Jim Rintoul, RCP, a respiratory therapist at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington. Photo courtesy Berkshire Health Systems

Fairview Hospital announces exciting plans for 2020 virtual gala in August

Fairview Hospital is honored to announce that Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker will make an appearance as part of the event to honor health care workers who serve the community.

Great Barrington — Fairview Hospital has announced the 2020 Fairview Hospital gala, scheduled for Saturday, August 29, at 7:30 p.m., will be online, and will be free to attend for the entire community. The evening will honor Fairview Hospital and the southern Berkshire community of hospital supporters, a partnership that, together, strengthens the 25-bed critical access hospital that has served the southern Berkshires for over a century.

The gala, known as an entertaining and informational event, will share a wide range of stories and vignettes presenting Fairview physicians, nurses, patients, and community members giving insight about how the hospital has served through the COVID-19 pandemic. A dash of humor and great entertainment are a hallmark of the event and Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, a strong supporter of Fairview Hospital’s gala in recent years, will be among the hosts of the event.

To support and accompany this year’s theme, “Stand by You,” Emmy Award-winning performer Rachel Platten will perform her hit song, “Stand By You” from her home in Santa Monica, California. She has offered her support in appreciation of the care Fairview Hospital has provided to her parents-in-law, David and Judi Lazan, residents of Great Barrington.

In additionOz Pearlman, the mentalist who was a finalist on “America’s Got Talent,” will join Fairview Hospital with a mind-boggling online performance. Oz received rave reviews at the 2019 gala and had been invited back to perform at the live 2020 Gala at Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center (now postponed until 2021). In the current environment, Oz has transformed his show to an online format and attendees will see him perform as part of the evening.

Fairview Hospital is honored to announce that Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker will make an appearance as part of the event to honor health care workers who serve the community.

There is no charge to join the gala, but pre-registration is required to receive a link to connect to the event. The Fairview gala, however, continues to be the hospital’s largest annual benefit and donations are encouraged to support the purchase of a diagnostic cardiac technology.

Like many area nonprofits, the COVID-19 pandemic made Fairview Hospital’s annual community dinner/show fundraiser unsafe to continue. “The decision to transition to a virtual gala offered challenges and uncovered exciting opportunities for Fairview. We embraced the pivot to a new format because it was small representation of the dramatic changes that have been required in the healthcare environment and the work that the medical professionals and hospital have experienced and the gala supports,” according Lauren Smith, director of community relations and development at Fairview Hospital.

The gala is supported by a 30-member volunteer committee, including representatives of different communities Fairview Hospital serves, with the assistance of event planner Amy Rudnick and film director Ben Hillman. “Since starting in 1998, the annual gala has followed different formats, but it has always been a true community-hospital endeavor. This year, we have a special opportunity for our community and our hospital to say, ‘We Stand by You’ even in the most challenging of times,” noted Smith.

Both registration and donations can be made at https://bit.ly/FVgala2020 or by calling Fairview’s Community Relations and Development Office at (413) 854-9611. Once registered, participants will receive a direct link to the gala. Donations can also be sent to or by mail to Fairview Hospital “Stand by You Gala” at 29 Lewis Ave., Great Barrington, MA, 01230. Information is also available at www.facebook.com/FairviewHospitalBHS.

For more information, please contact the Community Relations and Development Office at Fairview Hospital at (413) 854-9609 or email cmcdermott@bhs1.org.