Beacon Newsletter- Holiday 2019

Posted - December 7, 2019

ROC the Day/Giving Tuesday . . .
Sharing a Date and a Purpose

It’s that time of year when we gather as families, and also think of others and their needs.

The very first ROC the Day charitable giving event, administered by the United Way, took place in 2011, to allow people in the nine-county Greater Rochester area to be ROC stars by supporting local not-for-profit organizations. We have been participants from the beginning.

They say copying is the best form of flattery, so I guess that first ROC the Day must have gone very well, because the next year, the national Giving Tuesday came into existence. The rationale was that after spending so much money on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, people would naturally want to think of those less fortunate, and share their blessings with them. Giving Tuesday encourages people to be thankful by giving to others, like the Harbor House!

You can donate to the Harbor House by going directly to our website and clicking on the donate button, by sending us a check, or by going through ROC the Day,
at 1-800-242-0238. You can call them anytime on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, between 12 a.m. and 11:56 p.m.

If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter that day, you’ll learn about special times to donate that could earn “bonus bucks” for our House!

Whether you ROC the Day or give back on Giving Tuesday by donating directly to a local Rochester charitable organization, we hope you will consider a gift of
any size to the Harbor House of Rochester. We will be so grateful! Hope to hear from you then!

Thoughts from Two House Guests

Cindy and Kim both traveled quite a distance to support their sister who was being treated at the University of Rochester Medical Center: Cindy came from Delaware and Kim traveled from South Carolina. Both put their own busy lives on hold to be the best support possible for their sister in her time of need. After staying with us for over two weeks with plans to stay at least two more, this is what they had to say:

The Harbor House is a friendly, warm, caring place to stay when you find yourself far away from home caring for one of your loved ones in the hospital. The people managing this house are caring and loving and will go out of their way to make you feel at home.

So if you find yourself in Rochester, New York, far away from your home caring for a loved one, this is the perfect little cozy house to stay in. You will leave the Harbor House with the most wonderful feeling
of a whole new family to keep in touch with.

An Amazing Adirondacks Adventure

The view from the Adirondack Scenic Railroad train.

A highlight of our live auction thisyear was an Adirondacks Adventure package: a two- night stay at the Woods Inn, a boat tour and lunch on Raquette Lake, two allday passes for kayaking on Raquette River and two tickets on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad!

The winners, Rob and Peg Wackerman, have already gone on the An Amazing Adirondacks Adventure railroad trip, operated by the notfor-profit Adirondack Railroad Preservation Society, with train crews composed largely of volunteers. This tourist railway in Adirondack Park runs on the former New York Central Railroad between Utica and Lake Placid. Here’s what our auction winners had to say about their experience:

“Four of us arrived at approximately 10:00 a.m. at the Old Utica Railroad Station on a sunny Sunday morning. After getting our tickets and meeting some of the volunteers who keep this wonderful railroad in business, we headed out to the loading platform to prepare for boarding the train.

“We hopped aboard and were on our way to Old Forge, at the end of the line. As we moved along, the volunteers pointed out all the places of interest we passed. The waitress and waiter (also volunteers) passed out donuts, coffee and mimosas, which all tasted great! The ride was much smoother than we thought it would be. Eventually we arrived at Thendara Station, just a few miles from Old Forge.

“Because we took the late morning trip, we had no time to go into Old Forge. Normally, you have two or three hours before the return trip, so you do have time. But we did explore the beautiful and historic Thendara train station and
gift shop. The Thendara Inn there would be a great place to stay overnight. On the way back we had great pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs and cookies. The service was really wonderful – all the train’s volunteers are committed to the
success of the railroad.

Rob and Peg Wackerman

“We encourage you to visit these beautiful landscapes too, and enjoy viewing the Adirondack streams, woods and small towns. We would not hesitate to do it again. Check them out: Their holiday train rides include the Polar Express, Santa Train and Adirondack Christmas Train.”

And the BEAT goes on 2019:
Celebrating a Decade of Care in our Community

Kathy Parrinello and Dr. Leway Chen at the gala

On Sept. 21, 2019, Rochester’s Monroe Golf Club welcomed 210 guests through its doors to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of Harbor House’s hospitality to families in need.

The date was perfect, since our very first guest walked through our doors on September 21, 2009. We were all so thrilled to be able to celebrate this exact anniversary. And some of the first families who stayed at the house were able to attend the gala event!

Don Davis, accepting the diamond heart
necklace prize for the heart raffle

One of the highlights of the evening came during our famous “Heart Raffle.” We raffled off a gorgeous heart-shaped necklace (courtesy of JWilliam Jewelers of Spencerport). The stunning necklace was crafted in white gold with sixteen diamonds (a total of .75 carat), valued at over $3,000.00. It was won by Anne Davis, one of the first heart transplant patients who stayed at our house in 2009 with her husband, Don. She had just celebrated the tenth anniversary of her transplant on September 13, 2019. The crowd was so thrilled that it gave her a standing ovation!

There was much excitement at the Fling-a-Ring Wine Toss game, too. In honor of our tenth anniversary, we had some very good champagne sprinkled in the mix,
along with several other highquality bottles of wine. Of course the Caymus 40th anniversary bottle went over with a big bang, too. (I think people will practice their ring tossing skills for next year!)

“Basket ladies” Patty Steubing, Kathy O’Brien and Erin Lincoln

The evening was everything we hoped it would be and more, thanks to so many hard-working and dedicated volunteers, staff and board members. We want to
especially thank Mary Crowley, who worked so hard to ensure that we had wonderful auction items, Kathy O’Brien, who made the arrangements for our raffle baskets, and all of our board members, who contributed so much and
worked very hard to make sure this was our best event yet. Here’s to the next ten years!

Volunteers in the Spotlight:
Mike Heilman & Liz Huchthausen

Mike Heilman & Liz Huchthausen

I have always struggled to fill the evening volunteer time slot on weekdays. After trying many ways to solve this problem, about a year ago I reached out to several past volunteers and Harbor House supporters to see if someone would come to the house just one night per month, instead of weekly. It’s very difficult to commit to a weekly obligation when you’re working and/or raising a family. The response to this new plan was great, and I was pleased to welcome back some of
our past volunteers who found one night a month more manageable.

Mike Heilman and Liz Huchthausen are two young professionals who live and work in town. They have both helped me in the past as volunteers at our fundraisers, so I was thrilled when Mike and Liz told me they were interested in helping on a regular basis.

They volunteer together two nights per month, and have brought a vitality and enthusiasm to the house that has been very beneficial and enjoyable for our families. They’ve become two of the volunteers that I rely upon for all kinds of crazy tasks that need to be done at the house. They are a terrific team
and work well together, which I guess they have also realized as they are planning to be married in July 2020! Thank you Liz and Mike for embracing our mission and becoming such a vital part of our Harbor House family!


Make a donation

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

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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.

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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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