Bristol Hospital Ball Celebration | Bristol Health News

By The Bristol Press

November 18, 2018

Hollywood glamour, food, drinks and music highlighted the annual Bristol Hospital Ball Saturday night at the Aqua Turf.

The event featured a “Live from the Red Carpet” theme, as attendees walked through a red carpet to enter the event. The entertainment included two red carpet hosts impersonating Hollywood characters, a paparazzi photo booth, and music which was provided by the Sugah Rush Duo.

The bar offered signature cocktails, and guests were provided with dinner entrée options that included filet mignon, baked stuffed jumbo shrimp and autumn chicken.

The event also included a raffle, a silent auction and a live auction. The live auction items included a week in Costa Rica, a week at West Hill Lake in Barkhamsted, and a wine tasting for five people hosted by hospital President Kurt Barwis.

The ball, which welcomed approximately 400 guests, is the largest fundraising event of the year organized by the Bristol Hospital Development Foundation.

Mary Lynn Gagnon, executive director of the foundation, said the funds raised Saturday will go to the renovations and expansion at the emergency center.

“It’s a wonderful celebration for all of our Bristol Hospital’s greatest of greatest,” Gagnon said of the event.

Mike Adams, chairman of the board of trustees for the foundation, said the hospital’s emergency room is highly rated in terms of services offered to patients.

“In terms of the actual physical plant, it needs to catch up with that service,” Adams said.

Adams said he enjoys the annual ball because people can have a good time while supporting a good cause.

“For the most part, you are rushing people out of here,” Adams said. “When it closes down, there’s people here still on that dance floor having a fantastic time.”

Among the attendees were hospital employees such as Craig Mittleman, a physician, who said that attending the ball was a privilege.

“I just think that having my colleagues and friends gather for an event to raise money for the remodeling of the E.R. is a special opportunity and it’s just a special time to celebrate and have drinks and food and enjoy each other’s company outside of the workplace,” Mittleman said.

Barwis said he acknowledges that the team at the emergency room does great work but that it could do an even better job if the facility were updated.

Construction is expected to start after the holidays, and the first phase of the project is expected to be completed by next summer, Barwis said. The first thing that will be built is a “secured state of the art behavioral health unit.”

“That is by far the most important thing we can do,” Barwis said.

The goal is to better the environment to take better care of the patients and the community.

To learn more about Bristol Hospital and the Development Foundation visit