Red carpet glamour: Bristol Hospital hosts fundraiser for ER renovation

By The Bristol Press

November 17, 2019

SOUTHINGTON – Bristol Hospital rolled out the red carpet for its annual signature event Saturday night at the Aqua Turf Club.

Over 400 people attended the Red Carpet Ball, which raised money for the renovation and expansion of the hospital’s emergency center.

“This is our largest and most elegant event where we get the most participants,” said Mary Lynn Gagnon, the executive director of the Bristol Hospital Development Foundation. “It’s one giant celebration for the whole community of Bristol.”

CEO Kurt Barwis, who was attending his 13th ball, noted that there was good employee participation.

“This is one of the highest attendances we had in a while,” said Barwis. “The community support has been incredible.”

The ball raised around $115,000 last year through both ticket sales and auctions. The hospital has hosted a fundraising ball every year since 1959.

Gagnon said the event is a great opportunity for people to give money to an important cause and have a good time. Last year, the red carpet theme was so popular the hospital decided to do it every year.

“With our red carpet theme, it’s a very glamorous and elegant event,” Gagnon said. “You will see a lot of gowns and tuxedos tonight.”

“Everybody is dressed to the nines,” she added.

Guests dined, danced and mingled under chandeliers and balloons until midnight.

“This is a great event. They’re always doing things to better the hospital,” said Lexie Mangum, who is on the hospital board of directors.

Andrea Adams, the hospital’s 2019 employee of the year, also enjoyed the ball. Adams is a Bristol native who has worked at the hospital for 32 years. She is a patient representative there.

“I am just thrilled and honored,” Adams said of being the employee of the year. “I love working at my own community hospital.”

Adams said she loves working with the patients and hospital staff.

“We provide care and compassion to all of our patients,” she said.

Adams volunteered at the ball in past years and was thrilled to be attending as a guest.

“This is just a way people in the community and employees can support the hospital,” she said.

Dr. Andrew Lim, medical director of the emergency room, agreed that Bristol Hospital is a community hospital. The employees work to build the hospital up, he said.

“That’s one of our strengths as a community hospital, we’re a cohesive group,” Lim said.

“The renovation of the Bristol Hospital emergency room has been a long time coming and events like this kind of push that forward,” he added.

Bristol Hospital hosts three major fundraisers every year. The other two major fundraisers are the Festival of Wine & Spirits, on March 14, 2020, and the Annual Golf Classic, on June 8, 2020.