Festival Aims for High-quality Event to Benefit a High-quality Hospital

Rob Burch and Andy McDermott don’t have any harrowing stories of their children needing the experts at Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center. But they don’t need a personal experience to appreciate the high-quality care the hospital brings to the region’s children and families. They use that high-quality care as inspiration to create a high-quality event – the Fairport Music and Food Festival.

“Golisano Children’s Hospital represents quality care, quality medicine,” McDermott said. “What’s important is we have a quality event and we represent the hospital well.”

The pair point out that they don’t run the festival like a business, that they focus on ensuring that the event is a success from the point of view of the people attending. They figure that the festival can only be a successful fundraiser if it’s a success at being fun for everyone who comes.

And it’s obvious they are right.

The first year, they raised an impressive $13,700. Four years later, in 2008, they had quadrupled that amount. This year, they raised $100,824 and broke the $500,000 mark for fundraising for the hospital.

The festival has committed $200,000 to funding a patient room and a nursing station in the new hospital (see pages 8 and 9 for more information on the new building). They’re already almost done fundraising for it, and they’re not ready to stop.

“Andy and Rob are two of our most dedicated supporters,” said Mike Fahy, assistant director of Community Affairs at Golisano Children’s Hospital. “They’ve created an amazingly fun event that has become a hallmark for the town of Fairport and has had an immeasurable impact for the kids we serve at the Children’s Hospital.”

Next, they’ve set their sights on helping even more with the new hospital. In addition to funding a patient room and a large nurse’s station, they decided to fund something that fits the personality of their festival, of their 295 volunteers and of themselves – the playroom. As one of three spaces dedicated entirely to fostering play in our patients, it’s a fitting choice for a couple of guys who can find fun in any task and in any conversation with anyone.

Over the seven years the festival has been running, McDermott and Burch have chosen to use its proceeds to fund the hospital’s education and entertainment system Get Well Network, a pediatric anesthesia machine, two Giraffe Omnibed incubators and the playroom in the B&L Wholesale Outpatient Pediatric Treatment Center. It has also supported the Pediatric Social Work program and given to the hospital’s unrestricted fund, which offsets costs of un- and under-funded care.

“The explosive growth of the Fairport Music and Food Festival is a perfect example of what dedicated community members can do to help our region’s children,” Fahy said.

Multimedia in this Issue:

2012 Stroll for Strong Kids Slideshow

Stroll for Strong Kids slideshow

Telethon 2012 Slideshow

Telethon 2012