(Extensions of Remarks - April 25, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E547-E548]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                          ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY


                        HON. FRANK PALLONE, JR.

                             of new jersey

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, April 25, 2013

  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the Auxiliary of the 
JFK Medical Center Foundation on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. 
Since 1962, the Auxiliary has provided critical fundraising for special 
projects and contributed countless hours of volunteer service that 
directly impact and improve the lives of patients served by JFK Medical 
Center. Due to the remarkable efforts of the Auxiliary over a half-
century of service, JFK Medical Center has grown into a highly 
respected health care facility that provides clinical excellence to the 
people of Edison Township, Middlesex County, and throughout Central New 
  The Auxiliary actually predates JFK Medical Center by five years. 
Indeed, the idea of building a hospital in Edison was little more than 
a dream of late Edison Mayor Anthony M.

[[Page E548]]

Yelencsics when he called local resident Joanne Wira in March 1962 to 
request her assistance in seeing his vision come to fruition. Mayor 
Yelencsics asked Mrs. Wira to create an Auxiliary to support the 
creation of a hospital that would serve the rapidly expanding 
populations of Edison, Woodbridge, Metuchen, and surrounding 
  Mrs. Wira accepted the challenge and served as the first President of 
the Auxiliary, which held its initial meeting on November 19, 1962 with 
163 women in attendance. The Auxiliary's first pledge was made at that 
meeting: $30,000 to fund the construction of the future hospital's Gift 
Shop and Coffee Shop. This seemed like an enormous undertaking at the 
time, but it has been dwarfed by the subsequent efforts of the 
Auxilians. By the time the hospital opened its doors on August 7, 1967 
as a 205-bed facility (it has since expanded to 498 beds), the 
Auxiliary had contributed over $110,000 in pledges raised from the 
  Over the years, the Auxiliary has contributed significantly to every 
major expansion of JFK Medical Center, including $500,000 towards the 
construction of the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, JRI, in the 
mid-1970s. Over the past three decades, JRI has developed into a 
national leader in rehabilitation care and performs cutting-edge 
research that has benefited patients worldwide, including service 
members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain 
  The Auxiliary's work continues unabated today. At the Auxiliary's 
annual Fall General Meeting in 2012, final payment was made on the most 
recent pledge of $2.5 million, which benefitted the JFK Emergency 
Pavilion Expansion Project. Its cumulative contributions to JFK Medical 
Center now exceed $15 million.
  Unsurprisingly, the Auxilians are not resting on their laurels and 
already are moving forward with raising funds to meet their newest 
pledge of $3 million, the largest pledge to date. These funds are 
earmarked to benefit JFK Medical Center's new 5th floor Maternity and 
Pediatrics facility, which will offer private rooms to every patient so 
as to allow mother and newborn to be physically proximate and extend 
every comfort to fathers and other family members. The Auxiliary has 
presented JFK Medical Center with the first $100,000 contribution 
towards the pledge as it moves seamlessly into its second 50 years.
  Mr. Speaker, the tremendous efforts of the Auxiliary of the JFK 
Medical Center Foundation over the past 50 years are to be highly 
commended. The civic pride and community spirit demonstrated by the 
Auxilians is remarkable. I particularly would like to single out the 
efforts of the Auxiliary leadership, especially current Auxiliary 
President Barbara Braynock and the Auxiliary Board, for volunteering 
their time and effort to this great cause, and note their great 
collaboration with the JFK Board of Directors and President & CEO Ray 
  In closing, Mr. Speaker, I once again would like to congratulate the 
Auxiliary of the JFK Medical Center Foundation for 50 years of 
incredible service to their community. I have no doubt that the next 50 
years will build upon this great legacy.