(HARTFORD, Conn.) – The Women’s Auxiliary of Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center has pledged to contribute an unprecedented $5 million to the Hospital over 10 years.

The unrestricted pledge is a graduated giving plan covering the years 2011 through 2020.

“We are very happy to be able to make this commitment now, during these difficult times. Our history shows that our membership has always responded generously to the healthcare needs of our community,” said Janet Newman, the Auxiliary’s President.

Founded in 1926, the Auxiliary has contributed more than $11 million to the Hospital over its 83-year history.

“As Saint Francis has grown, we have grown. As Saint Francis has achieved awards of excellence, we have worked proudly, side by side, with a strong commitment to the ideals of our organization and to Saint Francis,” said Newman.

The Auxiliary is currently in the midst of a $1.5 million, five-year pledge to support the renovation of the New Beginnings Family Birth Care Center. So far, it has retired $840,000 of that pledge, with $660,000 remaining to be paid off.

“This is a truly remarkable act of generosity on the part of the Auxiliary, which is a steadfast supporter of Saint Francis and its mission,” said Paul Pendergast, President of the Saint Francis Foundation and Chief Development Officer.

“We are extremely grateful to the Auxiliary for their commitment to Saint Francis. Their marketing innovations and inspiring spirit make the Auxiliary an invaluable resource in advancing our mission,” said Christopher M. Dadlez, Saint Francis’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our entire community profoundly benefits from the hard work, ingenuity and tireless enthusiasm of this outstanding organization.”

This generous $5 million commitment follows other recent record-breaking donations made to Saint Francis. In July, an anonymous donor pledged an estate bequest valued at $12.5 million. This supplanted the Hospital’s previous largest-ever commitment, another anonymous estate gift with an estimated value of $6 million, received last January.

Founded in 1897, Saint Francis is a major teaching hospital licensed for 617 acute inpatient beds and 65 bassinets. It is the largest Catholic hospital in New England.