The Winton Club is a non-profit service organization with a membership of more than 200 women devoted exclusively to the support of the Winchester Hospital. It’s history is closely tied to the history of the hospital itself. Today, the two sources of income for our annual giving are the sales at the Winton Gift Shop at the Hospital, as well as the proceeds from our annual Cabaret Show.
In 1911, 12 ladies responded to an appeal to meet regularly to sew linens for the Cottage Hospital. They called themselves the Winton Club, in honor of Winton, the ecclesiastical signature of the Bishop of Winchester, England. The sewing of linens was discontinued as a Winton Club project in 1979, but nevertheless, portions of the yearly gifts from the Club remain dedicated toward the Hospital linen budget.
In 1948, the Club organized a Gift Shop in the hospital, and a canteen which later became known as the Coffee Shop. These shops continue to render a much needed daily service to patients, visitors and staff. Although the hospital assumed operation of the Coffee Shop in 1977, the Winton Club continues to maintain the Gift Shop with our member’s volunteer hours.
Since 1920, the Winton Club has sponsored an annual Cabaret during the last week in January, usually in the Winchester Town Hall. Supported by a volunteer cast from Winchester and its surrounding communities, Cabaret is enjoyed by an audience in excess of 2000 people during its 5-night run. A beautiful playbill complements the Cabaret program and music, acknowledge our patrons and sponsors, and provides an advertising medium for many local businesses.
Winton members are proud to provide over 5000 volunteer hours of in-hospital service, in addition to hundreds of hours outside the Hospital each year. Through the effort of our Winton Club volunteers, Winchester Hospital has benefited from over $3,000,000 in special gifts, purchases of equipment and patient linens.
Winton Club Philanthropic Initiatives
The Winton Club was started in 1911 by twenty three women hoping to make a difference in the community through philanthropic activities associated exclusively with Winchester Hospital.
Since 1920, The Winton Club has sponsored an annual Cabaret during January. Managed completely by volunteer Winton members, and supported by a volunteer cast (which includes area residents and hospital personnel), the Cabaret is enjoyed by audiences from Winchester and the surrounding communities during its five-night run. Patron, advertising, and Corporate Sponsorship opportunities are available through the Cabaret.
Year-round fundraising by The Winton Club is done through the management of the Winton Gift Shop, located in the lobby of Winchester Hospital. Members of Winton serve on the Board for the shop as buyers, Treasurer, Publicity, and the Gift Shop Chair and Assistant Chair. These women run the shop in all regards, with additional volunteers from the club assisting in the shop as needed.
Throughout the years, The Winton Club has donated funds for many important and innovative services and equipment. Through the efforts of the Winton Club members, Winchester Hospital has received funds exceeding $3,000,000. These funds have been used to purchase equipment, benefit women’s and children’s health care, and provide linens. Some recipients of Winton funds include Digital Mammography, the new Emergency Room, and A Caring Place. In May of 2010, The Winton Club fulfilled a five year, $500,000 commitment to the Cancer Center at 620 Washington Street in Winchester.
Each year Winton members volunteer over 5000 hours of in-hospital service in addition to many hundreds of hours outside the hospital. Winton members live and work in Winchester and in many nearby communities, and come from all walks of life. There are young members and seasoned members; new members and service members. They are unique individuals, but all share an enthusiasm and a commitment to Winchester Hospital and The Winton Club. This common thread weaves together women of diverse backgrounds and interests, creating friendships that last a lifetime.