Beacon Newsletter- Spring 2018

Posted - April 22, 2018

A Heart-Warming, Heart-Healthy

Weekend of Fun and Exercise

The American Heart Association Heart Walk will be on Saturday, April 14, 2018,  starting at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY. You can join our team by going to:

After signing up, you’ll receive several tips for getting donors to support you. It’s so easy that we’ve already reached half our team’s goal! If you can’t join us, you can still help by following the link and making a donation. To give Harbor House credit, be sure to donate under the name of a member of our team. Whether you can walk, run or donate, thank you for helping us battle the No.1 (heart disease) and No. 5 (stroke) killers in America.

On Sunday, April 15, 2018 the River Run/Walk 5K is being held at Genesee Valley Park, close by the Harbor House and URMC. To sign up, go to:

The River Run/Walk supports a special fund that helps transplant families with unexpected financial needs that arise during their transplant journey. Many of our Harbor House families have benefited from this fund.

If you haven’t done so already and want to participate, please be sure to register soon! Online registration ends Tuesday, April 10, but you can also register in person at the Friends of Strong office, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Room 1-1230, until noon on Friday, April 13, for $30. The day of the event, registration will be $35, by cash or check. We hope to see you there!

Can’t walk, but want to contribute to this fund anyway? That’s easy too. Just follow the same link and click on Donate. I recommend donating under Dr. Leway Chen’s name, because he is one of our founding members and is on our board. He always has time to lend a hand or help in any way he can, even though he has a very busy schedule. However you donate, you will ease the burdens of so many families!


Thoughts from Some of our House Guests

As I sit here in my quiet room at Harbor House, I am thinking what a blessing Harbor House has been to me. It has definitely been my “home” while we have been in Rochester. So many times I’ve referred
to this house as “home” because I’ve felt so comfortable here. It’s a place where I have felt a sense of belonging. It has been a refuge to me when things have been tough and I just needed time to de-stress. I am so thankful you let me stay here. It has made a tough time more bearable.

— Tonye H.

Harbor House, you will forever be in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. These four walls and those of you who came into our lives have provided us with a home, comfort and support. We would not have made it through these days without you. May the spirit of this house
and its people continue to provide others the peace and love we found.
—Ron and Pam B.

Save the Date for ATBGO … September 29, 2018!

Now that we’re officially in the
season of Spring, with Summer
right around the corner, the weeks
and months will fly by before we
realize what’s happening!

That’s why, even though it seems like a long way off; it’s time to mark your calendar for our annual fundraiser—ATBGO (And the BEAT goes on…) 2018. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, September, 29, 2018, at the Monroe Golf Club, which has long been regarded as one of the premier private golf clubs in Rochester and throughout Western New York.

For those of you who have not been to Monroe Golf Club, you’re
in for a fabulous, upscale evening. The Club is nestled between North Washington Street and Marsh Road in Pittsford, on an appropriately named street—Golf Avenue. The setting is quiet and elegant. It will be a special evening you won’t want to miss!

We still need volunteers to help with corporate sponsorships. If your line of work enables you to interact with a lot of different
businesses, you may be the perfect person to help us to grow our sponsor list. Call me for more details. Being an ATBGO sponsor is a great way for companies to get their names out into the larger community for a relatively small investment.

We also need more members for our “auctions” committee. The best way to get new and exciting auction items is to recruit new members for this committee!

Even if you can’t serve on this committee, if you have an interesting item for us, or perhaps have a connection to someone who does, please don’t hesitate to call
me. Having unusual and desirable items is the best way to make our auctions stay exciting!



New Mattresses for Harbor House

We made some new friends this year. I received a message in the Fall that a gentleman who received a heart transplant was interested in touring the Harbor House. While he was still in the hospital, he had heard about our organization and wanted to see what it was all about. He came for a visit with his wife and a friend from the company where he works—Lidestri Foods of Fairport.

After they toured the house, they told me that they wanted to do whatever they could to help our mission. They were so grateful that Joe had received the gift of life when he got a heart transplant, and felt that helping Harbor House would be a great way to express this gratitude. Within a week of our visit, Joe and Tammy’s children and friends came and decorated the Harbor House for the winter holidays. The house looked amazing this year!

During their first visit, Joe and Joleen, both employees at Lidestri Foods, had asked me what we really needed. I said we needed new mattresses. Shortly after their visit, I got a call from Joleen Jenkins telling me that Lidestri Foods was going to raise the money to help us get the new mattresses.

The dynamic duo of Joleen Jenkins and Joe  Ferrigno had two versions of T-shirts printed up to sell to Lidestri employees: “It’s a Great Day to be Alive,” and “Going to the Mattresses.”

As it happened, these fundraising efforts coincided with our annual pub crawl. We decided to discount the pub crawl tickets for anyone wearing a shirt, which in turn inspired many Lidestri employees to attend. It was fun to see so many green shirts!

Joe knows a generous man named Gino Marcello who owns Sleep City. Gino gave Joe and Joleen deep, deep discounts so that they could afford to buy us top quality  mattresses and box springs. The mattresses arrived in mid-February and were delivered and installed. Sean and Scott of Sleep City made sure that everything was perfect. Gino also donated some additional items to complete the project. Now our guests can “get the best night’s sleep,” thanks to Lidestri Foods
and Sleep City!

We think of Lidestri Foods as part of our Harbor House family now, and all the fantastic people who work there as our friends. We will never be able to thank
Joe or Joleen enough for their enthusiasm and can-do attitude. It is inspiring just to be around them! We are so grateful to all the wonderful donors at Lidestri Foods and for the amazing generosity of Gino Marcello at Sleep City!

Let’s Talk About Terrific Teens

We had an incredible group of teens volunteer at our House over the February school break. By “incredible,” I mean astonishing, extraordinary, unbelievable, amazing, mind-blowing, tremendous—you get the idea.

I have parented three fantastic teens myself, so I know a bit about how they operate, especially over a break from school. They like to live what I call the vampire lifestyle—staying up late at night and sleeping all day. But this group of students showed up at the door of the Harbor House at 8:00 a.m. Not only were they here, but they were awake, smiling and personable. I didn’t see one of them texting or on a cell phone. They were giving their full attention to our guests!

These students were from a partnership of churches organized into a group called RocSALT: Rochester Serving and Learning Together. They had each decided to join this youth retreat week, and they were pumped about it. They brought breakfast to the families staying here and sat and talked with them during the meal. They were charming and fun— just the perfect break away from the hospital for these folks who had been caring for their loved ones for weeks.

Once the families left to go to the hospital, the group jumped into action and made about 40 “Welcome Bags” for arriving guests. They packed practical things like hand sanitizer, combs and tissues, as well as mini candy bars, hard candies and playing cards, to help occupy some of the long hours of sitting bedside.

After this, they started a meal in the crockpot, to be ready for our guests when they returned after a long day at the hospital. It’s always interesting to watch other people cook. The students made our guests a huge pot of chili, and the secret ingredient they added was cinnamon—who knew? It turned out to be absolutely delicious and everyone loved it.

Thank you Laura Bachman, Coordinator of RocSALT, and Katrina Hebb, youth minister for the day. And thanks to Darnya Thompson and Cynai Newsome of South Presbyterian Church, Tommy Kelly from Gates Presbyterian, and Natali Maar from Brockport Presbyterian. You are truly incredible.

Volunteer in the Spotlight: Patty Cost

If you are enjoying this issue of The Beacon, you have Patty Cost to thank. She edits the mish mash of articles and pictures I send her every quarter to make our Harbor House newsletter. It never ceases to amaze me how she can do so much in her personal life and still have time to edit and format our newsletter, making it an easily understood, professional-looking publication in just about a day, no matter when I send it. [It’s because I’m a night-owl, Joan!]

Patty has been an editor for years, and has written several books. She’s an adjunct professor at RIT, runs a book club at a retirement community, volunteers for St. Michael’s Woodshop in downtown Rochester, and makes newsletters and books for that non-profit as well. She supports her husband, an RIT professor, in his many endeavors, and frequently hosts foreign students and RIT colleagues. You know the old saying, “If you want something done, ask a busy person…”

Patty has been a cherished friend of mine for more than twenty years and I thank her for helping us in such an important way. Patty, you are the gold standard! [Thanks, Joan!]

Adopt A Day Honorees


Date Chosen





Month of January 2018  
1.7.18 Let’s Celebrate Jessica Kochik
1.7.18 Let’s Celebrate Elery J. Mayo
1.12.18 Let’s Celebrate Linda Acker
1.13.18 In Warm Remembrance of Patricia A. Guthrie
1.16.18 In Warm Remembrance of Jennifer Linscott Tietgen
1.24.18 Let’s Celebrate Tessa and Harper
1.26.18 Let’s Celebrate Marissa Chen
Month of February 2018  
2.5.18 In Warm Remembrance of Ron Fontana
2.15.18 In Warm Remembrance of Ervin Dean Johnson
3.16.18 In Warm Remembrance of Jennifer Linscott Tietgen
2.23.18 Let’s Celebrate Wyble Real Estate
2.27.18 Let’s Celebrate Mary K. Crowley
Month of March 2018 Sponsored by
The Joseph and Irene Skalny Family Foundation
3.3.18 Let’s Celebrate Michael Chen
3.5.18 Let’s Celebrate Anne Davis
3.5.18 Let’s Celebrate Jeff Acker
3.9.18 Let’s Celebrate Della Kochik
3.14.18 In Honor of The Schiller Family
3.16.18 In Warm Remembrance of Jennifer Linscott Tietgen


In Warm Remembrance of Hannah Metzler



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