Sunday, May 16, 2010
Sisters co-chair 2010 Mansion in May benefit
Want the proud satisfaction of helping to add a $25 million expansion to the Emergency Department at Morristown Memorial Hospital? Want the fun of touring a beautiful mansion?
At Mansion in May, an event run by the Women's Association at Morristown Memorial Hospital, you can do both at the same time.
"Mansion in May is the signature fundraiser for the Woman's Association at Morristown Memorial Hospital," says Susan Bruen, who this year, along with her sister, Anne Rooke, is a co-chairwoman for the event, "We've found an exceptional property here in Harding Township, and it's going to be the site of our 15th Mansion in May."
The mansion is at Fawn Hill Farm, and it is up for sale by its owners, the Glatt family.
"The house was beautiful, and it has been well-maintained and beautifully owned by Herbert Glatt for almost 30 years," Bruen says, "They were interested in selling. That's what we hope to bring to them with our 20,000 visitors for Mansion in May — prospective buyers."
Mansion in May usually is presented every other year, but it sometimes has been scheduled three or four years apart until the perfect location is found. The proceeds help Morristown Memorial Hospital and contributed $5 million to the cause since the event's 1974 inception. The event also helps the interior decorators and landscapers who are hand-picked to give the mansion a make-over as their work is on display for all to see.
"We're all volunteers, and nobody gets paid on our committee. We really keep our expenses down," says Rooke, who was part of the search committee this year and also is a nurse.
In addition to funds raised by the mansion tour, other revenue comes from food sold in the garages of the mansion, as well as items sold by the interior decorators that can be purchased once inside the house.
While this may be the sisters' first mansion that they've been fully in charge of, it isn't their first foray into the fundraiser.
"I moved to this area in 1982, so I probably started getting involved in Mansion in May in 1988 when I joined the Board of the Women's Association," Rooke says, "My sister joined around that same time."
Both live in Morris Township.
"We started small just doing small little things," Rooke says, "Our father is a physician, and our mother's a nurse, so when we were growing up, we were very entwined with the hospital community."
Both say that in addition to being a great cause, Mansion in May is also a great deal of fun.
"I have to say, my sister, Anne, and I like to work together, and in most cases, we have," Bruen says, "It's just a fun project. There's the camaraderie and the sharing and you catch that mansion fever. It's very fun.
"We enjoy organizing things," Rooke, adds, "We keep coming back because it's a lot of fun."
The tour runs through May 31. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday. The cost is $30 for adults and $25 for senior citizens. For more information, visit mansioninmay.com