Celebrating 100 Years
Eisenhower Medical Center would not exist today without the generosity of Dolores Hope and her late husband Bob Hope,” says Eisenhower Chairman Alvin Shoemaker. “Dolores has worked tirelessly to recruit donors and volunteers who, like her, are committed to maintaining a world-class medical institution in the Coachella Valley. I speak for everyone at Eisenhower in expressing my appreciation and good wishes to Dolores on the remarkable occasion of her 100th birthday [which occurred on May 27, 2009].”
Bob and Dolores Hope donated the 80 acres of land on which Eisenhower was originally built. But Dolores’ involvement began even before then, in 1966, when she agreed to serve on the new hospital’s board. Dolores has played an active role with Eisenhower ever since, including serving as Eisenhower’s Founding President and Chairman of the Board, posts she took on in 1968.
When ground was broken for the hospital in 1969, Bob Hope served as the event’s Master of Ceremonies. Dolores was working behind the scenes to raise funds and recruit a group of volunteers who would commit their time and resources to Eisenhower. The result was the Eisenhower Auxiliary, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.What started as an afternoon tea in Dolores’ living room became a group of more than 1,500 members.
The Auxiliary has raised more than $20 million for Eisenhower, and its members have donated more than four million hours of service. This year, Dolores has agreed to help celebrate the Auxiliary’s anniversary by serving as Honorary Chair of the annual Holiday Voices Gala.“Dolores has worked tirelessly to recruit donors and volunteers who, like her, are committed to maintaining a world-class medical institution in the Coachella Valley.”—Eisenhower Chairman Alvin Shoemaker
In 1971, Eisenhower Medical Center officially opened its doors. By the time of that opening, Dolores had already presided over two Auxiliary Annual Meetings and three major fundraising events. As President and Chairman of the Board, Dolores directed Eisenhower’s continued growth and expansion. During the 1970s, she presented tributes to Mr. and Mrs. Walter Probst, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kiewit and Mrs. Harold (Hazel) Wright at the openings of medical buildings bearing their names, and she and Bob presided over the dedication of the new 47-bed Mamie Eisenhower Wing of Eisenhower Memorial Hospital.
During the 1980s, as the medical center branched into critical new areas, Dolores and Bob Hope continued to be part of every important medical center event, including the planning and openings of the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower, Betty Ford Center at Eisenhower, Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center at Eisenhower, Dolores Hope Outpatient Care Center, and Uihlein Administration Building.
Today, Dolores Hope continues to serve on the Board of Directors of Eisenhower Medical Center and as Founding Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees. She has been awarded seven honorary doctorates, has a star dedicated to her on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a street named after her in New York City. Her contributions to the Coachella Valley community are immeasurable.