Virtual Oktoberfest raises $100,000 at Bayshore Medical Center

HOLMDEL – The annual Hackensack Meridian Bayshore Medical Center Foundation Oktoberfest Community Celebration, held virtually on Oct. 29, raised $100,000 for the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund and construction of the future Dr. Robert H. Harris Emergency Care Center at Hackensack Meridian Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel.

In lieu of the in-person celebration due to COVID-19, the foundation live-streamed a program featuring updates from Hackensack Meridian Health leadership on the Emergency Care Center project and tributes to its health care heroes who continue to fight COVID-19 on the front lines, according to a press release.

The event was recorded and community members who missed it can still view the program at

There is no cost to view the program, however, donations in support of the medical center and Oktoberfest Community Celebration can still be made at

“Thank you to everyone who tuned in to our virtual event,” said Frank Citara, chief hospital executive at Bayshore Medical Center. “We hope it offered valuable information, a little levity from your daily stresses, a peak into the world of our health care heroes and most importantly, moved you to support the Dr. Robert H. Harris Emergency Care Center, or contribute to our COVID-19 relief fund. We are privileged to care for our community and honored to be the recipients of gifts that help us provide the best care possible.”

The event, chaired by Carol Stillwell and Mary Ann Larkin, also featured a culinary demonstration featuring Chef Richie Gomes from Bell Market in Holmdel, as well as a pumpkin decorating contest, the winners of which will be announced at on Nov. 13 in two categories: adults and children under 12, according to the press release.

“COVID-19 has forced us to isolate from friends and family, but events like the Bayshore Oktoberfest Community Celebration have the unique ability to bring us together in support of a common goal,” said Stillwell, who is a Bayshore Medical Center trustee and was the event co-chair.

“It was an honor to again co-chair this special event with my sister and to rally behind our local medical center at a time when support has never been more crucial. Thank you for sharing in this moment with us and for your contributions to this event and wonderful hospital,” she said.

Among those who answered the call for support via event sponsorships were the medical staff at Bayshore Medical Center; Stillwell-Hansen Inc.; Carol Stillwell and Mary Ann Larkin; Torcon Inc.; the Bayshore Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees; and donations from community members, according to the press release.

“Bayshore Medical Center is my local hospital and I was honored to be able to co-chair this fantastic event once again,” Larkin said. “It is incumbent upon all of us who may need the medical center’s services at some point in time to help it be the best it can be. For everyone who sponsored the event, made a gift, participated in the pumpkin decorating contest or just tuned in to learn about the medical center’s growth, thank you.”

Gifts to the Bayshore Oktoberfest Community Celebration will help to provide enhancements to the Dr. Robert H. Harris Emergency Care Center, according to the press release.

Additionally, funds raised from the event will contribute to COVID-19 relief, helping the medical center to financially recover from the significant and unanticipated expenses associated with fighting the virus, according to the press release.