To the Newaygo County community:
Thank you very much for the tremendous outpouring of generosity from so many people throughout Newaygo County who supported Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s Beards for Babies fundraising campaign to benefit our labor and delivery center, and the 500-plus patients we serve each year. Our final tally was $7,377.11. That’s more than three times the original goal we set when we launched the month-long event at the start of November 2017.
All the proceeds from the event are staying locally and directly impacting Gerber Memorial patients and families. The funds will be used to train and certify an additional lactation consultant as well as provide families with diapers, swaddle sacks and educational safe sleep books.
The Spectrum Health Foundation at Gerber Memorial would not have been able to reach this goal if not for the enthusiasm of our 22 participants, who let their beards go for four weeks – and beyond, in a few cases – despite the protests of wives, children and other loved ones. The men set up customized profile pages highlighting their beards and the cause. They pushed, prodded and persuaded people near and far to give money to their pages. Hats off to them, especially to the top individual fundraiser, Scott Swinehart of Newaygo, and the top fundraising team, “Itching for a Cause,” made up of Gerber Memorial Community Health and Wellness Director Josh Gustafson; brothers Collin and Justin Zeerip; and Tamarac Wellness Center Supervisor Justin Aman, who collectively raised $1,810.
Thanks to Lakes 23 Restaurant and Pub, which hosted a beard showdown on the final night of the Beards for Babies fundraiser Nov. 29, where total funds were tallied and judges from the community picked out the best facial hair in a host of whisker-y categories, including best overall beard (Charlie Johnson, LifeLink coordinator at TrueNorth Community Services); most unique beard (Gustafson, who sported a modified “mutton-chop” look that had to be seen to be believed); best-effort beard (Eric Weaver, MD, at Gerber Memorial’s Multispecialty Clinic); and best mustache (Brian McClain, director of clinical and ambulatory services at Gerber Memorial, who gave “handle-bar” a new definition).
Thanks to judges for the night who donated their time and their eye for fashion: Sue Auw of Classic Cuts for Men in Fremont; Kenzi Boerman and Melissa Rich of Snipperz Salon in Fremont; Jackie Kozitzki, RN; and Marsha Stasik of Newaygo.
And thanks to Loretta Towne of Fremont and our Foundation specialist, for her creativity and work making the Beards for Babies fundraiser a success, not to mention her nonstop advocacy for community-driven causes that our foundation spearheads throughout the year.
These are just a few of the many folks who helped this inaugural fundraiser succeed. They and dozens of others opened their hearts, their wallets and their personal schedules to support local families and newborns. On behalf of Gerber Memorial, we are truly grateful to serve such a generous and supportive community that stands together for each other.
Paul C. Bedient
Fund Development Director
Spectrum Health Foundation Gerber Memorial
For more information or questions about contributing to Gerber Memorial’s foundation, call 231-924-3681.
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