In 1924, Mrs. Andrew J. Porter had a vision of helping children who were sick and unhealthy. She placed an ad in the newspaper calling a meeting at the YWCA for anyone interested in helping young patients at James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children. She and twelve other women organized a hospital guild with a mission to provide cheer to the pediatric patients, something the women felt was essential for the children’s well-being. In following the mission, they gave the auxiliary the name “Riley Hospital Cheer Guild”, and they greeted the very first patient treated at Riley Hospital with gifts and comfort.
Riley Cheer Guild has now expanded its services to include the IU Health adult hospital on the academic health center in downtown Indianapolis. As the hospitals being served transformed in name and scope, changes were also made to the name of the Guild. In 2014, as the Guild celebrated its 90th anniversary, the name was officially changed to Riley Cheer Guild, Inc. to reflect the organization’s historical roots. Through all of these changes, the mission of the Riley Cheer Guild has remained intact and strong: to enhance the experience of a hospital stay for patients and families within the hospitals served.