• Home
  • About
  • News Center
  • Riverside Tree of Lights 2019 Fundraiser Makes Big Impact for Middle Peninsula Community

Riverside Tree of Lights 2019 Fundraiser Makes Big Impact for Middle Peninsula Community

December 11, 2019

Esther Muscari Desimini speaking in front of audience

Gloucester, Va. – The 9th annual Riverside Walter Reed Hospital Tree of Lights fundraiser, held at Little England Farm on Dec. 7, 2019, set out to make a big impact, and health system leadership announced this week that the sold-out event raised a record $90,400 to help provide additional health care services to Riverside’s patients and loved ones on the Middle Peninsula.

“It is through our community’s continued support that we can provide the best medical care to our community,” said Esther Muscari Desimini, President, Riverside Walter Reed Hospital, noting that all the funds raised at Tree of Lights stays in the Middle Peninsula community. “Gifts are directly invested in our patients, caregivers, facilities, and life-saving technology, helping us meet the needs of every patient who comes through our doors for care.”

Funds raised will specifically help expand screening and diagnostic services. In 2018 alone, 5,500 women on the Middle Peninsula entrusted Riverside to perform their annual mammograms to increase the rate of early breast cancer detection.

Crowd of people at the riverside tree of lights event

Riverside hopes to also utilize donations through events like the Tree of Lights to provide Transesophageal Echocardiography testing, eliminating the need for over 100 patients to travel outside of the Middle Peninsula region each year. That technology uses high frequency sound waves to give a clearer picture of the heart and arteries, elevating our ability to intervene and provide care during cardiac events.

The success of the 2019 Tree of Lights event was made possible by the generous support of presenting sponsor Spain Commercial, Inc., dinner sponsor C.A. Barrs Contractor, Inc., dozens of additional sponsors at various levels and roughly $38,000 of in-kind donations, courtesy of Bay Electric Company, Phillips Energy, Bevans Oyster Company, and more.

The venue, the historic waterfront home owned by Steve and Karen Barrs, was also donated for the cause.

Image of empty tables before the riverside tree of lights event

At the event over 400 guests were treated to oysters, chowders and Tree of Life Toddies, followed by dinner catered by Gary and Karen Ward of Olivia’s in the Village and Scoot’s BBQ.

Attendees bid on a variety of live and silent auction items, thanks to donations secured by dedicated Riverside team members and hospital volunteers.

Additional donations – in gratitude of a caregiver, or in honor or memory of a loved one – will continue to be accepted to support the goals of the Riverside Foundation. Visit the Riverside Foundation secure online donation portal through riversideonline.com/Foundation, click on “Give Now” and then select “Middle Peninsula Make a Difference Fund” from the list of donation designations.

Published: December 11, 2019