Springfield has every known.”




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