IMGP6622WORCESTER – The Reliant Medical Group Foundation’s “Drive for a Difference” charity auction and golf classic raised more than $500,000 to support its grant making program – breaking a record set just last year.

The event was held at Pleasant Valley Country Club, a new location for this year. The dinner featured a lively auction led by auctioneer Paul Zekos. Items ranged from exotic trips to Monte Carlo, Costa Rica and Buenos Aires; to exclusive local packages for Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots games. In addition to the live auction, bidders together raised a record-setting $70,000 for the event’s Fund-A-Need item: a 10-bay infusion center for Reliant Medical Group’s new ReadyMED Plus location, which is set to open in Worcester by the end of the year.

“Having re-invigorated support from our providers, corporate sponsors, volunteers and Trustees paired with our exciting new venue at Pleasant Valley Country Club made the two-day event one for the record books,” said Dr. Bill Balcom, foundation president.

Fundraising efforts continued the following day as a record 220 golfers teed up for the double shotgun-style golf classic, offering morning and afternoon rounds of golf. A number of local organizations served as top sponsors including, Reliant Medical Group, Tufts Health Plan, Mirick O’Connell, Fallon Health, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Tenet Health Systems and many more.

Since its inception in 1999, Drive for a Difference has raised more than $4 million to promote health and battle obesity in Central Massachusetts. Proceeds benefit the important work of Reliant Medical Group Foundation’s granting program, including: programs that address serious health conditions such as obesity; grants that increase access to health care; initiatives to increase the care and comfort of Reliant cancer patients; and support for Reach Out and Read, a national early literacy program.

“The team effort from the foundation staff and volunteers paired with the enthusiastic leadership of our event chair and president created a record result for our cause,” said Kelsa Zereski, director of philanthropy at Reliant Medical Group. “We are already looking forward to next year.”

For more information about how to support the Reliant Medical Group Foundation or how to apply for a grant, visit reliantfoundation.org.

Reliant Foundation Grant Program Raises over $500,000