The hospital was just too far.
It was April of 1962 in Boca Raton when Gloria Drummond’s children, Debbie and Randall, needed emergency care after unknowingly ingesting poisoned milk.
Boca Raton did not have a hospital at that time. The closest hospital was in Boynton Beach and the distance delayed them getting there in time.
Debbie and Randall died before they could be treated.
They say, “If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces,” and that’s just what Gloria Drummond did.
Drummond immediately turned her family’s tragedy into a lifetime of service to others. Instead of funeral flowers, she asked friends and family to make donations to help start a hospital in Boca Raton and the Debbie-Rand Foundation, named in honor of her two children, was formed.
Thanks to Gloria’s work and amazing support from those around her, Boca Raton Community Hospital opened in 1967.
The hospital later changed its name to Boca Raton Regional Hospital and today, stands as a top regional academic medical center with several centers of clinical excellence. The Debbie-Rand Memorial Service League remains one of the largest hospital-based volunteer organizations in the country.
Gloria Drummond passed away in 2011 but her work and legacy lives on.
So it’s no surprise a dynamic and impactful non-profit organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award has recently been renamed in her honor.
Soroptimist International Boca Raton/Deerfield Beach now honors extraordinary women volunteers who have made the Boca Raton community a better place with the Gloria Drummond Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. Heidi Schaeffer was the 2022 recipient of the award and she proudly received the honor at Soroptimist International’s Women of Distinction Breakfast on March 9. Schaeffer has been a longtime advocate for vulnerable populations including victims of domestic abuse, rape, human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Soroptimist is an international organization for volunteers, business members and professionals who work to improve the lives of women and girls through grants, empowerment programs, training and support.