The virtual event will raise funds for the new Dr. Robert H. Harris Emergency Care Center and COVID-19 Relief

Holmdel, NJ – September 21, 2020 – To safeguard supporters, Hackensack Meridian Bayshore Medical Center Foundation has moved its annual October fundraising event to a virtual format to be held on Friday, October 29 at 7 p.m. In lieu of the planned, in-person Oktoberfest celebration, the foundation will host a program that donors can stream live to continue to raise necessary funds for Hackensack Meridian Bayshore Medical Center that will address the growing health needs of the community. Funds raised will support both the future Dr. Robert H. Harris Emergency Care Center, as well as the medical center’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

“Since last year’s fundraising event, construction of the Dr. Robert H. Harris Emergency Care Center has taken off,” says Frank Citara, MBA, chief hospital executive at Bayshore Medical Center. “I am thrilled to share that we have remained on schedule and that we look forward to opening our beautiful new facility to the public in late 2021. While we are making great progress, more support is needed, so we can enhance the facility with additional technologies and safety measures to ensure we are prepared for whatever unknowns come our way in the future. The community really rallied behind us during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring, and we are hopeful that the generous spirit that was exhibited during that timeframe will translate into additional gifts.”

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The Bayshore Oktoberfest Community Celebration virtual event, chaired by Carol Stillwell and Mary Ann Larkin, will include updates from Hackensack Meridian Health leadership on the current Emergency Care Center project and inspirational videos and tributes to our health care heroes who continue to fight COVID-19 on the frontlines.

“We are disappointed that we will be unable to gather together in person this year, particularly after this challenging time during which our health care heroes are really getting the credit they are long overdue,” says Carol Stillwell, Bayshore Medical Center trustee and event co-chair. “What better way to thank these heroes than to make a gift in support of this important project, which will essentially, help them, help you.”

“This year’s event will not be the way we hoped it would be, but it is going to be fantastic,” says Mary Ann Larkin, co-chair of the Bayshore Oktoberfest Community Celebration. “I can speak from first-hand experience, that you never know when you, or a loved one, will need the best medical care available, which is why it’s so important to ensure that it is the best it can be now. Even if you are unable to make the virtual event, we would be grateful for any and all support.”

In addition to moving videos and updates, the Bayshore Oktoberfest Community Celebration virtual event will feature a pumpkin decorating contest in which community submissions are welcome, as well as a culinary demonstration by a local chef. Qualifying sponsors and donors will also receive a pre-packaged chef kit with the opportunity to follow along with the demonstration on event day.

“Holmdel, and the Bayshore-area, is a really unique community in that it feels like – and is – a family,” said Serena DiMaso, chair, Bayshore Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees. “This event will offer an opportunity for everyone to pull together for a critical cause, while getting to enjoy our community’s own tribute to our health care workers. It will be a touching evening that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. What better way to show your support?” 

Members of the community are also invited to help celebrate Hackensack Meridian Health’s health care heroes by submitting a short video (five to 10 seconds maximum), photo or drawing that can be included in the program, along with your best decorated or carved pumpkin. All submissions can be sent to and are due October 12.

“The outpouring of generosity and love we have felt from the community has been incredible,” says Joseph Stampe, president and chief development officer, Hackensack Meridian – Meridian Health Foundation, to which Bayshore Medical Center Foundation belongs. “We have received several truly impactful gifts in support of COVID-19 Emergency Relief, as well as many that will help to make the Dr. Robert H. Harris Emergency Care Center at Bayshore Medical Center one that the community can truly be proud of. But there is so much more that we could do to elevate the project. If this year has taught us anything, it’s the need to be prepared, which is why we are actively seeking vital support.”

To participate, please visit There is no cost to participate as a viewer, however donations and sponsorships in support of the event can be made on the registration website and are critical to its success.

For additional information about Bayshore Medical Center Foundation or to make a donation, please contact Marisa Medina, director of development for Bayshore Medical Center Foundation, at 848-303-5803 or by email at


Bayshore Medical Center is a 211-bed not-for-profit community hospital located in Holmdel, New Jersey, providing health care programs and services in all major medical disciplines, including: emergency medicine, cardiac catheterization, surgical services, wound care, sleep services, diagnostic imaging, women's services with digital mammography, as well as a designated primary stroke center. Its Center for Bariatrics is one of the most comprehensive in the region offering free informational sessions, pre-surgical education and evaluation, personal guidance through the surgical process, nutritional support, exercise components and support groups. For more information, visit

About Hackensack Meridian Health

Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.

Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 35,000 team members, and 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The network’s notable distinctions include having four hospitals among the top in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019” list.

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University opened in 2018, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its second class of 96 students in 2019 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

For additional information, please visit