Milton District Hospital Foundation (MDHF) honored its community partners on February 7 with a reception. Community partners refer to people, and organizations that have helped the foundation raise funds for space, training and equipment and the newly upgraded Milton District Hospital.

Ceremonies kicked off with speeches from MDHF Board Chair Brian Penman, and Executive Director Helen Vatistas. “Who would have ever thought you could ask a community to raise and participate in a $30 million dollar campaign and succeed. Part of the reason we succeeded is because of the folks in this very room.” Penman said. “So on behalf of the hospital and the foundation it’s a pleasure to say thank You, thank You, thank You” Penman added.

Highlighted at the event was the many groups of young Miltonians that took part in the “Little Leaders” program helping raise money from lemonade stands to birthday parties where they asked for hospital donations instead of gifts.

This year the Milton Haunted House was awarded MDHF”s 2018 Brian Brady. Award which goes to the longest standing consecutive Community Party event. The event is held every October around Halloween. It all began as a fun Halloween display in the garage of local town councilor Rick Di Lorenzo. After a
few years, Rick and his volunteers decided to make the Haunted House a fundraising event, as a Community Partner for Milton District Hospital Foundation. That was 8 years ago. Since then the event has raised well over $100,000 for the purchase of essential medical equipment for the hospital.

Run and constructed entirely by volunteers, the haunt covers 1500 square feet; black plastic sheeting is used to create a tent and pathways. Every year Rick Di Lorenzo adds new animatronics, set up to make
the display feel as scary, creepy and freaky as possible! Not to worry, for the faint of heart an escape ‘hatch’ is available about halfway through the experience, but most guests opt in for the entire course. Te
price of admission is a suggested donation of $5 per person or $20 for a family and all proceeds after the cost of construction go to Milton District Hospital.

The real heroes of this ‘bone-chilling’ event are the volunteers and committee members. Special mention should be made of David Coulter who has spent countless hours to construct the site for  the last 3 years, with help from his wife Kristen and sons Tomas and Connor.

The group works with corporate sponsors whose support is invaluable to the event. Over 2000 loot bags are prepared and usually none are left, leading the organizing committee to believe that an estimated 2,500 people attend the event.

The committee is looking for new adult committee members for 2019, as David Coulter has indicated he is retiring. They are also hoping to renew current corporate sponsors as well as adding new ones in time for next year’s Haunted House. Asked how he feels about the event, Rick responds, “Building a Milton Haunted House.

Asked how he feels about the event, Rick responds, “Building a Milton Haunted is a lot of fun. I greatly enjoy putting smiles and ‘fears’ on people’s faces. I am thankful to the hospital that allows me to build the Haunted House bigger and bigger every year!”

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