FOR RELEASE: 5/13/2011Contact: John Cappiello, (203) 384-3637

Donor families from Easton and Fairfield profiled in Bridgeport Hospital report

The Bigelow, Harrington and Newquist families of Fairfield and the Bodines of Easton are featured in this year’s Bridgeport Hospital Foundation Fundraising Report for their philanthropic support of patient care.

The full report is available on the hospital website at or by selecting “Charitable Giving” from the horizontal menu bar near the top of the home page.

When teenagers Katherine and Madeline Newquist were just six and eight years old, they built and decorated their first gingerbread houses for patients in Bridgeport Hospital’s P.T. Barnum Pediatric Center. The following year, they created gingerbread house kits and sold them to raise funds for the hospital. With the help of their parents, Trini and Harvey, the girls have prepared nearly 2,000 kits and raised $10,000 during the last nine years.

“We were talking one night at the dinner table about how some hospitalized children don’t get to go home for the holidays because of their illness or injuries,” says Katherine, now 15. We wanted to brighten their time in the hospital somehow.”

The girls’ contributions to the hospital have helped purchase toys, DVDs and two mobile book carts filled with reading materials.

“It’s a great feeling to know we’re making patients happy and making a difference in their days at the hospital,” adds 17-year-old Madeline.

Fairfield residents David and Eunice Bigelow of the Bigelow Tea family both lost their mothers to breast cancer. As a result, they and their daughter Cindi, the current president of R.C. Bigelow, Inc., and the rest of their family have become major supporters of The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center and Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute at Bridgeport Hospital.

“My grandmother Ruth and my parents have always been role models—in business and in life,” says Cindi Bigelow. “Early on, they taught me the philosophy of giving back, and now I’m continuing to carry the torch.”

The Bigelows provide teapots for each newly diagnosed breast cancer patient and assorted teas for patients of the Breast Care Center and the Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute.

As a former president of the Bridgeport Hospital Auxiliary, president of the Bridgeport Hospital Woman’s Staff, trustee of the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation and member of the hospital Board of Directors, Barbara Bodine has given a lifetime of community service to Bridgeport Hospital. But the achievements of which she is perhaps most proud is spearheading the creation—and renovation some 25 years later—of the Bridgeport Hospital Interfaith Chapel.

“That’s my chapel,” Barbara Bodine says with pride. “My father-in-law, Alfred van Sant Bodine, founder of the Bodine Corporation, once said to me, ‘If you’re a Bodine, you love, honor and volunteer.’ So I did.”

Through Barbara’s children and grandchildren, the Bodine family continues to participate in fundraising activities for the hospital today.

“Growing up, I saw how my grandmother and my father, Richard Bodine Jr., who chaired the Coca-Cola Kaulbach Golf Classic for the hospital, made a difference in the lives of others,” says Barbara’s granddaughter, Christina Bodine. “Now it’s my turn—and I love seeing how my contributions can help the greater good.”

The longtime president of Rotair Industries, Herb Harrington, and his wife Doris have been staunch supporters of Bridgeport Hospital’s Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers for many years.

“I believed then, and I believe now, in the range of treatment programs and services offered by Ahlbin Centers to the community,” says Herb Harrington.

Herb spent 15 years as a leading member of the Ahlbin Centers Advisory Board. The Harringtons’ support of Bridgeport Hospital and Bridgeport’s Seaview Avenue corridor revitalization continues through their son, Wes, who now leads Rotair.

“We continue to contribute because we know that Bridgeport Hospital is providing much-needed services to the residents of Bridgeport and the surrounding communities,” says Wes Harrington.

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Part of Yale New Haven Health System, Bridgeport Hospital is a 383-bed acute care hospital (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital) serving parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties. The hospital admits more than 18,000 patients and receives more than 240,000 outpatient visits annually.