Local restaurateur helping Beebe intitiative

A couple months ago, Michelle Parrill, a part-owner of Millville’s Fat Tuna Grill, read an article about Beebe Medical Center buying land in Clarksville and asking for money to help fund the proposed full-services medical facility.

After raising money for Hurricane Katrina victims last year, Parrill said, she wanted to hold a fundraiser to help a local initiative.

“I just like helping the locals,” Parrill said. “They’re very supportive of us and I like to give back to the community.”

Parrill is selling tickets at the restaurant for $100. Those tickets will be entered into a drawing for a custom Harley Davidson motorcycle on Sept. 16. She said that she has sold about 50 already but will limit the number of tickets to 350 to give entrants a better chance of taking the drawing.

Eric Davidson, Beebe’s special-events coordinator, said that he and his staff will also be selling the tickets from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Beebe Medical Foundation Office at 902 Savannah Road in Lewes.

“We think it’s wonderful that she took the initiative,” Davidson said of Parrill’s fundraiser. “That community is very much in need of this facility. I live in Rehoboth and not a day goes by that I don’t see a Millville ambulance.”

Beebe purchased the 10-acre parcel on Route 26 in unincorporated Clarksville, about one-half mile west of Route 17, earlier this year. A full-service, year-round medical building is proposed for the location. Currently, Beebe’s emergency medical center adjacent to Food Lion on Route 26 in Millville is only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and cannot accommodate serious emergencies.

Although Beebe had not been able to justify an area emergency room in the past, one will likely be included with the new building. There is no timeline for a groundbreaking, officials said, adding that at least one of their major annual fundraisers are being devoted solely to the new building’s initiative.

Davidson said that the annual Thanksgiving Ball’s profits will benefit the Clarksville location for at least the next two years. Beebe brings in about $150,000 to $200,000 annually from the ball.

Although Parrill only expects her fundraiser to add about $15,000 to the pot, Davidson lauded her efforts.

“I’ve had a lot of customers who said they would buy tickets,” said Parrill, who had been playing phone tag with Davidson about helping out with the sale of the tickets. “I’m starting to stress. But I think as it gets closer, they’ll start selling more.”