Assistance League of Pomona Valley has been serving the local communities since 1932. Originally Pomona Valley Hospital was the beneficiary of surplus earned by the hardworking volunteers. The spirited women called themselves the “Fruit and Flower Mission” and eventually under the guidance of Mrs. Paul Endicott, chartered the hospital auxiliary (1937). During World War II, the women made bandages at the hospital and decorated rooms when the hospital expanded. They bought an incubator for the nursery to be used free of charge for those unable to pay. Therefore, this chapter actually began the volunteer services at Pomona Valley Hospital.
Garden Parties helped to establish funding for their worthwhile endeavors. The garden parties were the largest fundraisers of any chapter in the country and both the audience and recipients loved them. The first event was held at the Reynolds Estate, which is now LeRoy Boys Home. Later, Scripps Gardens would be the showcase for the chapter parties. This event was held on a Saturday in October and was the place to be as everyone loved to come to Claremont and enjoy the sun streaming through the trees and autumn leaves falling gently while they strolled through the gardens. Clothes modeled were by famous designers such as Rudi Gernreich and commentators included Jane Wyatt and Mr. Blackwell.
After becoming the eighth chapter of National Assistance League in 1946, the Pomona Valley Chapter searched for a permanent location. We purchased a small church and parish house which became our chapter house and cottage. Over the years these buildings have been a hub of activity, serving as the location for the Visiting Nurses Association, a speech and hearing center, Crippled Children’s Auxiliary, The Learning Center and a Neighborhood Senior Citizen Center. The members supported and worked as volunteers in all of these programs. The chapter house and cottage now serve as headquarters for all current programs and activities.
As communities change, so do their needs. Assistance League of Pomona Valley now provides a Dental Center, established with the help of Dr. John McGwire, which is located in the cottage. Other philanthropic programs have changed in response to needs identified by school nurses and other community agencies, e.g., Project Sister and The Children’s Advocacy Center. Membership has grown to include auxiliaries that serve various needs. Les Fleurs was formed as a professional women’s auxiliary and has implemented separate philanthropic programs while supporting the Dental Center and Operation School Bell®. Lazy Susans and High Nooners are former active members who continue to support all chapter programs.