The Children's League, incorporated as The League for Crippled Children, Inc., a non-profit 501 © (3) organization, has been in existence since 1926 and incorporated in 1934. Initially, Dr. George Bennett of Baltimore, organized a clinic in Lonaconing just fifteen minutes from Cumberland, at the request of Mrs. Ann Sloan in 1926. Nearly 90 children attended the first clinic and many of those children were afflicted with polio. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Bennett and Dr. William S. Baer held the first clinic in Cumberland. Two clinics a year were scheduled.
Seven years later, the League was formally formed and incorporated, thanks to the founders, Miss Henrietta Schwartzenbach and Miss Elizabeth McLaughlin. The first two clinics sponsored by the League were conducted by Dr. Bennett with Dr. George Eaton assisting. 308 children were examined.
Since that time, over 40,000 children have been served. The League serves children birth to age 21 in Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. All services at the League are FREE to ALL patients and families. Those services include orthopedic, cerebral palsy, cleft lip/cleft palate, speech therapy and physical therapy.
Several orthopedic and cerebral palsy clinics are held throughout the year by pediatric orthopedic surgeons from Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Baltimore area. With no pediatric orthopedists in the Cumberland area families are well served through these League clinics. Physical therapy is offered to patients seen in clinic and that are recommended by physician to receive physical therapy.
The League manages and operates the Cumberland Cleft Clinic offering free services to cleft lip/palate children. A team of ten local physicians and specialists hold orofacial clinics twice each year. Headed by local plastic surgeon Dr. Rob Carpenter, Cumberland Cleft Clinic is committed to serving and meeting the needs of children with cleft lip and/or cleft palate.
The League also operates and manages the Scottish Rite Early Childhood Language Disorders Clinic. The clinic provides diagnostic evaluation and treatment of speech and language disorders in children. Children who may be behind for a lifetime are now given services that help them to speak, read, and equip them with the ability to lead productive lives.
The League operates strictly through donations, fundraising, memorials and bequests. The League receives no state or federal funds. A fifteen member volunteer Board of Directors governs the organization.