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July 20, 2018
Harrington Black-Tie Fundraiser Nets $220,000 for Southbridge Emergency Department

SOUTHBRIDGE, MA, July 20, 2018 – Harrington HealthCare System is celebrating a successful black-tie fundraiser held July 14 at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, which raised more than $200,000 toward the renovation of its Southbridge Emergency Department (ED).

VIP Guests Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman raised $17,000 as attendees bid on autographed memorabilia.

The event featured tastings from more than a dozen local restaurants including Rovezzi’s, Porterhouse,  Baba Sushi, Mexicali, The Clambox, Metro Bistro and Burton’s Grill. Coffee and dessert were provided by Sturbridge Coffee Roasters, Whoopie-Doo and Cupcakes Too, and The Publick House.

Guests Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola held a one-hour exclusive meet and greet for VIP ticket holders, then entertained all 500 attendees with a brief on-stage appearance that included autographing jerseys and replica Lombardi trophies. The signed memorabilia was auctioned off and raised more than $17,000.

Elise Wilson, the Harrington nurse who was stabbed at work by a patient in 2017, gave an emotional speech on stage later in the evening, encouraging everyone to support local healthcare and remember how fortunate they are to have a local Emergency Room.

Elise Wilson, RN, (center), and her family attend “A Fare to Remember” gala.

“If I was anywhere else when the attack took place, I probably would not be here today. I am alive because of these people,” Wilson said. “The next life they save could be yours.”

Her speech preceded a Live Appeal to all guests, which surpassed the intended $25,000 goal in a matter of minutes.

The theme of the evening was Harrington Heroes, poignantly displayed by four-foot letters in illuminated marquee style on the center of the stage. A one minute video by Governor Charlie Baker was also shared with guests, as he commended the healthcare system on being a great partner in the Commonwealth, and offered his admiration for Elise in her recovery.

A ceremonial groundbreaking for the Southbridge ED will be held in September, but preliminary construction begins this month. The project is expected to take about 13 months to complete.

The last major renovation of the Southbridge ED occurred in 1998. Since then, the annual volume of visits has grown 23%, from approximately 22,000 to nearly 30,000.

This renovation will increase the number of exam rooms by three, expand capacity to serve 35,000 patients annually by adding 2,400 square feet and modernizing the existing 8,500 square feet through renovation. Patient flow, security and technology upgrades are also included in the plans.

Harrington is still looking to raise funds to help renovation costs. To learn more, visit our Campaign webpage.