COLTS NECK, NJ: On Friday, October 11th, 6:30pm-10:30pm just days before the official ground breaking for the new Emergency Care Center at Bayshore Hospital in Holmdel, 264 guests gathered, many in festive cowboy hats and boots, at Stillwell Stables in Colts Neck. The community supported event was the fourth annual Hackensack Meridian Health Bayshore Medical Center Foundation 'Benefit for Bayshore Oktoberfest Community Celebration'.  The event raised more than $138,000 in support of the future Dr. Robert H. Harris Emergency Care Center at the Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel.  

The Benefit for Bayshore Oktoberfest Community Celebration was hosted and chaired by Carol Stillwell and Mary Ann Larkin, with immediate past leaders, Dr. and Mrs. Asaad and Dima Samra, serving as honorary chairs. It featured an Oktoberfest-inspired menu, beverages, décor and entertainment. The event was supported by capstone sponsor, Stillwell-Hansen, Inc. and included an entertaining Horse Racing Raffle, broadcast on large screens at the venue. This provided an exciting unique component in addition to the entertaining live music.

“It was my pleasure to co-host and co-chair this fantastic event with my sister, Mary Ann,” says Carol Stillwell, who is also a Bayshore Medical Center Foundation trustee. “The new Emergency Care Center at Bayshore Medical Center is going to change the way this community receives emergency care and I am thankful to everyone who has supported, and who continues to support, this exciting initiative – particularly those who attended the Oktoberfest event. Thank you also to Dima and Dr. Asaad Samra for serving as honorary chairs and for your long-standing commitment that has greatly helped to bring this project to fruition.”

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Frank Citara, MBA, chief hospital executive at Bayshore Medical Center commented,  “The Oktoberfest Community Celebration has been raising funds in preparation for this expansion for the last several years, and while a great deal has been raised, community support is still critical. This event gave area residents an opportunity to have a fantastic time while supporting an important cause.”

“As a community member, foundation board chair and first responder, the new Emergency Care Center is personal for me,” says Serena DiMaso, who also serves as a New Jersey Assemblywoman. “I could not be more thrilled to support the Oktoberfest event every year knowing that the contributions will go to enhancing emergency care for our community.” 

Construction for the new 32,000 square foot Dr. Robert H. Harris Emergency Care Center at Bayshore Medical Center is underway with the official groundbreaking taking place on October 17. Located on the Garden State Parkway side of the campus, it will contain 35 patient bays,swing space with capacity for pediatric care and new imaging equipment dedicated to Emergency Care Center patients.

Funds raised from events such as the Oktoberfest Community Celebration also brings Meridian Health Foundation closer to its $150 million fundraising goal as part of the organization’s Giving Heals campaign. Giving Heals supports four important initiatives: strengthening oncology services, improving clinical outcomes, enhancing the patient experience and broadening clinical research and academic programs at the following Hackensack Meridian Health medical centers in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties: Jersey Shore University Medical Center, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, Bayshore Medical Center, Ocean Medical Center, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center and Southern Ocean Medical Center.

“Philanthropy plays a major role in making projects like the new Emergency Care Center at Bayshore Medical Center possible,” says Joseph Stampe, president and chief development officer of Hackensack Meridian Health Meridian Health Foundation. “This project will touch tens of thousands of people every year, often when they least expect it. Donor support can help to ensure that they will have the best care available to them when and where they need it most. We encourage anyone interested in learning more to reach out to us to have a conversation. There are a variety of ways in which people can lend support.” Click here for more information on Giving Heals.  To learn more about how you can support Bayshore Medical Center Foundation and new Emergency Care Center directly, please contact Jennifer Smith, vice president of development, at 732.751.5115 or email