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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Oct 17, 2017

Second Annual Benefit for Bayshore Oktoberfest Celebration

By Lori Draz

Event chairs, Dr. and Mrs. Asaad and Dima Samra, honorary chair and Foundation trustee, Carol Stillwell, senior executive director of Bayshore Medical Center Foundation and Riverview Medical Center Foundation, Jennifer Smith, president of Meridian Health Foundation, Joseph Stampe, Monmouth County Freeholder and chair of Bayshore Medical Center Foundation, Serena DiMaso, Esq. and Dr. Gerald DiMaso

Event to benefit expanding hospital emergency services

There was nothing unlucky at all about Friday the 13th, especially if you were one of the lucky 300 plus people who attended the Hackensack Meridian Health Bayshore Medical Center Foundation’s second annual Benefit for Bayshore Oktoberfest Community Celebration.

The giant tent transformed the parking lot of the hospital into a harvest hotspot. Now to explain, the parking lot was chosen as the location because it is the site of the future emergency room. The symbolic location was truly inspirational as the event raised over $175,000. That resounding success is due in large part to the tremendous efforts of the event co-chairs Dr. and Mrs. Asaad and Dima Samra, along with honorary chair and Capstone Sponsor, Carol Stillwell and the new Capstone Sponsor this year, Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Striano. The team delivered a very entertaining event, and the lively crowd mixed and mingled around the large central bar, the numerous food stations, and fun carnival style games. The music pumped, the food and beverages including special Oktoberfest brews flowed, and most importantly the crowd learned more about the effect Bayshore Medical Center is having on the community.

In a touching and personal speech, Carol Stillwell was very emotional when she talked about her experiences as a patient in the hospital.  “I have been involved with Bayshore for many years, but during my recent experiences there, the entire staff has become a second family to me,” she explained. She further shared that the future is brighter than you could imagine and thanks to the generous donations to this event and others in the community, the dreams are becoming real.

Dr. Samra was clearly delighted at the attendance as he took the microphone. In a genuinely happy speech he thanked his beautiful wife Dima for all her tireless efforts in planning the night, and spoke from his personal experience about the level of care and compassion the hospital extends to patients every day. (Dr. Samra is the chief of surgery at Bayshore Medical Center) “Dima and I couldn’t have been more excited to chair this event,” explains Dr. Samra. “In my role on the Medical Staff and through our involvement in the community as residents of Holmdel, we are witnessing the incredible growth at Bayshore Medical Center firsthand. We know that the local region shares in our enthusiasm, and we look forward to making more and significant improvements to the hospital.”

“This year’s Benefit for Bayshore Oktoberfest Celebration was a record-breaking fundraising event for the medical center,” explains Timothy J. Hogan, FACHE, president of Bayshore Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center. “As our plans to enhance the Emergency Department further evolve, philanthropy will play a vital role. The community built our hospital more than 40 years ago, and this year’s Oktoberfest event served as a tremendous platform to engage with the community about the future of Bayshore Medical Center, and raise important funds.”

“Bayshore Medical Center is a gem in Monmouth County,” explains Serena DiMaso, Esq., Monmouth County Freeholder and chair of Bayshore Medical Center Foundation. “Since becoming a part of the Hackensack Meridian Health family in 2010, the hospital’s upgrades continue to impress all those who turn to Bayshore for care. I can truly say that this is only the beginning.”

After the speeches, the crowd lined-up at the numerous food stations; each which had a variety of german inspired offerings like bratwurst, pastrami, red and german cabbage, as well as sliders, fish and chips, and plenty more. The artfully displayed dessert wall and coffee station was right next to a photo booth, making for a sweet ending to the evening. Special thanks to In Thyme catering for their delicious food and friendly team of servers.

Dr. Samra reminded the crowd that the work of expansion and fundraising is on-going and reminded everyone that the hospital offers many ways to donate.

If you would like to learn more visit