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All-world fundraiser Bill Stanley can use a helping hand now

It requires time and many acts of good to reach institutional status. Ladies and gentlemen ... Bill Stanley.

Time? A reporter here at America's Most Underrated Media Outlet for nearly 11 years. The Vice President of Development at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital for 21 years and counting.

Acts of good? Put it this way: When you need something done, you call Bill. He knows everybody. Everybody knows him. Great guy with whom to, you know, partake of some lemonade and appetizers. Not to mention the catalyst for the hospital's fundraising generosity aimed at many charities over the years.

So now it's time Stanley needs some money raised for himself. Not for his own pocket, but for his latest initiative that will honor the frontline workers at L+M, whose heroism in the face of COVID-19 will never be forgotten.

Bill's words: "The idea is to do something fitness related. Go for a walk, run, swim laps, play tennis, lift weights. None of which appeals to me. So we're going to play golf."

Stanley will be part of #FitForTheFrontLine, a program in which medical centers will be part of a countrywide movement of physical activity to honor frontline health care workers. Stanley will play 36 holes on Friday with retired Pfizer executive Dan Brannegan, who chairs the hospital's Development Committee; attorney Dan King from The Law Office of P. Michael Lahan in Norwich; and Dr. Henry Amdur, retired longtime OB-GYN on the L+M Medical Staff. Great Neck Country Club has waived all the guest fees.

"I'm reaching out to my social and professional networks to sponsor us per hole," Stanley said. "We're going to walk 36 holes. That's where the fitness comes in. Thirty-six holes for a bunch of old guys like us isn't easy."

Stanley said he's received sponsorships already ranging from $2 to $40 per hole. Anyone interested in helping should mail a check to L+M Hospital Development Fund, c/o the L + M Development Office, 365 Montauk Ave., New London, CT, 06320.

"Our frontline employees have stepped up courageously during the pandemic," Stanley said. "Their stress level — you can't even begin to imagine. You didn't hear them complain. This is what they signed up to do. This is their job. This is their passion. This is a way to support and honor them."

Many of us have redefined our thinking during the pandemic, whose tentacles haven't been all negative. Perhaps we've come to realize what's truly important to us or that staying home with gadgetry is overrated. Then there's this: There is comfort in knowing that L+M has frontline staff immersed in selflessness.

"I've never been prouder of the frontline people at L+M. They've put it all on the line," Stanley said. "Selflesslessly taking care of very sick people who contracted a disease nobody knew anything about. It's a scary thing."

Stanley's days are awash in money. How to make it for the hospital and how to give it away to the community. His upcoming foray on the links is unique, even for a money guy.

"My job is to raise money. I'm at both ends of it," Stanley said. "Different charities will reach out to the hospital. I'm very proud of how many charities we support. But I also raise money. With the pandemic, we've had to push our golf tournament back to October. We probably won't have our annual gala or our LAMBS (Lawrence + Memorial Benefactors Society) party. We're also getting ready for a 60th anniversary celebration, but that's up in the air, too."

Ah, but what's in the air next Friday — golf balls hopefully headed straight most of the time — will occupy Stanley's thoughts. Happier thoughts, clearly. Help the guy who has helped us all if you can.

This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro

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