Beacon Newsletter- Fall 2018

Posted - March 12, 2019

Don’t forget Giving Tuesday

(aka ROC the Day)

on November 27th!

According to Wikipedia, Giving Tuesday refers to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States. It is a movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. This year it happens on Tuesday, November 27, 2018. In Rochester, we have an online version of Giving Tuesday, called ROC the Day. Basically, it is a 24-hour online event that gives people in our community an opportunity to support all of the not-for-profit organizations doing great work in the nine-county Greater Rochester area. People visit, a secure online giving platform, to make a gift. All ROC the Day gifts go to help local people and organizations.

Harbor House has been a part of ROC the Day since it began. A tiny fraction of your online, ROC the Day gift goes to the program’s administrative entity, United Way of Greater Rochester. You can choose to donate to Harbor House through the secure ROC the Day platform or directly, by going to our secure website:

Another way you can help us is to make your online Amazon holiday purchases through the Amazon Smile program. In this program, Amazon donates .05% of any purchase price to the charity of your choice. During the holiday season, it often announces special days during which an even higher percentage of the purchase price will be given to the charities chosen. Choose Harbor House as your charity and we will benefit every time you shop! However you decide to give this year, we hope that you will consider the Harbor House in your holiday giving plans.

Thoughts from a House Guest

by Rosemarie Hirschauer
Three months ago, my journey started, when my husband’s liver disease became worse. I was fortunate to be able to move in to Harbor House after living in Rochester on my own for two and a half weeks. The Harbor House became my home and it still is. Everything is here for you and you want for nothing. It is so cozy and comfortable, like your own home. Joan, who runs it, became a true friend and my guardian angel. Her kind words and compassion made me feel right at home. Without her to talk to, I don’t know what I would have done, because of everything I have endured through these scary times. When you stay at the Harbor House, you get to know other people who, like you, are going through great difficulties, and you form a family bond with each other. This has made my journey a much easier one, because of the Harbor House, the volunteers, and my guardian angel, Joan.

Green Eggs and BBQ??? Yes Ma’am!

The guests who were staying at the Harbor House had an unexpected treat in August. My cousin, Joe Gallea of Gallea’s Tropical Green House, approached me and asked whether the Harbor House might be interested in being the recipient of some barbecued meats. It turns out that there is a group in Rochester of people that uses a special kind of barbecue grill called “The Big Green Egg.” This type of grill can do it all, from grilling to smoking to cooking just about anything you can imagine. This group has been participating in various cooking competitions, and wanted to do a practice run before an upcoming competition. Who was I to turn down this offer of an amazing barbecue?

(Below: Joe Gallea and his barbecue chicken)

The team set up shop at Midvale Country Club on a Saturday afternoon. They worked diligently to prepare the meat, seasonings and all the details so that their meats would be good enough to win the competition. They stayed with their grills and kept checking on their progress all through the night. The next day, I met the whole group as they were just about ready to remove the finished products. There was mouthwatering pulled pork, tender and luscious BBQ chicken, and tasty, tender beef brisket, not to mention pork ribs that were cooked to absolute perfection. I walked out of the country club with huge containers of all of these. And it was all for our Harbor House guests’ summertime Sunday dinner!

A few days later, my cousin asked me how everyone at the House had enjoyed the barbecue. I told him in all truthfulness that I had never seen any meal enjoyed with such enthusiasm in my life! There was so much that I thought we would certainly have to freeze some, but I was wrong. It was so delicious that everyone ate heartily until there was not even a morsel left! Everyone enjoyed the meat so much that I’m sure they would have voted my cousin’s team of cooks the best contestants at the competition.

It’s amazing to me that no matter what you are passionate about, you can find a way to help others by using that gift, that enthusiasm. For families who were missing the chance to cook their own barbecue masterpieces because they were away from home to support a sick loved one, this meal meant so much. I would like to give a warm and sincere thank you to all the fantastic chefs on the Big Green Egg Competition Team.

This Year’s “And the BEAT goes on…
Is a Smashing Success !

Our most important Harbor House fundraiser, “And the BEAT goes on…,” was held this fall on Saturday, September 29, 2018 at a new venue, the Monroe Golf Club. The whole night was filled with energy and excitement. It was so great to see our community come together to support our mission.

(Above: Melisa (L) and Tim (R) at our Adopt-A-Day table; Below: the Wine Toss)

One of the highlights of the evening was the wine bottle ring toss contest. Our friends and supporters enthusiastically tried their luck to win a bottle of Caymus Vineyards 40th anniversary wine, valued at $300.00. The air was full of eager anticipation as the grand prize of the 40th anniversary wine remained in the pool of winnable wine bottles well into the contest. Less than ten bottles of wine were left and still the bottle had not been won! Tossers could not tell which bottle was the one they were aiming for because all the labels were covered. At last, one of our supporters circled the coveted bottle of wine with one of the rings! We’re hoping that we’ll always have that much fun with this event.

Another event that created a stir was our Chocolate Hearts Raffle. The grand prize this year was a stunning, heart-shaped sapphire and diamond necklace in a white gold setting, valued at $2,300.00! The lucky winner walked away with an heirloom piece of jewelry for the price of a $25.00 raffle ticket.

(Above: Volunteers selling chocolate hearts)

Apart from the raffles and contests, the dinner, conversation, and commentary were all superb. If you missed this year’s ATBGO, plan now to attend in 2019! Next year the Harbor House will be celebrating ten years of successful operation, and we hope to make this party our very best fundraising event to date. We’re looking for new ideas and for new people to be on our fundraising committee. If you’re interested, contact Joan at:

Volunteers in the Spotlight:

The Dream Team

(Back row from left: Ben, Dave (Dream Team supervisor that
day), Matt and Georgiana. Karen is in the front on the left.)

If you happen to visit the Harbor House late on a Monday morning, you’ll be greeted with a flurry of activity and positive energy. This is thanks to our amazing Monday cleaning crew of Ben, Georgiana, Karen and Matt. Every Monday morning I answer the doorbell to five smiling faces—the amazing Monday morning Dream Team, along with one of their supervisors from Lifetime Assistance, usually Dave, Herb or Sandy. They are my dream come true! They clean and organize the House until it sparkles. When one member can’t attend, their friend Shavant steps in. I’m always so happy to have his help and so is the rest of the team.

It’s amazing to see how they take on any challenge and work so hard to be sure that all of their tasks are completed to perfection. Each member has a specialty: being the best duster, best sink and mirror cleaner, best with a vacuum, best bed maker, etc. And they are always happy! They each have a great sense of humor, but also know when to get the job done. I can’t thank Matt, Karen, Georgiana, Ben and Shavant enough for their dedicated and excellent service. You truly are my Dream Team!

Make a donation

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

Donate to the Harbor House

Be a volunteer

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

Sign Up to Volunteer

Adopt a Day

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

Pick Your Day

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