Tree of Lights at Little England Farm 2018

Held at Little England Farm, the annual fundraiser for the Riverside Make a Difference Fund brought in $76,000.

Gloucester, Va. – The 8th Annual Riverside Tree of Lights fundraiser set out to make a big impact at the 2018 event, held at Little England Farm on Dec. 1.

Thanks to the hundreds of attendees (traveling from all over the Middle Peninsula, Peninsula, Northern Neck and Williamsburg), business leaders, philanthropists and sponsors, the popular event raised over $76,000 for the Riverside Make a Difference Fund and services and programs that help the health system team members care for Riverside’s patients and loved ones on the Middle Peninsula.

Tree of Lights Attendees 2018

Another $16,500 of in-kind donations were made to make the event possible, including the donation of the venue by its owners Steve and Karen Barrs.

Tree of Lights at Little England Farm 2018 Hosts Steve and Karen Barrs

“It is through your continued support that we can provide the best medical care to our community. Charitable gifts are 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,” said Esther Desimini, Riverside Vice President and Administrator at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital. “During times of distress, when patient needs exceed capabilities, this fund helps caregivers help patients and families meet those medical needs and address social deterrents to health care.”

The 2018 Riverside Tree of Lights event success came thanks to sponsors and generous donations collected from patrons throughout the evening in live and silent auctions.

Tree of Lights 2018 Silent Auction Participant Gray Bowditch

“Donations help each doctor, nurse and caregiver meet the needs of every patient – whether to maintain their health, help with a medical emergency or treat a serious illness,” said Steve Spain, President and Owner of Spain Commercial, Inc., the event’s presenting sponsor. “As a business partner of Riverside for more than 25 years, I have seen first-hand their remarkable commitment to exceptional care.”

In 2017, Riverside provided $8,700 of direct financial assistance for patients in need and delivered more than $19 million in uncompensated care to underinsured or underinsured Middle Peninsula patients.

“The community’s support of this special event continues a long history of community giving to our local hospital,” said Betty Blevins, Chair of the Make a Difference Committee. “Last year, the community’s generosity allowed us to invest more than $137,000 in vital programs, facilities, health services and be able to help patients and loved ones with financial challenges.”

“This year, 100 percent of the gifts will help us do even more,” Blevins added.

Tree of Lights 2018 Sponsor Phillips Energy

Funds raised in 2018 will help sustain hospice resources such as volunteer training and caregiver support; expand programs for older adults like multi-sensory memory care; invest in facilities and new technology to strengthen and enrich patient care; and, perhaps most notably, continue to assist patients with financial challenges.

The Fund remains open for donations. Click here to visit the Riverside Foundation’s secure online donation portal, click on “Make a Difference Fund” and then select “Riverside Walter Reed Hospital” to direct your donation.

Published: January 25, 2019