The La Feliz Guild
In 1949, a group of local mothers decided that the Central Valley needed and deserved access to physicians and health care professionals dedicated to children. Against enormous odds, they shared their dream of a pediatric hospital and rallied the community’s support. On October 26, 1952, Valley Children’s Healthcare and Guidance Center opened its doors with 42 beds to care for children.
Since then, Valley Children’s Healthcare has grown to one of the largest, award-winning pediatric healthcare networks in the country.
One of the first groups to form an organization to fundraise for the hospital was The La Feliz Guild. Today Valley Children’s Healthcare is supported by 14 Guilds from throughout the Central Valley. La Feliz Guild has 50 active members and a large group of associate members. The members gather at a luncheon meeting the second Wednesday of each month.
Derby Down – a La Feliz Tradition
In 1950, the founding mothers of La Feliz chose a horse show as their first fundraising event. Braving 107-degree weather, guild members sold hot dogs, sandwiches and ice cream to raise $5,000 for the hospital. This was the first of many fabulous annual parties in support of the hospital. The tradition continues today as La Feliz continues to hold its fundraising event, Derby Down. With the ongoing support of the community and wonderful sponsors, over time La Feliz has contributed significantly to help provide high quality, comprehensive healthcare to all children throughout the Valley regardless of their ability to pay.
$5 Million Goal
Like the bold step our five founding mothers took 70 years ago to advocate for children in need, The Guilds of Valley Children’s are focusing their fundraising efforts on a $5 million endowment to establish The Guilds Center for Community Health. It is the first of its kind in the Central Valley to bridge the exceptional care kids receive within the Valley Children’s Healthcare network and the health impact our children experience where they live, learn, and play.
The health of our kids is impacted by social determinants such as physical environment, health behaviors and economic status. According to research, of all the factors that influence our health, only 20 percent are linked to the clinical care we receive – and 80 percent are related to these social determinants. The Guilds Center for Community Health is an investment in that 80 percent.