Record Golf Registration for Chester River Hospital's Tournament

Raises $90,000 for ER Vital Signs Monitors

Chestertown, MD--May 26, 2011— Chester River Health Foundation's 17th annual golf tournament, coming up on June 3, has attracted so many foursomes that the Chester River Yacht and Country Club's 18-hole golf course has reached maximum capacity. And, less than a week out from the golf tournament, donations from both players and sponsors have already totaled more than $90,000.

The tournament's proceeds will help purchase a 16-station digital vital signs monitoring system, which is state-of-the-art and instantly records and relays a patient's heart rate, respiration, blood oxygen level and other vital signs to doctors, nurses and the patient's electronic medical record.

According to Julie Vallecillo, director of marketing and public relations at Chester River Health System, over 15,000 patients are cared for in Chester River Hospital's Emergency Department each year, and about 80 percent of those patients are placed on vital signs monitors upon their arrival.

While the tournament always attracts more than 125 donors and golfers, this year's field of 200 golfers is a record-breaker.

"Every tee time is taken and we couldn't fit another golfer on the course if we wanted to!" said Maryann Ruehrmund, executive director of the Chester River Health Foundation, the fundraising arm of the Chester River Health System.

The Peoples Bank is the tournament's top sponsor, Ruehrmund said, a role the bank has played for all 17 years. In addition, she added, the bank is fielding two foursomes.

"I believe the hospital touches every human being in our community," said Tom Stevenson, president of The Peoples Bank. "It is a vital asset in our community and the bank is honored to be invited to participate since the beginning."

Ruehrmund said each of the 200 men and women who've signed up to play is paying $200. In return for their donations, they have a shot at many impressive prizes.

A hole-in-one on three of the four par three holes, numbers three, four and 12, will reap a charmed golfer $10,000 in cash. And, if a tee shot drops in the cup on the 190-yard 16th hole, the prize is a GMC Canyon pick-up truck from Ramsey GMC/Pontiac.

The sponsors who've promised the hole-in-one checks are Leach Wallace Associates, Consulting Engineers, on the third hole; the Chester River Hospital Center's Medical Staff on hole number four; and Keri Jacobs, MD, the director of Chester River's hospitalist program, for a hole-in-one on 12.

The golfer who achieves "closest to the pin" honors will win $1,000 from Advance Pain Management - Spine Specialists, while the steady-handed victor of the post-tournament putting contest will walk away with $5,000.

The putting contest, Ruehrmund said, is sponsored by local attorney C. Daniel Saunders, who is one of the founders of the tournament. Saunders' full donation, she said, is $10,000; half will go to the best putter and half will go to the Foundation to help pay for the vital signs monitoring equipment.

Will anyone claim one of the checks this year? Ruehrmund said it wouldn't be the first time. Five years ago, she said, Dr. John Billings made the final putt and went home $5,000 richer.

Ruehrmund said she's especially impressed that, in addition to the golfers and big-ticket donors, many contributors are individuals who work within the Chester River Health System.

"More than $10,000 has been donated by the employees of Chester River Health System, from staff members at the hospital, Chester River Manor, Chester River Home Care & Hospice, and the Foundation," Ruehrmund said. "We have employees who have donated $2.00 per paycheck for a year so they can sponsor a cart—that's a very generous $100 donation."

And there's support from well beyond Kent and Queen Anne's counties as well, Ruehrmund said.

The awards reception at the end of the day is sponsored by former Foundation Board member Hank Gundlach of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and his wife, Debbie, who no longer live in the area. In addition, several other hospitals in the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) are sending both donations and golfers.

"Chester River Health System CEO, Jim Ross, sent a personal note to the CEOs of other hospitals in UMMS and asked them to help out," Ruehrmund said, "and they've responded generously."

Ruehrmund said the tournament support is just one of the benefits of being part of the University of Maryland Medical System. "They share specialists and experts in every area, from finance to patient care and everything in between. They don't just talk about what they can do for us, they show up to support us in every way."

On tournament day, Ruehrmund said, there will be "an army of volunteers" around the clubhouse and out on the course—rain or shine—making sure the golfers stay in a good—and giving--mood. She wants players to know it's fun to make additional donations that might improve their scores as they swing their way around the course.

For $5.00 a piece, she said, golfers can purchase two "mulligans" (do-overs for a poor shot). And on a long par five, $5.00 will buy permission to tee off well ahead of the ladies tees—a free walk down the fairway that should save each golfer at least one shot on the hole. And on another hole, golfers will have the chance to win a three-day, two-night golf vacation compliments of Chestertown Physical Therapy and AquaFit.

"Providing the programs and services that our community needs is what the Foundation's fundraising is all about," Ruehrmund said. "Not only is the golf tournament our premiere event, it's a lot of fun and raises quite a bit of money for the benefit of the people served by the Hospital."

For more information or to make a donation, please contact the Chester River Health Foundation at 410-810-5661 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .