Charter Member of Camden Auxiliary Retires

BRUNSWICK, Georgia: June 10, 2008 – For 47 years, Estelle Aldridge was a fixture at Gilman Hospital and then the Southeast Georgia Health System Camden Campus. Aldridge was a charter member of the Gilman Auxiliary back in 1961 when it was formed as part of the newly opened hospital facility supporting mostly paper mill families. In those days, the Tift County native made beds and washed dishes alongside staff. She also filled the vending machines every day for 20 years while serving as the Auxiliary’s treasurer. “One of the duties of the treasurer was to take care of the vending machines. No one else wanted that job,” she says, laughing, when asked why she served so long as treasurer.

The days of volunteers washing dishes and filling vending machines are long past. Today members of the Camden Auxiliary serve in the ICU, 2nd floor surgery and maternity areas, the Emergency Care Center, Gift Shop, cafeteria, Human Resources, and Rehabilitation Services. They perform various tasks such as answering phones, filing paperwork, escorting patients, keeping families informed about a loved ones surgery, and keeping supplies in order.

In recent years, Aldridge served in several of these areas throughout the hospital, including the Gift Shop, as well as represented the Auxiliary at district meetings and state conferences. According to Cookie Johnson, volunteer coordinator, a volunteer like Aldridge doesn’t come along every day and she is sorely missed.

“From the first time I met Estelle, I fell in love with her,” Johnson says. “Now that she is retired and our Auxiliary is losing many of our older members this year, we are actively looking for new members. I can’t help but hope we find another Estelle!”

For more information about the Auxiliary and how you can become a member, contact Jeff Zawislak at (912) 576-6405 or Volunteer application forms can also be found on-line at