Proceeds Help Fund Grants for Central Massachusetts Organizations to Battle Childhood Obesity and Create Better Access to Healthcare

Drive for a Difference, Reliant Medical Group Foundation, Worcester, MAWORCESTER, Mass., August 7, 2014 — In its 16th year, the Reliant Medical Group Foundation’s “Drive for a Difference” charity auction and golf classic raised more than $300,000 in net income—a record for their annual cornerstone event, which was held recently at The International Golf Club in Bolton, Mass.

The sold-out Hollywood-themed charity auction and dinner featured an extensive silent auction with items ranging from paintings to vacation packages, with entertainment by Rat Pack-era celebrity impersonators who serenaded guests. The evening also included a live auction led by nationally known auctioneer Paul Zekos. As part of the night’s fundraising efforts, bidders together raised $53,000 for the event’s Fund-A-Need item, which was Reliant Medical Group’s Bariatric Boot Camp. The following day, a record 212 golfers teed it up on the Oaks and Pines courses to continue the fundraising efforts.

“The generous support we received from sponsors, auction guests and golfers goes right back to improve the health and well-being of people all over our Central Massachusetts community,” said Kelsa Zereski, director of philanthropy at Reliant Medical Group. “Just when we think it’s impossible to top the previous year’s event, not only did we increase our net results, but we also helped expand an important program for our patients.”

Bariatric Boot Camp is offered to patients as part of Reliant Medical Group’s bariatric surgery program. At the camp, patients battling extreme obesity participate in a unique program with a small group of approximately 15 others, each of whom are in a similar situation. Working with our patients as a part of a clinical program, the sessions are led by a physical therapist assistant, who is a personal trainer and a certified strength and conditioning coach.  Since its inception, nearly every session of Bariatric Boot Camp has been filled to capacity.

“We are thrilled that our generous donors have enabled the fitness program to purchase new equipment, offer Saturday sessions, and perhaps most importantly, offer reduced fees to patients who otherwise may not have had access to a program like this,” adds Zereski.

Since its inception in 1999, Drive for a Difference has raised over $3.5 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 healthcare; initiatives to increase the care and comfort of Reliant cancer patients; and support for Reach Out and Read, a national early literacy program.

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

About Reliant Medical Group Foundation
Established in 1988 as a public charity, Reliant Medical Group Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of individuals of all ages in Central Massachusetts. As the charitable arm of Reliant Medical Group, the Foundation offers grants to non-profit organizations within Reliant’s service area which deliver programs to battle the obesity epidemic, create access to healthcare for underserved populations, and support “Innovations in Healthy Living”, such as early literacy. The Foundation also supports Reliant’s patient needs by delivering targeted funding in service to education, comfort and access to care.