Proceeds Help Fund Grants for Battle Against Opioid Addiction Across Central and MetroWest MA

After record-setting events the last two years, the Reliant Medical Group Foundation’s annual Drive for a Difference charity auction and golf classic raised the bar even higher in 2017, bringing in more than $580,000 to support its public health-focused grant-making program.

dr-elsawy-addresses-the-crowdThe two-day event at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, MA featured a spirited live auction led by nationally known auctioneer Paul Zekos. Auction items included amazing trips to destinations around the world, as well as exclusive local packages featuring a number of adventure, sports, and culinary experiences. A special “Fund a Need” auction round raised $114,000 in donations to fund a full-time Substance Use Nurse Specialist to spearhead Reliant Medical Group’s efforts to help strengthen the fight against the opioid epidemic.

“Even after twenty years, this event continues to grow and receive tremendous support,” said Bill Balcom, M.D., Foundation President and co-chair of the event. “Once again, our providers, corporate sponsors, volunteers, trustees, and attendees all went the extra mile to help us achieve our third consecutive record-setting event.”

The day after the auction, nearly 220 golfers stepped out on the course for day two of Drive for a Difference.  And, despite the less than ideal weather conditions, the historic fundraising efforts continued.

long-drive-holeA number of local organizations served as top sponsors, including: Reliant Medical Group (Platinum level); Mirick O’Connell and Tufts Health Plan (Gold level); Fallon Health, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Saint Vincent Hospital and MetroWest Medical Center (Crystal level); Leggat McCall Properties (Silver level) and many more.

“The Central and MetroWest Massachusetts regions, like many others around the country, are facing the incredibly challenging reality of opioid addiction, which affects just about every one of us in some way,” said Tarek Elsawy, M.D., President and CEO of Reliant Medical Group. “I am very proud that the Reliant Medical Group Foundation is becoming a leader in the fight against opioid addiction in the greater Worcester and MetroWest regions.”

Since its inception in 1999, Drive for a Difference has raised more than $5 million to improve the health and well-being of people in the Central and MetroWest regions of Massachusetts. Proceeds benefit the important work of Reliant Medical Group Foundation’s granting program focused on critical health issues like substance abuse, children’s mental health, obesity, promoting early literacy, eliminating barriers that prevent people from accessing health care, and care and comfort of Reliant’s patients.

“In the last three years alone, we’ve been able to raise $1.6 million thanks to the unwavering dedication of our Foundation staff, volunteers, event co-chairs and president,” said Kelsa Zereski, Director of Philanthropy at Reliant Medical Group. “We’re already looking forward to our 20th anniversary Drive for a Difference on May 20-21, 2018!”

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