Cumberland Times-News

Local News

May 5, 2014

The Children’s League celebrating 80 years

CUMBERLAND — The Children’s League has served and cared for children for the past 80 years.

What began in 1934 as The Allegany County, Maryland, League for Crippled Children Inc. has evolved and grown to what is now known as The Children’s League. Although the operating name was modified several times during those 80 years, the many services provided have always remained free to patient and family.

The League’s first clinic was held in 1926 in Lonaconing at the home of Anne Sloan. A woman of great foresight, Sloan realized the need to treat children afflicted with polio and orthopedic anomalies. Dr. George Bennett, orthopedic surgeon from Baltimore, conducted the first children’s clinic at Sloan’s home. Under the direction of Sloan, a children’s program was developed that became known as The Maryland League for Crippled Children which offered periodic clinics throughout the year.

The number of children needing care grew steadily, which ultimately won the support of Henrietta Schwarzenbach, who organized a group of individuals with a heart to help children. This eventually led to a charter being granted and The Allegany County, Maryland, League for Crippled Children Inc. was formed May 31, 1934.

In 2003, they became The League for Crippled Children Inc. The name was modified in 2011 to The League – a children’s place. The current operating name of The Children’s League was adopted in 2013. Since the very first clinic in 1926, the League has remained a nonprofit organization caring for the well-being of thousands of children.

The first headquarters of the League was at 59 Pershing St. In 1940, the old city jail, which currently is home to Allegany County Chamber of Commerce, underwent remodeling for the League’s office and clinics. In 1971, the League moved to the Regional Health Center for Allegany County on Willowbrook Road and is currently housed in the Willowbrook Office Complex.

In June 1997, the League and the Scottish Rite of Free Masonry, both nonprofit agencies, joined forces in forming the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinic, which is under the management of the Children’s League.

In 2004, through the leadership of Dr. Robert Carpenter, the League once again offered orofacial services to children. The Cumberland Cleft Clinic held its first clinic in January 2005. The clinic is held twice a year by a team of local professionals organized to provide children birth to 21 with free services relating to cleft lip and palate.

For the past 80 years, the League has been blessed and supported by organizations, businesses and individuals who have consistently demonstrated through their donations their compassion and love for children. It is only through them that the League can remain viable and continue its many free services.

The League serves children through age 21 from Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania with free services in orthopedic, cerebral palsy and orofacial clinics as well as speech, physical and occupational therapy. Office hours are weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information or to have a child seen, call 301-759-5200 or stop by the office at 12501 Willowbrook Road.

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