Beacon Newsletter- Fall 2016

Posted - November 29, 2016

Thankful Hearts Share The Love


When I talk to the families that stay at the Harbor House, they often feel guilty about the kindnesses that are bestowed on them by so many friends, family members and even strangers during their time at the hospital and the house.  I find myself reminding them that there is a time for giving and a time for receiving.  I often jokingly tell them that if nobody is willing to receive, it will throw off the balance of the world.  I think we can all agree that receiving is the most difficult position to be in, but it teaches us so much about love and gratitude. When we humbly accept the love, kindness and assistance being offered, we become a richer, wiser person because of it.

As we enter into the time of the year where it is encouraged to pause and reflect on the reasons we have to be thankful in our lives, it is only logical to want share your love by helping others. Giving of our time, talent and treasure can be a great way to do our part to keep our world in balance and it makes you feel great.  Therefore, I am offering you all some ways you can share your time, talent and treasure with the Harbor House and help keep our world in balance during this holiday season.

  • Mark your calendars for November, 29, this year’s ROC the Day, sponsored by the United Way. This year it is paired with Giving Tuesday and epic levels of giving are predicted. You will definitely want to be part of this day. You can donate through the ROC the Day site or go to: and click on “Donate”
  • Want to do even more? Designate Harbor House as your charity of choice through United Way’s employer campaign. Our United Way number is
  • Are you hosting a holiday party and worried about the hassle of a gift exchange? Instead, you can have a donation gift drive. Every guest can bring a gift card to donate to the Harbor House. Some that are particularly helpful include restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations, grocery stores.
  • Does your office do a charitable giving project for the holidays? How about a donations drive for Harbor House?  Check out our Wish List at: org.
  • Adopt a Day If you’re looking for a meaningful gift for that hard to shop for person, please consider adopting a day at Harbor House for just $100.00. By adopting a day, you help offset the cost of running Harbor House for a day. Your day of choice can be in memory, honor, or celebration of anyone, and their name will be on our plaque in the house for your chosen day. A notice can be sent to that special someone in time for the holiday upon request.

Our wish for you this year is that you will always be lucky enough to be on the giving end of love, but wise enough to accept love when it is being offered to you. Here’s wishing you a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season

Thoughts from a Harbor House Guest

The Harbor House is the best thing that has happened to me during jane-cutillo-hh-guestthis scary, exhausting, stressful time in my life.

I have never stayed in a house with other people – strangers who have become very dear friends. This is a true harbor- you are made comfortable and welcomed. I am so grateful for finding such a wonderful place run by the sweetest person I’ve ever met-Joan Malley.  She makes it feel safe and welcoming.


A Harbor House Guest Gives Back

Last spring we had a delightful gentleman come to Harbor House with his two very concerned daughters. Their Dad was about to undergo a very serious and complicated surgery.  Dad stayed at Harbor House with the girls the night before the surgery and thank goodness, his surgery went well and took less time than anyone imagined.  That did not mean he was out of the woods.  The recovery from the surgery turned out to be quite extensive.  During that time his daughters were kind, caring and vigilant advocates for their father.  The family was at Harbor House for a few weeks and then back and forth for a long period of time while Dad was seen for follow ups and small procedures related to his surgery. Both daughters were so thrilled to have a safe, welcoming place that cared about their   father and his progress as well as their personal well- being while they all navigated through their dad’s health journey.


It got to be early spring and one of the daughters started looking around the exterior of Harbor House at the gardens. Her boyfriend is a certified horticulturist and owns a business called Gardenworks Landscape Services. She works as his administrative assistant and also alongside him to create many beautiful outdoor spaces for businesses and homes. She approached me and said she would like to arrange for them to come back and work on our gardens as a way of thanking us for helping them in their time of need.  I thought it was a lovely gesture to even consider this, but imagined it would be very difficult for this to actually happen as they lived in Virginia. Imagine my astonishment when they called with the dates they were planning on being at the house to do this work.

They came in July and worked tirelessly for two days.  Not only did they trim, clean and tidy up our gardens, they took videos on how to properly treat and trim our plants to leave with us;  gave us lessons on how to tell if a plant had a bug or was sick.  I know most of you won’t forget how hot it was in this summer and they were doing all this heavy work in the midst of a heatwave.  They just drank water, got dirty and kept going until we had the most beautiful yard in the neighborhood!

Jenny Mc Glaughin and Patrick Morrissey are two of the nicest, most generous people that have graced the Harbor House.  We will remember the lessons you taught us, not just about gardening, but about gratitude and how to give from the heart.  Thanks Jenny and Patrick – may your kindness continue to bloom wherever you may be.

Talk About Terrific Teens

What does a teenager like better than enjoying the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer?  Sleeping in late, eating breakfast at 1:00pm, staying up after the rest of the world is fast asleep to post or read posts on social media. That’s probably what comes to mind when you think of a teenager in the summer, right?

Well that might be some teenagers, but I know one that stepped outside of the ordinary and came to volunteer at the Harbor House this summer.  Zachary Allen came to the house bright and early and ready to work.  His enthusiasm for doing every job was so refreshing.  Any request I made was greeted with a positive can do attitude. He put his unique teenage energy into every task he undertook. He worked so hard and so well at times it was hard to keep up with him!  I’d like to offer Zachary a huge thank you for taking time to make our house sparkle for the people who call it home. What are you doing next summer Zack?

And the Beat Goes on… for Another Year

atbgoBefore Harbor House began, its founders were raising money by throwing barbecue events. The annual event was named, “And the Beat Goes on…” commemorating the notion that many have been given second chances at life through organ donation. Supporters joined together for a party, while creating the charity that would become a home away from home.

This year Harbor House wanted to go back to its roots for the annual fundraiser. It said goodbye to Sip, Savor, Support, and on September 10, 2016, brought back And the Beat Goes on… While the fundraiser was a bit more glamorous than the original barbecues, it was nothing more than a party full of friends and family. This year was a special celebration: the University of Rochester celebrated its 200th heart transplant, a man who was also a Harbor House guest. To celebrate, 200 chocolate hearts were sold as a raffle “tickets” to win a diamond heart necklace.

The night was full of excitement as WROC’s Maureen McGuire MC’ed the live auction. The silent auction and Adopt-A-Day were brought back, while new raffles, such as a wine ring toss were added. As always, the Harbor House community continued its support, allowing the beat to go on for another year.

Volunteers in the Spotlight: Tuesday Team

We have two amazing woman that volunteer on Tuesdays. The Harbor House has not been the same since these two amazing woman decided to give their hearts to the Harbor House.

Mary Ellen Lille is an energetic, caring individual who is doing her best to make the Harbor House an environmentally conscientious as possible. She has purchased so many “green” products and donated them to the house.  We now have some amazing sponges and a mopping system that helps us to keep things clean and disinfected while not using disposable products like Swiffer sheets as much. She also watches our trash, and actually removes items from the trash that can be recycled, recharges batteries for us so they can be reused instead of trashed.  She is good about keeping lights on that are in use and turning off unnecessary lights.  She does all this while being a warm, welcoming and a wonderful companion for our guests. BTW… she fills the candy bowls just about every week!

Nancy Carson comes in after her and makes the rest of the evening special.   Nancy and Mary Ellen are two of the best cleaners I have ever seen and for those of you who know me; you know this is quite an accomplishment.  They put their hearts into it and of course their experience.  This is only part of what Nancy brings to the Harbor House.  Her gentle and approachable demeanor makes everyone who meets her instantly comfortable. Don’t be fooled by her soft voice and light step.  She is a power house filled with great ideas to help improve the house.    She is always willing to go the extra mile to make sure the Harbor House is as good as it can be, whether it’s during her normal volunteer time or coming faithfully to water after working all day or being an enthusiastic volunteer at  a special event. Our plants and gardens thank you Nancy.  Harbor House caught the brass ring on the day Nancy Carson called to volunteer. I consider Mary Ellen and Nancy to be two of the foundation pieces that hold our organization together. I am so very grateful for their support and friendship. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!


Date Chosen

Reason Name
  October 2016
10.2.16 To Celebrate Kelly Acker
10.5.16 To Celebrate Donna Bakewell
10.6.16 In Warm Remembrance of Robert Malley
10.7.16 In Warm Remembrance of Nancy Ricciardi
10.14.16 To Celebrate Austin DeMartin
10.16.16 To Celebrate Rob and Peg Wackerman
10.17.16 In Warm Remembrance of Tom Carrigan
10.17.16 In Honor of The Gibbons Family
10.18.16 In Warm Remembrance of Ed and Sis Baron
10.20.16 In Warm Remembrance of Max Brogdon
10.24.16 In Honor of Peggy Wackerman
  November 2016  
Month of November Sponsored by the Joseph & Irene Skalny Foundation
11.1.16 To Celebrate Elery Mayo
11.15.16 In Warm Remembrance of Robert Malley
11.16.16 In Warm Remembrance of Jennifer Linscott Tietgen
11.17.16 In Warm Remembrance of Jennifer Linscott Tietgen
11.18.16 In Warm Remembrance of Calvin Alexis
11.19.16 In Warm Remembrance of Jennifer Linscott Tietgen
11.20.16 In Warm Remembrance of Jennifer Linscott Tietgen
11.21.16 In Warm Remembrance of Jennifer Linscott Tietgen
11.22.16 To Celebrate Benton  & Marion Anthony
11.23.16 In Warm Remembrance of Jennifer Linscott Tietgen
11.24.16 In Honor of The Arcara Family
  December 2016  
12.6.16 To Celebrate Jim Guthrie
12.11.16 In Warm Remembrance Qianli Jia
12.15.16 In Warm Remembrance Vince Leonardi
12.24.16 In Warm Remembrance Hannah Metzler
12.30.16 In Warm Remembrance

Patricia Guthrie

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How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Every donation helps us to keep our house open.

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All you need is love…It takes all different types of personalities, skills and gifts to run our house Share the love.

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Adopt a Day to honor, celebrate or remember a special person and become part of our Harbor House family.

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