Calf Auction to Elegant Event: The Story of YRMC’s First Charity Ball

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Longtime Prescott resident and community leader Jean N. Phillips has a knack for transforming most everything she touches.

In the 1950s she transformed the annual fundraising event for Prescott Community Hospital – now Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) – from a calf auction to an elegant charity ball.

Jean, wife of Melvin W. Phillips, MD, joined the Arizona Medical Auxiliary soon after the couple moved to Prescott in 1948.
She worked with a brigade of volunteers to transform the Prescott National Guard Armory on Gurley Street into a sophisticated Christmas setting for the first holiday charity ball in December 1949. Only Jean and her committee knew the stage curtain of the armory was drawn to hide the artillery stored there.

“I chaired the first and the last charity ball as well as some in between,” she said. “It was always the social benefit event of the year.”

Watch the video below for fun anecdotes from Jean about that first holiday charity ball. Thank you Jean for sharing this memory and helping YRMC celebrate a 75-year relationship with the community.