A special meeting was held on October 5, 1952, to organize a Ladies Auxiliary to Chillum Adelphi Volunteer Fire Department. The first regular meeting was held on November 20, 1952, and Mrs. Richards of the College Park Ladies Auxiliary spoke to the ladies on how to organize the auxiliary and presented a copy of their constitution and by-laws. Meetings were held at the Volunteer Fire Department hall in Chillum, Maryland.
Their first ways and means activity was to hold a turkey raffle at $.10 a chance and 3 for $.25. They made $102.00 on the turkey raffle but with other activities such as coffee sale at Langley Park School they raised $192.00 in the first three months of existence. They served hot lunches to the men while they were working on the new firehouse. The Constitution and By-Laws were read, discussed and corrected, and accepted in November 1952. The temporary officers that were elected in October were voted in as regular officers in December 1952, for the year of 1953, with Mrs. Peggy Davis as President. Mrs. Margaret Koenig installed the officers in January 1953.
In February 1953, the auxiliary met with Mr. Martin, President of the Chillum Adelphi Volunteer Fire Department, and he accepted a check for $100.00 towards building a kitchen in the new firehouse. During this first year many fund raising events took place, raffles, helping at the carnival, bake sales, fair and selling of Christmas and all occasion cards. In November 1953, Mrs. Nettie Fox, President of the Prince George’s County Ladies Auxiliary spoke to the auxiliary concerning their activities and membership. In December 1953, the auxiliary joined the County Auxiliary and in April 1954, they joined the Maryland State Volunteer Fire Association Ladies Auxiliary.
During the first couple of years the auxiliary donated many things to the fire department (chairs, tables, equipment for the ambulance, radio for the fire engine, revolving light for the ambulance, along with monetary donations).
Many social activities were held such as dances and picnics. Auxiliary members rode in their first parade at the Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire Department Convention held in Laurel, Maryland, with new uniforms consisting of navy blue skirt, navy blue sweater, white blouse, and red and gold handkerchief tie. The auxiliary members started marching in parades in the summer of 1955. They bought a 1934 Ford from John Smith for $15.00, which they used in parades.
In 1957, the auxiliary started marching in parades in drill team formation. In 1960, a county bowling league was formed and the auxiliary joined at that time and were members until the demise of the bowling league in 1993.
In 1963 the auxiliary had a hat show and auxiliary members modeled the hats. They also modeled in a fashion show in April 1964, and fashions were purchased from the Hecht Company.
In 1963, we participated in the dedication of both fire stations. Also the auxiliary members had their first drafting team in 1963, with a hook up team in 1964. During the 1960′s and until the end of the county bowling league in 1993, the auxiliary won many of the roll offs between the North and South.
In the late 1970′s, the auxiliary helped in doing physical exams for fire department members at Prince George’s County Hospital.
In 1986, the auxiliary reformed their hook up team and in September at the County member of Convention in Laurel took two first place trophies out of eight contests.
In 1989, we started a fundraiser with Summit Productions, which is now our main annual fundraiser. We still do raffles and yard sales.
In the late 1980′s, an infamous green party dress, silver purse and shoes showed up at one of the banquets and were given to an unexpected member. This became a traditional annual event and other items were added to the unexpected gift.
During the 1990′s, the auxiliary members did several social trips to New York (seeing Ellis Island, Broadway Shows such as Cats, Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show, Radio City Music Hall Easter Show, shopping trips and tours of the city). We also went to Williamsburg on an overnight trip.
In the 1960′s and again in the 1990′s, the fire department ran a Bingo night, which they asked the auxiliary to take care of the refreshments that were sold.
In May 1992, Chillum Adelphi Volunteer Fire Department celebrated its 40th Anniversary and the auxiliary was asked to help. At that time the auxiliary had put together a cookbook, which was dedicated to Mrs. Beverly Aldridge. This was given to all members of the Fire Department as a remembrance of the reunion.
Since joining the County and State Auxiliaries, our members have been very active in participating in their committees and several members have been chairperson of several committees.
We have been very fortunate in having two of our members becoming President of the Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association Ladies Auxiliary. They are Mrs. Betty Radisch serving 1975-1976 and Mrs. Denice Melito serving 1997-1998. Mrs. Margaret Woltz also served, as President of the County Ladies Auxiliary 1960-1961, but at that time was a College Park Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary member. Currently we also have a member climbing the ladder to President and are serving as Secretary, Mrs. Paula Robison. Also we have had several members inducted into the County Auxiliary Hall of Fame; Mrs. Betty Radisch, Mrs. Vella Smith, Mrs. Lucille Kimball and Mrs. Juanita Colwell.
Since our inception in 1952 we have worked hard to fulfill our obligation to the Chillum Adelphi Volunteer Fire Department in assisting them with our hands, hearts, prayers and many donations of many items such as mobile and portable radios, breathing apparatus, defibrillators, and many items for the fire station along with monetary donations.
It has been a pleasure in working with the fire department and community and hope to do so for many more years.
The Chillum Adelphi Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary is a family and we have accomplished many goals and have made many lifelong friendships and will continue to work with the Fire Department.