We are OPEN Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm Saturday & Sunday: CALL STORE
What is now the Overlook Auxiliary was founded by 16 community minded women in 1916. The members of The Women’s Auxiliary of Overlook, as it was first known, held fundraisers, folded bandages, and redecorated hospital rooms. The Auxiliary at that time was responsible for all of the linens in the hospital. Members would take linens to their personal homes to wash and Mondays were known as "sewing days."
Major changes to the Auxiliary began in the late 1940s with the addition of a Tea Room and Gift Shop. Volunteers ran the Tea Room which served as a café, including offering homemade soup, to visitors and staff. For many years, Overlook Auxiliary volunteers in the Gift Shop would go room-to-room to ensure all patient rooms had working televisions. Additionally, patients would call the Gift Shop to schedule a traveling hairdresser to come to their room to shampoo and wash their hair.
In the early 1990s, the “Overlook Gift Shop” was moved to the main level of the medical center and connected to the coffee shop. In 2007, with the renovation of the Overlook Medical Center lobby, the “Gift Shop & Bloom” was relocated to its current space allowing for the addition of a large floral room.
Since 2013, the Gift Shop has featured a unique take on the concept of 'Eat Local' -- selling jars of honey from the Overlook Medical Center apiary of hives on site. To date, we have sold more than 3,500 jars which equates to 1,750 pounds of honey!
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gift Shop and Bloom remained open and provided a small sense of normalcy to the medical center community. Frontline workers were able to shop for essential personal items, snacks, newspapers, and magazines while seeking respite from the stress of the day. We also offered curbside pick-up of gifts and floral arrangements to the community when many stores were closed.
Over the years, the Auxiliary has held many fundraisers that included the Follies, Black Tie events, the Auxiliary Cookbook, Kitchen Tours and Art at Overlook. However, the Gift Shop & Bloom remains the Auxiliary’s biggest revenue source. All funds raised help cultivate a compassionate and caring environment throughout the Overlook Medical Center community. The impact of your purchases funded donations to the Thomas Glasser Caregivers Center, HealthStart Clinic, Ovarian Cancer Research, OMC Breast Center, Emergency Department, Hersch Children’s Center, Atlantic Visiting Nurse complementary therapy for hospice patients, camp scholarships for children who have lost a loved one to Camp Clover and many more!
Today, we boast a tight-knit, loyal team of over 35 staff and volunteers - many of whom have been with us for over 15 years! Our Manager, Mary Damiano is a dedicated leader who has worked in the Gift Shop and Bloom for over 30 years. We also offer the expertise of a full-time professional floral designer, Laura McDowell, who has been with us since 2008. Flowers arrive directly from Holland, to ensure that only the freshest “blooms” are used in every floral design. Arrays of choices are offered daily in the large floral display case and delivery in the surrounding communities is complimentary.
For more information on how your purchases benefit our community and to volunteer for the Overlook Auxiliary, visit the Overlook Auxiliary website at www.oaux.org.
Pictured from left to right: Maria Ciaravalli, Bookkeeper; Cindy Curly, Assistant Manager; Laura McDowell, Floral Designer; and Mary Damiano, Manager.