Author: The Doorways Staff

Monday Night Out For Charity at Lemaire

This September, lift your forks for a good cause! Lemaire, one of Richmond’s most esteemed restaurants, is partnering with The Doorways to help us raise money by eating. How can you help? Dine at Lemaire (located in The Jefferson Hotel at 101 W. Franklin St.) any Monday night in September and Lemaire will donate 5% of proceeds back to The Doorways, which provides lodging, support, and non-medical services to patients and their families referred to us through our participating Richmond-area hospitals. Help us help our guests stay close to the hospital but not far from the feeling of home…and eat at Lemaire! For more information, visit Thank you, Lemaire!


Guest Stories: They get it.

Friends found far from home at The Doorways.

When Linda and Ed C. of Fayetteville, Arkansas, pull their truck up to The Doorways after 16 hours on the road, they unload the comforts of home: Fuzzy blankets? Check. Favorite pillows? Check. Boom box for playing Elvis songs? Check.

Ed’s been in and out of Richmond hospitals since 2006, dealing with chronic bile duct problems following a liver transplant. To him and his wife, The Doorways is a haven. “We know if we come here,” Linda says, “it isn’t adding to our anxiety. Staying at The Doorways takes so much headache out of what is already chaotic.”

Ed & Linda C. were among several guests featured in a recent TV spot for The Doorways.

They settle in with their favorite belongings and take what each day brings, often helped along by new friends they meet at The Doorways who calm them through doctor visits, surgeries and scares. The fifth floor is reserved for transplant patients and their families. After exchanging hellos in the hallways, they gravitate toward one another in the dining room. “We all sit down and get to know each other,” Linda says. “It’s almost like a support group.”

No need to explain much to these folks, either: They get it — the gravity of a new diagnosis, the stress of being away from loved ones, the late-night bedside vigils. “At home, you can explain what you’re going through,” Linda says, “but they say ‘don’t worry about it.’ You have niceties…” Not at The Doorways. “People here understand, because we’re all on the same wavelength.”

Conversations full of hope and reassurances leave guests like Linda and Ed feeling charged and encouraged. Hall mates become dinner buddies. Dinner buddies become friends. Friends become confidants, pen pals and, when needed most, lifelines.

It starts at The Doorways.

When Ed almost died from sepsis in June 2016, Linda lived at The Doorways for two months. Now, after a February 2017 bile duct surgery, Ed’s doing great, she reports.
Once more he has a safe, comfortable place to recover — with no responsibilities, hassles or demands.

Priceless peace of mind: That’s what The Doorways offers.

“To know that you’re totally taken care of… How immense this gift is!” Linda says. “It’s just an amazing place.”

Carla Davis is a writer and editor living in Richmond.

Celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson to Headline SAVOR 2017

SAVOR 2017 has announced its headlining chef, and it’s none other than Chef Marcus Samuelsson, the winner of multiple James Beard Foundation Awards including Best Chef: New York City; in May 2016 he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.” And he is the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times. A committed philanthropist, Samuelsson’s participation in SAVOR 2017 will help raise significant funds for The Doorways, a Richmond nonprofit that makes it possible for thousands of people to access life-saving medical care in RVA each year.

Food television fans will remember Samuelsson as the winner of television shows “Top Chef Masters” and “Chopped All Stars”, and as a mentor on ABC’s “The Taste”. Samuelsson co-produced Harlem EatUp!, a food and culture festival launched in Harlem, New York in 2015, and founded the website Food Republic. He is the author of The New York Times bestselling memoir Yes, Chef, the young adult version, Make It Messy, Marcus Off Duty cookbook, and his newest book, The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem, released in October 2016. He is the Chef/Co-Owner of Red Rooster Harlem and Streetbird Rotisserie, both in New York City. He opened Marcus’ at MGM National Harbor outside of Washington, DC in December 2016 and has announced the opening of Red Rooster Shoreditch in East London.

About SAVOR 2017: Now in its ninth year, SAVOR is a one-of-a-kind fine dining and fundraising experience where regionally- and nationally-acclaimed chefs take over the kitchens at The Jefferson Hotel to create and prepare a wide-variety of small plates, a unique three-course seated dinner and dessert. The evening also features silent and live auctions packages, several of which are donated personally by the featured chefs and afford the winning bidders their very own custom-dining experiences. Tickets for SAVOR 2017, which will be held at The Jefferson Hotel on Saturday, October 7, will go on sale in July. For sponsorship opportunities please contact Sarah Tunner, Director of Development at [email protected] or visit our event page.


Guest Stories: Greyhound to Richmond

When Albert C. needs specialized medical care, he hops the Greyhound bus from rural Nathalie, Virginia (pop. 183), to downtown Richmond and stays at The Doorways.

It’s a routine he knows well. Heart issues, kidney dialysis and an ongoing evaluation for a kidney transplant make him a regular patient at VCU Health and a frequent guest of The Doorways.

Even when he has to catch an insomnia-inducing 5:30 a.m. bus to get back to Nathalie in time for choir practice, you’ll hear no complaints from Albert. He feels blessed.

Six years ago he found out about The Doorways from a social worker and was amazed at the home away from home he found: the fully stocked kitchen, the 24-hour laundry facilities, the TV lounge with his favorite movies, and an inviting library with books that beckoned him to cozy up and stay a while.

“They provide you everything here,” says Albert, a former operating room medical attendant who is now unable to work. The Doorways offers unrivaled hospitality while lifting a financial burden, for which he’s grateful. “If it weren’t for The Doorways, I’d really be lost. I’d have nowhere to stay.”

Albert makes the most of his down time at The Doorways. You might find him catching a western on the big TV, or reading a book about World War II or getting on the computer to research all the history that Richmond has to offer. Just as easily you might find him playing bingo with other guests.
Or, you might find Albert, an experienced cook, prepping a meal in The Doorways kitchen — even when other obligations mean he can’t stay for the fruits of his labor. “The last time I was here,” he says, smiling, “I cooked a turkey.” A staff member made sure it got out of the oven in time and on the table for his fellow guests to enjoy.

Albert finds it easy to give back to The Doorways.

“I feel great when I’m here,” he says.


Carla Davis is a writer and editor living in Richmond.

Your donation opens doorways. Click here to provide a supportive, healing environment for patients and families.

“I would be lost without a place like this.”

When Michelle A. has had enough of spending eight-hour days at the hospital and stressing over her daughter’s hemoglobin levels, she escapes to The Doorways’ kitchen. There, she fires up the stove, pops in her earbuds and “vegges out” to a playlist of Kyle Eastwood’s soothing jazz.

“People need escapes,” Michelle says, “especially when they’re dealing with life and death.”

No doubt, Michelle has been cooking a lot in the three and a half years she’s been staying on and off at The Doorways. Her 38-year-old daughter (who shares her first name) was diagnosed at nine months old with sickle cell anemia, a debilitating and painful blood disease that doctors said could kill her by the time she was three. By age 15, she’d been hospitalized more than 150 times. The disease, which leads to chronic health complications, has damaged her heart, hips, kidneys and teeth. In late 2016 she spent a scary 110 days straight at VCU Health.

Michelle and her husband, Larry, have been bringing their daughter on the five-and-a-half hour trip from Burlington, N.C., to Richmond for specialized medical treatment since 2013. The couple takes turns, because one of them has to stay home and care for their adult son and teenage grandson. Both have sickle cell anemia.

Three ill family members equal three times the stress for Michelle.

But if anyone understands what it’s like to be a caregiver for someone you love, it’s the guests of The Doorways. They are uniquely equipped to empathize.

Last December Michelle and her daughter were sitting in The Doorways library with a volunteer, chatting frankly about the toll of sickle cell. A woman at the next table, speaking quietly to her nonverbal son, suddenly turned her attention to Michelle. She’d overheard her describe the worry that comes from parenting a chronically ill child, and offered Michelle a hug and a prayer.

“It feels like a sisterhood here,” Michelle says, delighted by the kind embrace. “You feel each other’s fear… of loss, fear of you’ll never get them home for Christmas —“

“— Or they won’t survive surgery,” her daughter adds.
The Doorways staff is sensitive to such burdens that accompany their guests and warmly acknowledges each person who walks through the door — whether for the first time, the four-hundredth time or sometime in between. “They always asks how my daughter is doing and what do I need,” Michelle says. “When you’re stressed, that makes a difference.”
A friendly smile to see, a home-cooked meal to enjoy and a safe space to grieve, get better or make a tough time bearable: These are what The Doorways offers guests.

Michelle is grateful, she says, and blessed. “I would be lost without a place like this.”

Carla Davis is a writer and editor living in Richmond.

Your donation opens doorways. Click here to provide a supportive, healing environment for patients and families.

Volunteer Spotlight: Junior League of Richmond

Dinner with friends

For the Junior League of Richmond, volunteering at The Doorways is a can’t-miss commitment

Lauren Fisher White had no trouble finding 17 fellow Junior League of Richmond members to volunteer at The Doorways on Dec. 20 — even so close to Christmas. Spending an evening with The Doorways guests is a popular “Done in a Day” activity for the JLR, an organization of women devoted to community service and developing leadership. The commitment that Tuesday included providing a home-cooked potluck dinner and a concert of a cappella carols.

“We love volunteering at The Doorways,” says White. “It gives us the opportunity to serve those in need and make their day brighter.”

For more than a decade the JLR has been partnering with The Doorways to provide a monthly dinner and activity. Through Done in a Day, the JLR assists community organizations including The Doorways in one-day projects focused on children and families, totaling over 1,400 volunteer hours annually. Though JLR membership requires a volunteer shift at The Doorways, chapter president Joanne Frye says many members, like her, aren’t fulfilling a requirement and sign up simply because it’s a meaningful way to spend a few hours.

Frye can relate to the stress, worry and displacement The Doorways guests might be feeling: Her father has been in and out of the hospital her whole life. “I love coming here,” says Frye, who knows the value of a meal that didn’t come from a vending machine or hospital cafeteria. “I love being able to serve people food. It’s nice to give back.”

On the menu that night: lasagna, meatballs, broccoli casserole, fried chicken, sweet potato casserole, macaroni and cheese, deviled eggs, pimiento cheese sandwiches, ham biscuits, three kinds of salad, and desserts that included gingerbread cookies, pies and cupcakes. JLR volunteers filled plates through an assembly line, asking each guest what looked good. The lasagna went especially fast.

A frequent volunteer, Caroline Van Ness was a pro at pouring drinks. To her, coming to The Doorways is like being among friends. “The guests will ask me to play Bingo,” she says. “I’m more of a friend than a worker.”

Kimberly Paulsrud is chair of the Done in a Day committee. It’s clear to her why hosting dinners at The Doorways is appealing to JLR members. “The guests here are wonderful,” she says, “and so appreciative. And it’s fun! There’s a sense of family and community. Guests are always saying ‘thank you’ and ‘glad to see you again.’ There’s a sense that you’re doing more than just serving dinner.”

A successful night, Paulsrud says, is when “everybody is full, and everybody is smiling.”

“It’s the best two to three hours that you can spend,” she adds. “If I can make someone forget their problems, I’ve done a good thing.”

Carla Davis is a writer and editor living in Richmond.

Interested in volunteering? Check out upcoming opportunities at The Doorways!

“Look at what you did!” – The Doorways publishes FY16 Annual Report

Dear Friends,

Look at what you did! This year, The Doorways served more people (9,500+), lodged more patients (2,600+), provided more nights of lodging (50,000+), engaged more volunteers (500+) in more volunteer hours (15 ,000+) than ever before in its history. As this annual report reaches you in your homes and businesses, we will provide our millionth night of lodging to a family who is both praying for things to get better and giving thanks for the home away from home that you’ve provided during their greatest time of need. Thank you.

As we celebrate these many incredible milestones, we must take note of the health industry trends that have made such milestones possible. The regionalization of specialized treatments and services, the explosion in outpatient services, and the ever-more rapid hospital discharge process all add up to greater demands on The Doorways for service – especially for patients who must travel. We are no longer a courtesy service. The Doorways is now a vital partner in the health, treatment and recovery plans for thousands of patients each year. Their lodging needs are very different from their healthy caregivers. And with your help, we plan to meet those needs.

We will reach out to you in the coming year. You are an integral part of this mission, and we want to share our vision for the future at The Doorways. Your input, advice and help in meeting the needs of all our guests will be an important part of making our next million nights as memorable and as impactful as the first.

Kindest regards,

Stacy Brinkley                                     Melissa Ball
President & CEO                                 Board Chair

Read the full FY16 Annual Report here.

The Doorways Closes In On Millionth Night of Lodging

The Doorways Reaches Milestone after 32 Years of Service in Richmond, VA


In honor of National Hospitality House Week, July 24 – July 30, The Doorways announces it will provide its millionth night of lodging to families in medical crisis this fall.

Originally a courtesy service for the visiting family members of hospitalized patients, The Doorways has grown to provide 50,000 nights of lodging each year to 9,500 patients and loved ones who travel to Richmond for specialized and life-saving medical care. The nonprofit is located in a former hotel at 7th and Marshall, and partners with 13 local hospital, cancer research and nonprofit programs for referrals.HandsOn Day 2015 2

“One million nights is a staggering milestone for The Doorways and for Richmond,” says Stacy Brinkley, President and CEO of The Doorways. “This wonderful city has landed on top of a lot of ‘Best Of” lists in recent years. I think with this incredible achievement, we can safely add most hospitable, most generous, and most compassionate to that list of honors.”

Nearly 3,000 of the 9,500 guests who stay at The Doorways each year are now patients receiving critical and life-saving outpatient care such as cancer treatments, pre- and post-transplant care, and other specialized services. “The medical landscape has changed,” says Brinkley. “More and more people are referred to cities for the medical care they need, but they aren’t admitted to a hospital to receive it. Our program ensures they can stay focused on their health, and that they aren’t additionally burdened by the costs and logistics of being unable to access their treatment at home.”

The organization works hard to give back to the community that has helped it achieve its millionth night. “We’re very fortunate to have an abundance of cutting-edge medical care in our own backyards,” says Melissa Ball, The Doorways newly elected board chair. “I know The Doorways has played an important role in those medical breakthroughs by connecting thousands of additional patients to the doctors and researchers developing innovative treatments, surgeries and clinical trials.”

SAVOR for websiteThe Doorways will officially celebrate its millionth night September 24, 2016 at The Jefferson Hotel during the 8th Annual SAVOR, a gala fundraising event featuring chefs and their original creations from across the region and country.

Eleven Join The Doorways Board of Directors

Richmond, VA – The Doorways has recently announced the appointment of eleven new members of its Board of Directors as well as the full slate of officers and directors for Fiscal Year 2016-17.

Joining the Board of Directors are Mark Ambrogi, Richard Dickinson, Oscarlynn Elder, Susan Frank, Don Gehring, Richard Grinnan, Fred Moore, Gaye Montgomery, Chas Thalhimer, Penny Trentham and Tom Tichenor. “All eleven of our newest Board members bring talent, expertise and energy to The Doorways. We are very fortunate to have them on our team as we continue to develop a place where community generosity and compassionate care come together to support our guests during a time of healing and need”, said Stacy Brinkley, President/CEO of The Doorways.

The slate of officers and directors for 2016-17 are as follows:

Melissa Ball, Chair
Ball Office Products

Wyatt Beazley IV, Immediate Past Chair
Williams Mullen

Bobby Whitten, Treasurer
Whitten Brother Automotive

Cathy Plotkin, Secretary
Community Volunteer


Mark Ambrogi, Franco’s Fine Clothing
Maureen J. Denlea,  Consultant
Richard Dickinson, Towne Bank
Oscarlynn Elder, SunTrust
Susan Frank, UDig
Don Gehring, Community Volunteer
Linda Georgiadis, LeClair Ryan
Marsha Ginther, Community Volunteer
Lynn Green, Davis & Green Electrical
Richard Grinnan, Markel
Mark Herndon, Buckheads
Joe LaBella, Dominion Payroll Services
John Lewis, The Lewis Group/BB&T
Ginny Little, MCVH Auxiliary
Kelli Meadows, Meadows Urquart   Acree & Cook LLP
Fred Moore,  Big River Advertising
Gaye Montgomery, Altria
Brett Mutnick, ColonialWebb
Nicholas Pace,  Owens & Minor
John Poma, College of William and Mary
John Syer, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield
Chas Thalhimer, Green Top Sporting Goods
Penny Trentham,  VCU Health System
Tom Tichenor, Marsh
Kate Van Sumeren, Community Volunteer

About The Doorways: The Doorways provides lodging and non-medical services to families and individuals in medical crisis. Guests are referred by physicians, staff and social workers from area hospitals. Since The Doorways opened its doors in 1984, it has served more than 155,000 guests from across Virginia, the United States and beyond. The Doorways mission is to provide lodging and support for patients and their loved ones who need to be close to Richmond hospitals but not far from the feeling of home.


Potomac Health Foundation Awards Grant to The Doorways

 “Potomac Health Foundation Awards Grants to Improve Community Health”


WOODBRIDGE, VIRGINIA, June 13, 2016 – Potomac Health Foundation awarded grants to 25 programs serving residents of eastern Prince William County, Lorton, and North Stafford communities through its Howard L. Greenhouse Large Grant Program. The Howard L. Greenhouse Large Grant Program addresses the Foundation’s mission to improve the health of the community by awarding grants to programs that strengthen access to primary health care for medically underserved residents, reduce the impact of preventable illness and disease, and support innovation around emerging health needs.

In total, the Foundation Board of Directors awarded a total of $2,687,748 in grants. Grant amounts ranged from $19,323 to $257,000 and were awarded through a competitive application process. Grants are awarded for up to three years on an annual basis.  Of the 25 grants awarded, six are first year grants; the remaining 19 programs are receiving grants for the second or third year. Two agencies are receiving grants for the first time from the Foundation.

Dr. Carol Shapiro, Chair of the Foundation’s Grant and Solicitation Approval Committee, said, “We are ecstatic about these programs. Our returning grantees will continue to greatly impact the health of the community through their proven dedication and efforts. We also welcome the new large grant recipients who submitted thoughtful and convincing proposals.”

The first time recipients include the Regional Primary Care Coalition whose grant aims to build capacity, reduce fragmentation, and improve the quality of care among area primary health care providers in Northern Virginia by facilitating partnerships among them. The other first time recipient is The Doorways which aims to reduce financial and logistical barriers to access for patients and families of patients who must travel to Richmond, Virginia to access specialty care by providing lodging.

Potomac Health Foundation is an independent, private foundation whose mission is to improve the health of the community. It serves the communities of eastern Prince William County, north Stafford County and Lorton.



The Doorways Announces $25,000 Gift From Local Women’s Club

The Junior Federated Women’s Club of Chester’s Inaugural Mary’s Charity Ball Masquerade Raises $25,000 for The Doorways


Richmond, VA The Junior Federated Women’s Club of Chester (JFWCC), through their inaugural Mary’s Charity Ball Masquerade, collectively raised $25,000 to support The Doorways mission of providing lodging and support for patients and their loved ones who need to be close to Richmond area hospitals but not far from the feeling of home.


Mary’s Charity Ball was held March 19, 2016 at the Richmond Marriott to honor the late Mary Schindel, the Club’s longtime leader who passed away after a 9 year battle with Leukemia. Schindel was also the Founder and Owner of She Chester Boutique, where behind the counter an inscription read ‘She took the leap and built her wings on the way down”, referring to Mary’s leap to open her dream store after being diagnosed with cancer in 2006. The store is still a thriving part of the Richmond community today.


“We could not be more honored that the JFWCC chose to honor Mary’s legacy by supporting our mission” said Stacy Brinkley, president/CEO of The Doorways. “Mary was a longtime supporter of our annual Fancy Hat Party and was always aiming to raise awareness of our mission with her friends, family and fellow JFWCC members. Often times bringing them to serve dinner to our guests or hosting collection drives for the necessities our guests need during their medical crisis”.


Among the night’s highlights was an energetic live auction, exquisite raffle packages, a casino room, fellowship amongst the over 40 sponsors and 250 attendees and remarks from many honoring the life of Mary Schindel and the work of The Doorways.


“Mary’s passion for The Doorways sums up how she lived her life while battling cancer” said Melissa Brockwell, President of The Junior Federated Women’s Club of Chester. “It was never about her battle with cancer; it was about bringing joy to the lives of others going through a similar medical crisis. Mary never once stayed at The Doorways during her battle with Leukemia, but became passionate about The Doorways because of the role it plays in the lives of those at VCU Health/VCU’s Massey Cancer Center and other area hospitals. She often times cited that many of the friends she made at Massey Cancer Center could not have had access to the treatment they were receiving if it was not for The Doorways role in providing lodging for them here in Richmond. It was through Mary that our club came to know the good work of The Doorways and I could not be more proud of all of our members who came together to honor Mary’s life and put together such an exquisite event to benefit The Doorways.”



2016 Fancy Hat Party Raffle Packages Announced!

Do not miss out on The Doorways

2016 Fancy Hat Party Raffle Packages!

Purchase your tickets here:


Staycation: Here’s a perfect excuse for 24 hours of pampering! After a morning of touring the West End in your complimentary Camaro courtesy of Rick Hendrick Chevrolet and showing off your new Thursday Friday by Allure handbag at Short Pump Town Center, enjoy an afternoon at the Hilton Short Pump Spa. Once you feel refreshed, grab dinner and drinks at McCormack’s Big Whisky Grill followed by a delicious dessert at The Cheesecake Factory. Then, head back over to the Short Pump Hilton for an overnight stay. Package Value $1,456

All About Wine: Calling all wine enthusiasts! This fabulous package includes tastings and tours at Saude Creek Vineyard, New Kent Winery and the beautiful Upper Shirley Winery. Did we mention you’ll look incredibly cool touring the vineyards in your new pair of Bobby Brown sunglasses? And to be sure you have enough wine for your summer dinner parties, we’ll send you home with 38 bottles of wine, including your favorite whites, reds and bubblies.Package Value $929

Taste of SAVOR: Take home two seats at one of Richmond’s most sought-after tables: 2016 SAVOR, to be held September 24 at The Jefferson Hotel! A true epicurean event, SAVOR brings together ten of the region and nation’s hottest chefs to deliver a delicious variety of small plates, a specially-prepared, three-course meal with wine pairings, and a dessert extravaganza. This event, now in its eighth year, raises significant funds to support The Doorways through raffles, silent and live auctions. This special package includes three cookbooks published by previously featured SAVOR chefs.Package Value $678

Saxon Shopping: $500 gift card to Saxon Shoes. What else can we say? We expect arm wrestling over this one.
Package Value $500

Shine Like a Diamond: This beautiful diamond pendant necklace from Diamonds Direct is the perfect gift for your mother, sister, daughter, wife, best friend… or yourself! The pendant features diamonds totaling 0.06 carats, and is suspended from a delicate, 14k yellow gold chain.
Package Value $500

Beach Getaway: Escape for a three night weekend at Virginia Beach this fall or winter! This vacation package includes a cottage that will accommodate up to 12 people, perfect for your family. Cottage includes a spacious living room, TV room, dining room, 4 bedrooms and 2 ½ bathrooms. One king, one queen, one pyramid bunk and one double bunk room. Sleeper sofa is also available in the TV room. Relax on the screened porch, second floor deck or head to the beach, with access only a few steps away. Located on the North End of the beach, it’s a quick drive to great food, music, entertainment and all that the resort area has to offer. The cottage is a nonsmoking property. Two comfy beach towels included, as well as two beach hats and tote bags that will be monogrammed to your specifications! For those sunny days you can wear your new pair of Saks Fifth Avenue sunglasses, and spend one evening dining at Rockafellers. *Restrictions apply. Mutually acceptable date between October 2016 and April 2017.Package Value $1,147

Dinner Party: Start planning your guest list now! Chef Andrea Huntjens will prepare a 3-course farm-to-fresh dinner for 8 people in your own home! Chef Andrea is the owner of Sophisticated Soirees Fine Catering and the past owner of The Flying Chef. She specializes in custom menus that are trending & unique to your event, with food that is sourced locally and seasonally fresh.Package Value $500

Date Night: Sometimes it’s just as exciting to enjoy a special night at your own dining room table as it is to enjoy a night on the town. The choice is yours with this incredible date night package, which includes a three-hour sedan limo rental from Black Car Richmond, gift certificates to two of Richmond’s favorite restaurants, Buckheads and The Boathouse, and tickets to the Richmond Symphony. For a night spent in the comfort of your own home, have your favorite ingredients delivered to your home by Relay Foods, and set the table with a beautiful potted Orchid from Chadwick and Sons Orchids.
Package Value $840

Style Diva: You’ll be riding in style at home and on the road! HGTV’s Susie Coelho will provide you with a private, one-hour virtual home style consultation. Just send her photos of the indoor or outdoor space you’d like to update, and Susie will meet with you for one hour via video chat to make recommendations for refreshing your décor, furniture or landscaping. Susie will also include copies of her incredibly popular books, “Secrets of A Style Dive” and “Style Your Dream Wedding.” This package also includes a gift certificate for crystal chandelier cleaning, a fun, Spring-themed wreath for your front door, a gift certificate to Tweed, a portable grill from Bon Air Hearth and Home and gift certificate to Crosscreek Nursery to spruce up your patio or deck. Once you’ve changed the look of your space, invite your friends over and enjoy a catered, in-home afternoon Tea Party for 10 from Miss Priss Tea Company. And, to be sure you’re styling in your car as well as your home, Complete Automotive of Richmond will provide you with a gift certificate for tire rotation, alignment and balance, oil change and a variety of car cleaning products.Package Value $1,578

The Doorways Inaugural Splatter that Matters Was Wildly Successful

Splatter that Matters Featured Great Weather, Great Competition & Great Team Building

All In Support of The Doorways


Richmond, VA – The Doorways Young Professionals Council is pleased to present The Doorways Board of Directors with more than $36,000 in proceeds from its inaugural signature event, ‘Splatter that Matters”. “Splatter that Matters” was a corporate paintball tournament held Saturday, April 16, 2016 at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center.

“We are thrilled with the overwhelming interest and support that this brand new event received from local businesses in its inaugural year,” said J.C. Poma, Community Outreach Manager of The Doorways.  “Splatter that Matters provided a fun day of team building and friendly competition for the participating local organizations all while supporting a worthwhile cause – helping families and individuals who are facing medical crisis.”

Featuring 24 different organizations from across the Richmond Region, each team of ten had their own office party space within the team village and played 5 paintball games against other area organizations.  Each game took place inside the H.J. Holtz & Son Splatter Dome on the fields at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. The event featured a tournament style competition produced by KPS Paintball.

This year’s winners were ColonialWebb in first place, UDig in second place and Dominion Payroll Services in third place.

Splatter that Matters 2017 is tentatively scheduled for April 22, 2017 and interested organizations can contact The Doorways to reserve their space in what is sure to be another sold-out day of team building fun.

Registered teams included:

Ball Office Products
Buckhead’s Chophouse
Chewning & Wilmer
College Nannies & Tutors of Richmond
Dairy Queen of Virginia
Davis & Green Electrical
Dominion Payroll Services
DPS Merchant Services
H.J. Holtz & Son
Hourigan Construction
James River Equipment
Meadows Urquhart
Old Dominion Insulation
Quality Wall Systems
Sugar Shack Donuts
The Doorways (Sponsored by The Answer Brewpub)
Virginia Business Systems

For more information on The Doorways, please visit or contact J.C. Poma at The Doorways, 804-828-6901 ext. 150 or [email protected].


 RTD 7 - Lined Up to Watch at BSWRTC RTD 5 - H.J. Holtz & Son Splatter Dome RTD 8 - The Team Village RTD 1 - Andrew Freiden RTD 2 - Rock Holtz RTD 6 - The Doorway Team RTD 9 - Trophy RTD 4 - UDig Second Place  DQ and Buckheads and Suger Shack Action Shot 2Hourigan Team

HGTV Celebrity Headlines The Final Fancy Hat Party

Susie Coehlo To Keynote Final Event Benefiting The Doorways

Fancy Hat 2015 cmyk - MEDIUM

(Richmond, VA) – Susie Coehlo, a celebrated entrepreneur, television host, lifestyle expert and best-selling author, will keynote the final Fancy Hat Party, a luncheon, hat contest and fashion show hosted annually to benefit The Doorways, formerly Hospital Hospitality House of Richmond.

The Doorways Fancy Hat Party was started 20 years ago to benefit its cancer-patient guests, with a goal of increasing the supply of soft, warm hats for patients staying at The Doorways who experience chills during and after their daily cancer treatments.

Over the past two decades, the event has grown from a luncheon to now include a fancy hat contest, a fashion show, a fundraising raffle, and a long list of notable celebrity guest speakers, including Deborah Norville, Jenna Hager Bush, Ann Curry, Scott Hamilton, Karen Mills, Debbie Phelps, Lee Woodruff, Steven Cojocaru and Richard Roundtree – all of whom were moved by The Doorways and its dedication to providing 40,000 – 45,000 nights of lodging to nearly 8,000 guests in medical crisis every year.

As the event grew, proceeds were able to provide much in addition to soft, warm hats. Through the Fancy Hat Party’s proceeds, The Doorways has been able to provide more than 20,000 nights of lodging, meals, transportation and emotional support to thousands of children, adults and veterans who stayed at The Doorways while they took on the fight of their lives – beating cancer.

“While we are sad to say goodbye to the Fancy Hat Party, we cannot wait to celebrate all of the wonderful volunteers who thoughtfully started this event twenty years ago, the 6,000 attendees and 400 sponsors who supported it, and the hundreds of volunteers who helped it run smoothly,” said Stacy Brinkley, president/CEO of The Doorways. “We’re also thrilled to have Susie Coehlo to Richmond to help us celebrate the Final Fancy Hat Party and give the keynote address”.

Susie Coelho HeadshotSusie Coehlo is most widely known as the host of HGTV’s primetime series, “Outer Spaces,” where she and her team surprised homeowners with beautiful outdoor living spaces. Prior to that, her hit series, “Surprise Gardener,” also on HGTV, was a forerunner in the make-over genre. She has hosted a variety of other lifestyle and entertainment shows, in addition to over ten specials for HGTV. She has also appeared regularly as a lifestyle contributor on numerous network shows including NBC’s Today Show, ABC-TV’s The View, and Oprah.

As a retail entrepreneur, Susie created “Bono’s” restaurants (with then-husband Sonny Bono) and went on to create a trendsetting retail boutique “A Star is Worn”.

The Final Fancy Hat Party featuring Susie Coehlo will be held on Friday, April 22, 2016 at The Hilton Short Pump. Tickets/table sponsorships are available at

About The Doorways: The Doorways provides lodging and non-medical services to families and individuals in medical crisis. Guests are referred by physicians, staff and social workers from area hospitals. Since The Doorways opened in 1984, it has served more than 155,000 guests from across Virginia, the United States and beyond. The Doorways mission is to provide lodging and support for patients and their loved ones who need to be close to Richmond hospitals but not far from the feeling of home.


‘Splatter That Matters’ Announced by The Doorways

Richmond, VA – The Doorways, formerly known as Hospital Hospitality House of Richmond, has long been known for its annual signature events including SAVOR, Fancy Hat Party and the Gilbane Restaurant Walk. Today, The Doorways’ staff and Board of Directors is excited to announce its newest signature event, ‘Splatter that Matters’, a corporate paintball tournament to be held on April 16, 2016 at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Camp.

“This day of f2015_logo_finalun at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Camp is truly a different way to give back,” said J.C. Poma, Community Outreach Manager of The Doorways. “We’re excited to partner with Three One One Productions, SMG Richmond and The Doorways Young Professionals Council for Richmond’s newest office party.”

Featuring different organizations from across the Richmond region, each team of ten will have their own office party space for the day within the team village and is guaranteed at least 4 paintball games against other area organizations. Each game will take place on the field at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Camp and will feature a competition style paintball field produced by KPS Paintball.

Click here for more information on both sponsorship and team registration information.

For more information on The Doorways or ‘Splatter That Matters’, please contact J.C. Poma at The Doorways, 804-828-6901 ext. 150 or [email protected].

Group Meal Preparation Instructions at The Doorways

Group Meal Preparation Instructions

Before Your Arrival                                                                                                                                                                                

  • STEP ONE: Visit and sign-up for a meal using the online SignUp Volunteer Spot calendar, which you can access here.
  • STEP TWO: Email Annie Fruhwald at [email protected] to confirm that The Doorways received your automated email from SignUp.
  • STEP THREE: Schedule an introductory tour with Annie (if this is your first visit).
  • STEP FOUR: One week out, please confirm your menu, arrival and serve times (below) 
    • Weekday dinners – 6:00 or 6:30 P.M. serve time
    • Weekend brunch – 11:30 A.M. serve time
    • Weekend dinners – 5:30 P.M. serve time

 At The Doorways

Upon arrival, check in with the front desk and fill out a group volunteer form with the names of all volunteers helping with the meal. The Front Desk staff will show you to the dining area and kitchen. You may utilize the kitchen to prepare any part of or all of your meal. Please utilize the pool table in the dining room as your serving area (but please make sure the table cover is on).

The Kitchen Resources (What we provide):

  • 4 residential-sized stoves with four burners
  • 4 residential-sized ovens
  • 4 toasters
  • 4 microwaves
  • 4 residential-sized dishwashers
  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • Pots, pans, and other kitchen equipment 
  • Labels for leftovers and food containers

For specific questions about kitchen supplies/equipment, please email Annie Fruhwald at [email protected].

Volunteer Resources (What you provide):

  • Everything needed to prepare the meal, including beverages (no alcohol is permitted on premises)
  • Paper products for food service, including plates, bowls, cups, napkins, and utensils

Cleaning Up                                                                                                                                                                                       

Volunteer Groups are responsible for cleaning up the kitchen and pool table area that they utilized for the meal. Please clean and return any pots/pans to their original location and place other equipment in a dishwasher. 

How many guests should you anticipate?

  • On weeknights plan to prepare a meal for 50-60
  • On weekends plan to prepare a meal for 30-40

Health Concerns:

  • We have 150+ people residing here at The Doorways, some of which may have special dietary restrictions. We do not ask groups to provide special meals for them, although you are welcome to!
  • Make sure food is kept at a safe temperature and cooked thoroughly.
  • Wipe down all surfaces where food will be prepped, cooked, and served.
  • Clean all materials used to prepare and serve meals.
  • Wash hands often.
  • Wear gloves while preparing as well as serving the meal.
  • Please serve each of the guests. Do not let them serve themselves.
  • When you serve your meal to guests, please first ask if any transplant patients would like to get their food before the rest of the guests (for health and sanitation purposes).

Other Fellowship Opportunities:

  • Bagged lunches and/or snack bags are welcomed! Our guests are often at the hospital during lunch time, so portable bagged lunches and on-the-go snack bags are a helpful way for our guests to eat lunch in between appointments and treatments. If you’re interested in putting together a bagged lunch or snack bags, please contact Annie Fruhwald at [email protected].
  • In addition to serving a meal, your group can also schedule a social activity to coincide with your meal! Please coordinate with Annie Fruhwald at [email protected] ahead of time. The Doorways owns a BINGO set and we are happy to provide that to your group. We recommend your bringing a few small, creative prizes to share.


Please share your experience with us after your group’s time at The Doorways! It would be great to provide pictures of your group interacting with guests for future publications where we highlight volunteer groups that have made our guests stay so enjoyable. 

Thank you for choosing to spend your time serving our guests at The Doorways! 

Contact Information:

Annie Fruhwald can be reached at 804-828-6901 ext. 106 or [email protected].

The Doorways Announces Officers for Inaugural Young Professionals Council

(Richmond, VA) – Nine months ago The Doorways, formerly Hospital Hospitality House, introduced its inaugural Young Professionals Council to its staff, Board of Directors, dedicated supporters and the Richmond community.

The Young Professionals Council is a dynamic group of individuals united by a desire to increase the visibility, understanding and community support of The Doorways in the RVA community.

After focusing on recruiting new members, as well as the group’s first signature event, The Doorways has recently announced its first slate of officers for the Young Professionals Council. The group of officers was confirmed on September 9, 2015 with a term length of one-year, except for the President Elect position, which is a two-year term.

President: Britt Smith, Big River Advertising Agency

Vice-President/President Elect: Katherine Coleman, Attorney

Secretary: Rebecca Holloway, VCU Center for Human-Animal Interaction

Membership Chair: Matt Williams, Heritage Wealth

Public Relations Chair: Juliana Comer, Richmond Region Tourism

Event Chair: Angela Neiman, Main Street Law Offices

“We are very pleased to announce Britt, Katherine, Rebecca, Matt, Juliana and Angela as tremendous ambassadors for The Doorways”, said J.C. Poma, Community Outreach Manager for The Doorways. “Their knowledge of the RVA community, their passion, as well as their past experience as committee members with other organizations, will definitely serve our Young Professionals Council well”.

For more information on The Doorways Young Professional Council or to apply for membership, visit

The Food Network’s Jeff Corwin Highlights SAVOR 2015 Benefiting The Doorways

SAVOR 2015, an annual event held this year at The Jefferson Hotel, raised $304,077 to benefit The Doorways, formerly Hospital Hospitality House. The funds raised through SAVOR provide lodging, meals and other support services to the almost eight thousand individuals and families in medical crisis who stay at The Doorways each year.

Originally created in 2009 to celebrate The Doorways’ 25th anniversary, SAVOR has grown into one of the most anticipated annual even
ts in Richmond—a unique dining experience unlike any previously seen in Virginia. Now in its seventh year, SAVOR brings together award-winning chefs from coast to coast for an epicurean evening—all to benefit The Doorways, formerly Hospital Hospitality House. Guests are treated to a unique gourmet dining experience, silent and live auctions featuring fine wines, gracious home entertainment packages, dinners at top restaurants, and travel and sports options.

“We are overwhelmed by the support and dedication to our mission at this year’s SAVOR event” said Stacy Brinkley, president/CEO of The DoorwRTD 5ays. “SAVOR 2015 was a culmination of months of hard work by the participating chefs, SAVOR committee members, staff and Board of Directors”.

This year’s celebrated lineup featured Jeff Corwin, host of Food Network’s primetime series Extreme Cuisine, Chef Bryan Voltaggio, a finalist on both Top Chef (Season 6) and Top Chef Masters (Season 5), and Chef Justin Ross, runner-up on Top Chef All-Stars and Food & Wine’s the Peoples Best New Chef for the Mid-Atlantic. Also taking part in the evening were many of RVA’s best restaurants and chefs including Chef Brittanny Anderson of Metzger Bar and Butchery, Chef Xavier Meers of Brux’l Café, Chef Will Richardson of Shoryuken Ramen, Thomas “T” Leggett of  The Roosevelt, Southern Season, Zeus Gallery Café, Osaka, Rappahannock Oyster Company, Belle Isle Craft Spirits, Free Run Wine Merchants, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and Devil’s Backbone Brewery. The event was emceed by Andrew Freiden and the auction was hosted by Mark Motley.

“To see this lineup of chefs, restaurants and community partners, in one room, all supporting such a fantastic organization is really remarkable”, said Mark Herndon, Owner of Buckhead’s Chophouse and SAVOR Chair Emeritus/Co-Founder. “It is great for the Richmond food community”.

(Jeff Corwin at SAVOR 2015 showcasing an octopus during his featured course)

SAVOR 2016 will be held on September 24, 2016 at The Jefferson Hotel. For tickets and sponsorship information, please contact J.C. Poma at The Doorways, 804-828-6901 ext. 150 or [email protected]


Guest makes new website possible for The Doorways

Richmond, VA – In August, The Doorways, formally Hospital Hospitality House, launched their new website with the help of some friends at CapTech Consulting. The site,, is supporting the new brand of The Doorways, which was designed to modernize the facility, better support volunteer and donor engagement and most importantly, improve the experience for guests that are away from home due to illness, or that of a loved one.

The Doorways provides affordable accommodations for people who live outside of Richmond and need to be near Richmond area hospitals.  One of CapTech Consulting’s employees, and a former Doorways guest, Brendon Cornwell and his wife, were looking for a way to give back to The Doorways after a three-month stay when their infant was critically ill. In hopes of making a significant positive impact, he partnered with CapTech, to provide pro bono digital services to the non-profit. “The Doorways became one constant in the day-to-day challenges our son faced,” said Brendon. “It really eased the burden of having to leave our son at night – knowing we were just a few minutes away.”

The non-profit depends on 800-1000 volunteers every year, and “the new website plays a critical role in the rebranding and modernization of how we help our guests and engage our community,” says J.C. Poma, Community Outreach Manager of The Doorways. “Now we can better tell our story on a local level and build brand recognition among potential volunteers and donors.”

David Kearfott, also of CapTech, worked with The Doorways to help moCapTechdernize and create a mobile friendly version of their website. The new site enables volunteers to view opportunities and apply online, and gives a platform to informdonors and facilitate online giving.

Other features of the refreshed site include a new contact form allowing for general inquiries from guests, volunteers and donors. “In the first week of the site’s launch,” says Poma, “someone in the RVA community reached out to donate toiletries to guests.” An enhanced overview of the guest experience was also introduced so that guests who stay a week, or several months, will know what to expect. Additionally, the eight hospitals that refer guests to the Doorways are featured. From a maintenance perspective, The Doorways was empowered with the ability to easily update the site, access Google analytics and measure the way their initiatives are impacting operations.

Continued enhancements are planned for future releases. To learn more about The Doorways, visit the new site at


J.C. Poma, Community Outreach Manager
The Doorways – Formerly Hospital Hospitality House of Richmond, Inc.
612 E. Marshall Street | Richmond, VA 23219
Phone 804-828-6901 Ext. 150
E-mail [email protected]

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