The Bristol Press – Festival of Wines and Spirits raises funds for emergency hospital generators
BRISTOL – Hundreds of people turned out for the annual Wine and Spirits Festival on Saturday night, listening to jazz and enjoying a variety of drinks and food at the DoubleTree by Hilton, to raise money for Bristol Hospital and its system emergency power supply.
The Bristol Hospital Foundation organizes a few major fundraisers a year to meet the needs of Bristol Hospital, including the festival, a golf classic and a holiday ball, said the Foundation’s associate director, Kaitlyn Pratt.
“The impact of all of this helps us have a more fun way of fundraising,” she said. “We bring people together where they’re having a good time and there are auction items and things like that. Right now we are trying to raise funds to help with the infrastructure. We are considering two new generators. »
Pratt noted that the generators serve as emergency power for the hospital. If they fail, it could jeopardize the care of many patients. According to information posted detailing the needs of the power supply system, Bristol Hospital serves more than 47,000 patients a year. One of the generators to be replaced dates from 1968 and the other from 1983. As the parts become obsolete and the repairs costly, the hospital must replace them.
Bristol Hospital needs $5.5 million to make the replacements and acquired $3 million through a state grant. That still leaves $2.5 million in funding needed.
Brian Dehm, chairman of the Bristol Hospital Foundation board, called the tasting a “great fundraiser”.
“The generators are really old,” he said. “Our mission is to raise funds for the hospital for any need in the current year. This is normally determined by the board of directors and Kurt Barwis, president and CEO of the hospital.
The president said the hospital was close to him and giving was a good way to give back to the community he served.
In order to support this community, Maple End Package Store participated in the organization of the various liquor and wine distributors for the tasting. Over 220 wines, beers and spirits were on offer.
“I believe this is our 23rd year and we’ve had a bit of a hiatus with covid,” said Maple End Package store owner Marvin Friedman. “A few years ago, one of the doctors decided that the hospital could make money from wine tasting. He contacted me and I said we could do something. It started very small and the first tasting took place at Farmington Country Club.
The tasting event has only grown, he added, and has sometimes raised between $40,000 and $50,000 for a single night through ticket sales, sponsorships, wine sales and more. Again. In previous years, proceeds from the evening have gone towards the needs of the hospital’s emergency room.
Visitors included Joel and Lizbeth Carmichael who said this was their third tasting with Bristol Hospital.
“We love being able to support the community we work in,” Lizbeth said.
Sharp Five Jazz Quintet was the featured musical act of the evening.