In February, the Auxiliary of Milford Memorial Hospital announced that the annual Hospital Fair will not be held this year on the third Saturday in May. The event has been a long-standing tradition for Milford families that has provided the auxiliary with a way to promote the hospital and raise money for certain items that were not available in the normal budget including life-saving equipment and funding for vital programs.
“After 57 Years, and due to a variety of factors, it is with great sadness and resolve that the Auxiliary of Milford Memorial Hospital announces that we are not planning to hold the Hospital Fair this year,” said Toni Bergfelder, President go MMH Auxiliary in a letter sent out to the public in February. “Many of us remember the Fair as a highlight of the year, and we will miss it.”
The Hospital Fair was started in1958 by Mrs. Raymond (Edith) Masten and Mrs. Leslie (Mardy) Dobson in the small field located in the area behind (north side) the hospital that faced along Clarke Ave. It was a very localized fundraising effort to purchase some special equipment for the hospital that was not available in the normal budget. The original location is now the site of the latest entrance wing of the hospital and the medical-arts offices that were later donated by the estate of Wilson S. Vinyard in 1973.
In the public letter, Bergfelder also stated that she hopes that this time will allow the Auxiliary to take a look at the event and discuss its potential future. “It is our sincere hope that this will not be the end of the beloved event, but perhaps a time to re-group and define how this event can and should continue as we look ahead to the new health campus being planned by Bayhealth for Milford and the surrounding communities.”
On Monday, February 23, Bayhealth Medical Center announced that the organization has selected CannonDesign as their lead architectural and engineering partner for the new health campus project projected to open in 2018 in Milford. Bayhealth also announced that a firm has been chosen for the purpose of re-imagining the Clarke Avenue facility, the site that currently houses the Milford Memorial Hospital, with details promised once contract negotiations are completed.
The $250 million health campus, which will be located along Route 1 at the corner of Wilkins Road and Cedar Creek Road, will include a hospital, outpatient center and physicians’ offices. Bayhealth hopes to break ground in mid- to late 2015 and hopes to have the new facility operational in 2018. The health campus will include a state-of-the-art inpatient hospital and emergency department.
Although the Hospital Fair will not be held in 2015, the Milford Memorial Auxiliary plans to enhance fundraising efforts in support of Bayhealth this year and moving forward. The Auxiliary will continue to support programs and purchase lifesaving equipment for Bayhealth’s Milford Memorial on Clarke Avenue as well as continuing to raise funds for the new health campus. Members of the Milford Memorial Auxiliary are planning new and expanded fundraising activities including the 2nd Annual Bayhealth Foundation Spring Golf Tournament on Thursday, May 21, “A Night with Elvis” featuring dinner and entertainment on Friday, May 22 and the Annual BBQ and Auction on October 24. In addition to these fundraising events, the Auxiliary continues dedicating time to the Reflections Gift Shop at Milford Memorial.