Beacon Newsletter – July 2016

Posted - August 25, 2016

And the BEAT goes on… 2016 !


  • When: September 10, 2016 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Where: Double Tree by Hilton – Henrietta, New York
  • Cost: $35 before Sept. 1 - $40  after Sept. 1
  • Tickets: Call us or go to:

The first Harbor House “And the BEAT goes on…” event was held in 2006 with the idea that eventually enough money would be raised to start a hospital hospitality house. In September 2009, the dream became a reality as the Harbor House opened for the first time. This September, we’ll be celebrating seven years of welcoming guests. In that time we’ve provided over 8,000 nights rest in a home away from home environment for those around the state, country and the world!

Every year, we have one major fundraising event to enable us to continue our mission. As we were planning for this year’s event, we talked about all the events we’ve had in the past and what stood out in our minds about each one: the excitement of the first heart raffle, and how the winner danced down the aisle waving her hands in the air to collect her prize. The bidding war that took place during one of our live auctions, electrifying the entire audience. The incredibly beautiful and lavish baskets that were donated by the various units of Strong Memorial Hospital, and how thrilled people were to take one home. We thought about people running to put in the very last bid on a silent auction item so they could swoop in and grab that coveted silent auction item. And we remembered the compliments we received about the food and the variety of options that made it easy to delight everyone—even those with dietary restrictions. People said that it was fun to walk around the room instead of being stuck at one table. We also recalled the various kinds of music we’ve had through the years, and how it made the evening special. This year we decided to combine the best parts of each of our previous “And the BEAT goes on…” events into one spectacular fundraiser. It’s clear to us that the beat of Harbor House is going strong.
We hope you’ll come to our ATBGO party this year!

Thoughts from a House Guest

George McGlaughlinOn March 3, 2016, I went into the hospital for a major surgery at age 77. Strong Memorial did all the prep work—I just had to get there in the wee hours of the morning! We discovered Harbor House through the grapevine and were surprised to find a fully equipped home with plenty of bathrooms, two full kitchens and a basement TV lounge/recreation area. The bedrooms are pristine (I have since stayed in them all) and comfortable. And there are always plenty of snacks.

Two daughters were able to stay until I was discharged. A tip of the hat to everyone at the House, or, as we say in the military “WHOO-RAHHHH!”

George W. McGlaughlin,
Professional Bearded Santa,
Ret. USAF Flying Medic

Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

eye to eye a cupella group (1) fixedMany reasons attract volunteers to the Harbor House. Some have experienced their own medical crisis and now want to give back. Others like to meet new people and enjoy volunteering in a very relaxed atmosphere like the one we have at Harbor House. Still others have chosen Harbor House because they feel they can make the greatest impact helping a small organization. Whatever the reason, they all bring with them different gifts, skills, cultures and personalities. This makes for comfortable guests as they come with various backgrounds too.

It is always hard to get people to come to an event that is designed to be a thank you for the wonderful work they do. It’s the nature of a volunteer to be a giving person who does not care about recognition, gifts or even a thank you. They share their time and talents because of a sincere desire to help out their fellow human being.   Even so, we attempt to gather as many of these terrific folks as possible to recognize their efforts.

This year, the board of directors and staff of the Harbor House took our many volunteers to dinner as a way to thank them for their dedication, loyalty to our cause and hard work. It was held at the Burgundy Basin Inn, located in Bushnell’s Basin, NY. The dinner was lovely and included many delicious food choices prepared with care by the chef at Burgundy Basin.   To top things off, we were treated to a few beautiful songs by an a cappella group called Eye to Eye. Burgundy Basin’s own Denise Michaelsen is a member and generously arranged for this performance.

As a gift, the volunteers received some lucky bamboo, three pieces to be precise, representing happiness, wealth and long life, which they so richly deserve. Thank you to each and every one of you for helping to make Harbor House a warm and welcoming place for so many.

Let’s Talk About Terrific Teens

This school year, I was approached by a delightful young lady who was a senior in high school. She had heard about the Harbor House during her time as a volunteer at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

terrific-teenLaura Ann is a Senior Girl Scout, and she was working on her Gold Award. For this award, she needed to do a very special project. When she learned that the mission of the Harbor House is to provide a place for families to stay while a loved one is in the hospital with a serious medical condition, and that many people have loved ones waiting for a transplant, she decided she would like her Gold Award project to benefit the Harbor House in some way. We decided that coordinating and putting on a donation drive would be a great way to help out the Harbor House.

I always thought it would be easy to get used DVDs donated to the House, but I was wrong about that. Our supply has been very limited all these years, and I really was hoping to increase our video library. Laura Ann decided to take on the challenge of getting people to donate used DVDs. Never underestimate the power of a determined teenager! Laura Ann brought us two large boxes filled with DVDs, and she didn’t stop there. She also encouraged her friends and classmates to donate Easter Candy and paper goods. This past Spring the House was overflowing with so much great candy that even the Easter Bunny was jealous!

Since then, Laura Ann was able to complete all the requirements for her Gold Award and she graduated from high school in June. She will be a bright spot to many people in years to come. Thanks, Laura Ann!

Keep an Eye Out for our New and Improved Website!

HH-new-siteIt has been a long time coming because a lot of work goes into making a website, especially before the product is given to the webmaster to develop. We had to decide what we wanted to accomplish with our website, what we felt was important to include, and then we had to organize and write all the information, gather pictures, update forms, etc. Each step is filled with so many details that I really have to tip my hat to anyone who enjoys dealing with the intricacies of a project such as this. It takes a special person who is not only technologically proficient, but also very patient, to be able to deal with the rest of us. In the end it will all be worth it as we are able to present a beautiful picture to the world of the Harbor House of Rochester.

Our website will have a guest book where current and former guests can keep one another up to date and share stories. We will also have two videos on the site: one is a history of the House and the other a “What to expect if you stay” type video. And the most current version of our Adopt-a-Day calendar will be posted.

We’ll also have a Harbor House photo gallery. If you have any pictures you took while staying at the Harbor House, pictures of past events, pictures of your loved one today, please send them in!

We’ll have online fillable forms for volunteering and our Guest Exit Survey. It will be easy to donate online through our site as well! Did you miss a newsletter? No worries—you’ll have a chance to access old newsletters or our current issue.

We’re hoping to launch our new website sometime in August, so check in as often as you can at:

Volunteers in the Spotlight: Tim Yelder

Tim Yelder fixedI was introduced to Tim by two of our frequent guests, Dana and Pete Kozlowski. Pete and Tim had become friends when they were both in the hospital. Since then, they meet whenever they’re in Rochester at the same time. I have often been included in these gatherings.

One day I was talking about needing volunteers, and Tim told me that he’d like to step up to the plate. I was so happy to welcome him as a volunteer!

Tim is loyal, dependable and great at taking care of the house—sometimes I even tell him not to work so hard, but he just smiles and keeps going! Tim also manages our Adopt-a-Day program. He’s very organized and keeps everything running smoothly and on time.

One of the ways Tim serves families best is by sharing his knowledge and experience as an L-VAD user. He’s always willing to talk to anyone staying at the house who is worried because a loved one just received or will be receiving an L-VAD. Tim shows them his equipment, explains it, and even shares his own personal experiences. This alleviates a lot of fear caused by a lack of knowledge or understanding. It is also very nice for these folks to see how happily and well Tim is living his life.

Thank you Tim for all that you do for the Harbor House!

Adopt a Day Honorees


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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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

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