The history of The League for Crippled Children
The League celebrated 70 years of service to children with special needs, birth to twenty-one in counties of Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The League continues to provide free clinics in orthopedics, cerebral palsy, braces and orofacial anomalies, including cleft lip and palate. The League also provides speech/language and physical therapy evaluations and therapy. The League receives no federal or state funds and operates strictly through donations, fundraisers, memorials and bequests. A volunteer board of directors consisting of prominent businessmen and women governs the organization. Senator J. Glenn Beall Jr. has been president for twenty-five years. An executive director oversees the overall functioning with an administrative assistant and a financial assistant. There is a fulltime speech/language pathologist and a contract physical therapist. The League is currently soliciting a fulltime speech therapist. In addition to the free clinics, the League provides financial assistance to families traveling to Baltimore, Washington and Morgantown etc. for appointments and surgery. This includes stipends for lodging, food, and transportation. Properly fitting shoes are purchased to accommodate orthotics. Medical supplies and special devises and equipment are purchased as necessary for the children. Corrective shoes, braces, crutches, wheelchairs, x-rays etc. are also provided as needed. The League also has a loan closet for durable medical equipment to the community.
Allegany County was removed from the League name to encourage fundraising in other counties of Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The new name is: The League for Crippled Children Inc. Dr. Michael Ain joined the League as one of four devoted physicians.
Dr. Mueller resigned to move with his family to Ohio.
Mueller replaced Dr. vonKessler as League physician.
Way back 1999
fundraiser with the help of Earl Nonnenmann and Dorothy Emerson.
From 1979 up t0 1971
Miss Henrietta Lippold retired after fifteen years as executive secretary for the League. Mrs. Dorothy Emerson R.N. assumed the role of executive secretary. Senator J. Glenn Beall Sr. died after eleven years as president. George Schwarzenbach became president.
The League’s new home was established at the Allegany County Health Department, 12500 Willowbrook Road, Cumberland, Md. This remains the home of the League today.
Dr. Jack Harvey joined the League staff.
Dr. George Eaton died. He served as League clinician for more than forty- three years. Dr. Edmond J. McDonnell succeeded him.
Senator J. Glenn Beall Jr. becomes League president following the untimely death of Mr. Schwarzenbach.
Dr. Charles Silberstein replaced Dr. McDonnell as League physician. He says that he must have seen every knock-kneed, pigeon toed, bow legged kid in the whole area. They saw 109 children that day.
1960 - 1968
Miss Henrietta Schwarzenbach died but not before seeing this accomplishment. She had attended every clinic since 1934. Senator J. Glenn Beall Sr. assumed role as president of the League.
Dr. Bennett died after thirty-five years of service to our children. The first station wagon purchased for League purposes.
Dr. Phelps retired after more than twenty-five years of service to children with cerebral palsy.
Dr. Thomas Hunt joined the League staff after a visit to the League to examine some of Dr. Phelps patients.
Dr. Frederick Hansen succeeded Dr. Kitlowski in conducting plastic surgery clinics. Dr. Weinberg retired after twenty-four years of service. He was succeeded by Dr. Kirby vonKessler.
Mr. William Hunt, Secretary of the Board of Directors died.
1959 - 1941
The former City Jail was remodeled to become the new home of the League, thanks to efforts of Mayor Harry Irvine, Cumberland City Council & the County Commissioners.
Dr. David Weinberg joined the League staff of physicians. Dr. Eaton was away in the army. Mr. William Hunt became Secretary for the Board of Directors.
The tenth anniversary celebration at Cumberland Country Club was held May 26, 1944, honoring Dr. George Bennett. The cost of a ticket was $2.50. The first theatrical production by the Cumberland Elks Lodge No. 63.was held.
Financial support from Community Chest stopped due to the levying of too many restrictions and their desire to control expenditures.
Inauguration of annual “Easter Seal Campaign” to raise funds for operating
The first Speech Therapy Program began.
A fulltime speech therapist was hired to the professional staff.
Regular monthly brace clinics were established through sponsorship of the Cumberland Exchange Club. Denison Orthopedic Co. from Baltimore visited
the League office to fit children for braces. Cedric D. Denison was the orthotist in charge. Robert Denison came to help his father at age sixteen.
League president, Miss Schwarzenbach was elected President of Maryland
Society for Crippled Children and Adults.
1954 The League celebrated twenty years of service to the community. A celebration was held at the Cumberland Country Club May 20, 1954.
Due to the many bequests to the League, investments were made which was the beginning of the reserve fund.
Miss Annan retired as executive secretary after nineteen years. She was
succeeded by Miss Henrietta Lippold R.N..
The League celebrated twenty-five years of service to residents of Allegany County. A “silver anniversary” celebration was held at the Cumberland Country Club June 1, 1959.
The Allegany County League for Crippled Children, with Miss Henrietta Schwarzenbach as President, was founded. A few years after the Allegany League was founded the volume of work had increased to such an extent that it was decided to sub-divide the services for crippled children. Dr. George O. Eaton and Dr. Edwin Weinberg volunteered to help with the clinics. Dr. Winthrop M. Phelps had just come to Baltimore from Connecticut and was limiting his work to children afflicted with spastic paralysis or birth injury. He willingly offered his help to children needing his particular care and attention. Dr. Edward A. Kitlowski joined the group to establish a clinic for children in need of plastic surgery.
The cooperation of the Department of Health of the City of Cumberland and of Allegany County with the Maryland State Department of Health offered invaluable help to the League over the years. The health officer and nurses
employed by the Health Department were another valuable asset to the League. Mr. Robert C. Thompson, of the Vocational Rehabilitation Service, worked hand-in-hand with the League to guide children in educational endeavors and job placement in the community.
The Maryland League was supported chiefly by the Baltimore Community Chest. When the counties were asked to assume responsibility for their own costs, it was a major step for the League. This was the deciding factor for this organization to be formed. The Allegany County League for Crippled Children, a private, non-profit 501(c) 3 organization, was incorporated. Miss Schwarzenbach was elected president. Mr. William A.
Gunter secured the charter, filed the certificate of incorporation and drew up the by-laws. The signers of the charter were: Mr. Thomas Finan, Dr. Joseph P. Franklin, Mrs. J.C. Cobey, Mr. J. William Hunt, Mrs. Sarah R. Getty, Mr. Morris Rosenbaum, Mr. William A. Gunter, Mrs. Lloyd Shaw, Mrs. George W. Legge, J. Glenn Beall Sr. and Mrs. Ralph Bretz. The first vice president was Morris Rosenbaum, he resigned and his vacancy was filled by Mr. Tasker G.Lowndes. Thomas Finan was the first treasurer. After his death, Dr. Frank M. Wilson became treasurer.
The Maryland League for Crippled Children laid the groundwork for the activities of the Allegany League and continued to serve in an advisory capacity. Although the main purpose was raising funds, the newly formed League pledged themselves to locate all crippled children within the counties boundaries, maintain a register of such and effect their physical rehabilitation time and skill to achieve what has seemed in many instances miraculous. The education needs of the children. A sponsor campaign was initiated. 7500 letters were mailed to county residents soliciting their help.
A fulltime physical therapist was employed by the League. Home treatment programs were established. A second-hand car was purchased for transportation throughout the county. License for the vehicle cost $12.21.
The League office was set up at 59 Pershing St. The first executive secretary employed, Miss Mildred AngleR.N. She resigned after six months and Miss Vivian Lambert Annan R.N. was her replacement.
The Cerebral Palsy Program in Allegany County was started in December, with a combined clinic with Dr. Bennett. At this time the children with cerebral palsy were segregated from the rest of the crippled children’s program. Clinics were held two times per year. Miss Georg and Miss
Campbell were the two physiotherapists caring for these children. A parent’s club was formed, helping the improvement of the children through combined efforts. Dr. Winthrop Phelps joined the League. Children were referred to Denison’ s Orthotics of Baltimore for braces.
The first plastic surgery clinic was held, as there was a need for children with burns, cleft lip and cleft palate. The Plastic Surgery Program was formed.
Dr. Edward Kitlowski was the physician. Hospitals participating were:
Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Union Memorial Hospital and Kernan Hospital.
1931 - 1926
Dr. Baer died unexpectedly. A great loss for the organization.
Dr. George O. Eaton joined as League clinician.
This began what proved to be one of the most outstanding examples of charity and constructive welfare in the State of Maryland and perhaps elsewhere. The concept of the establishment of clinics in the counties of Maryland has been attributed to Dr. William S. Baer, first chief of orthopedic surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and founder of the Children’s Hospital School and his associate, Dr. George E. Bennett, with the support of strong foresighted civic leaders. Shortly after the Lonaconing clinic, a second clinic was held at the Elks home in Frostburg. All crippled children in the county, whose families were unable to pay for treatment necessary to assure such children useful, happy lives and thereby reduced to negligible the risk of these unfortunate children from becoming burdens on the county and state. Dr. William S. Baer established a similar clinic in Cumberland. Dr. Bennett assisted him in the tremendous work ahead of them. So many children were brought to the clinic that it was necessary to have two clinics a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Dr. Bennett felt that this service was second to none in the United States. Miss Mary E. Church was then Executive Secretary of the Maryland League for Crippled Children and Adults. She was responsible for obtaining records, keeping notes making hospital accommodations and supplying braces as necessary.
In 1926, Miss Ann Sloan of Lonaconing, Maryland visited the office of Dr. George E. Bennett in Baltimore, Maryland. This was not a professional call but a mission of interest in the crippled children of Allegany County. For a long time, Miss Sloan realized that these children were not receiving proper medical treatment. She asked Dr. Bennett to arrange for a young doctor to come to Allegany County and conduct an orthopedic clinic. She assured Dr. Bennett that her friends would assist in the work and the Health Department would co-operate in every possible way. In November 1926, Dr. George E. Bennett visited Miss Sloan’s home and with the assistance of friends and Mrs. Isabelle Thompson Loughlin of the Allegany County Health Department, the first clinic was held. Nearly ninety children were seen on that day. Many of them were badly in need of operative and other treatment. This was the beginning of what was to be for Dr. Bennett one of the most gratifying accomplishments of his professional life.1926 In 1926, Miss Ann Sloan of Lonaconing, Maryland visited the office of Dr. George E. Bennett in Baltimore, Maryland. This was not a professional call but a mission of interest in the crippled children of Allegany County. For a long time, Miss Sloan realized that these children were not receiving proper medical treatment. She asked Dr. Bennett to arrange for a young doctor to come to Allegany County and conduct an orthopedic clinic. She assured Dr. Bennett that her friends would assist in the work and the Health Department would co-operate in every possible way. In November 1926, Dr. George E. Bennett visited Miss Sloan’s home and with the assistance of friends and Mrs. Isabelle Thompson Loughlin of the Allegany County Health Department, the first clinic was held. Nearly ninety children were seen on that day. Many of them were badly in need of operative and other treatment. This was the beginning of what was to be for Dr. Bennett one of the most gratifying accomplishments of his professional life.
HOW CAN I HELP?
Either call The League at 301-759-5200 so we can make arrangements to receive your donation or
Willowbrook Office Complex
12501 Willowbrook Road
PO Box 267
Cumberland, MD 21501-0267
8:30am - 4:30pm