Photo: Spring Brook Country Club's Susan McGahan with some of the goods donated to Morristown Medical Center
Members and staff of Spring Brook Country Club in Morristown are doing their part in helping overworked nurses and employees of nearby Morristown Medical Center to keep up with the ongoing demands caused by the COVID-19 virus.
Over the past few days, Spring Brook has donated sandwiches, bottled water and Gatorade to workers at Morristown Medical Center. Organizer Susan McGahan, president of the club’s charitable Spring Brook Foundation, hopes Spring Brook’s effort can enlighten other clubs in endeavors to aid overwhelmed hospitals around the state.
“I saw a Chicago nurse on TV and she was crying, talking about the ‘new normal’ in treating these very sick people. I have a friend in the ER at Morristown Medical and asked how I could help. I was told food and beverages would be great way to start,” said McGahan, an attorney and mother of three children who are all homebound now.
“I figured we could help the hospital workers and at the same time keep our kitchen at the club busy by having them make sandwiches. The Foundation is more than happy to give money to the cause.”
The Spring Brook Foundation annually donates up to $45,000 to agencies in need in the Morris County area. That Foundation began in 2012 out of a discussion between Bachman and then Spring Brook club president Frank Campiglia. Club members supply the funds through a $100 donation attached to their dues payment.
The first shipment of 50 sandwiches was delivered on Friday. Another batch went out Monday night and more are coming on Wednesday. According to McGahan, they will keep on coming.
“We are very close to the hospital and some members were talking about how hard those people are working, many on 12-hour shifts,” said David Bachman, general manager at Spring Brook. “They said they didn’t even have time to get to the cafeteria to eat.
“So last Friday, our staff put together an order of 50 sandwiches, wrapped in halves, and I’m told they placed them I the hallway where the staff could easily grab them. Our restaurant here is only open for to-go ordering, so my chef and sous chef did a great job making those sandwiches.”
Following the sandwiches, another club member, Patrick Minter, was looking for a way to help. He saw a notice on social media that Morristown Medical could use water and Gatorade. He texted Susan to help put another effort together. Minter acquired the use of a pickup truck owned by fellow Spring Brook member Joe Cicerone, and on Sunday morning donations were being taken.
The response was overwhelming. By Sunday afternoon, four truckloads of about 35 cases each, plus some health bars, had been donated not only by club members but by area residents as well. Everything was delivered to the hospital.
“It was the perfect outlet for what everyone needed, and a perfect way to pitch in with the community,” said Minter, who texted about 35 Spring Brook golfing buddies with the idea.
“I noticed that we all wanted to do something. Morristown Medical is right in our backyard. We can’t get together and play golf right now, so this was a great alternative. It was so easy to get the cases and load up a truck and it was very gratifying for us to be able to make a difference. You should have seen the looks on the faces of the doctors and nurses when we got there,” Minter said.
His brother, Brendan Minter, is a member at Fairmount Country Club. Brendan helped organize an initiative which ended up delivering two truckloads of beverages to Morristown Medical on Saturday.
“The evidence is how easy this is to do if you give people the right idea. Clubs in other counties should get involved like this. We all have to help each other right now,” Pat Minter stated.
“I’m very proud of what we’re doing. It takes a village. It started with my little effort, and then it dawned on me have that I have this Foundation behind me,” McGahan said. “The word is out that we will be with front-liners for the duration. Pat Minter said we can do this again and again. When we were unloading at the hospital it was amazing how grateful the people are. We are doing what we can to keep them fed and hydrated.”
Editor's note: Has your club participated in a similar effort? The NJSGA wants to know about it. Please email Mike Moretti, NJSGA Director of Communications: email@example.com.