CANTON The Mercy Service League has an effective formula for fundraising. The 70 members mix passion for Mercy Medical Center with determination and the excitement of helping others help others.
The group has raised $390,000 for the renovation of the fifth-floor orthopedic/observation unit of Mercy Medical Center during the past two years. The signature fundraiser the Service League holds is an annual Harvest Ball where it raised $205,000 during the 2015 Harvest Ball and $185,000 at the 2016 Harvest Ball for the fifth-floor project.
The projected finish date of the fifth-floor renovation is December 2017. Elaine Campbell, director of Mercy Development Foundation, said members of the Mercy Service League will get a hardhat tour of the renovation in September.
"The Service League has raised over $6 million since it was founded in 1975 and the Harvest Ball generates a large part of the funds, and the Foundation is so appreciative of the fundraising efforts," Campbell said. "Members get a list of projects from Mercy Medical and then they select the project they want to raise money for. We raised money for four or five years for the renovated emergency department and we spent the last two years on the fifth-floor project."
Other fundraisers the group holds throughout the year include the Celebrity Bartending with the physicians from Mercy acting as bartenders, the Souper Bowl with area restaurants serving a variety of soups and Spring and Holiday Treasures where merchants come to the hospital for nurses and doctors to shop. The group just held its inaugural Wine Women & Shoes event in early May. The event had upscale shopping, wine tasting and silent and live auctions.
"We raised $250,000 to benefit the Women’s Cancer Services at Mercy Medical Center," said Julie Gill, Service League president. "Members of the Service League become family and we are all very passionate about helping Mercy Medical Center achieve their mission. My goal over the next two years is to get the membership up to 100 volunteers."
Campbell said the money from the 2017 Harvest is scheduled to go the Mercy Safe Caring Initiative-AvaSure Telesitter program. The AvaSure is a video monitoring system that increases Mercy’s capacity to offer continuous observation for patients at increased risk for harm due to dementia, falls, elopement, drug and alcohol detoxification, behavioral health issues and other conditions.
"I believe the Service League is successful because its members support each other and do whatever it takes to make our fundraising work. Plus, we are passionate about our mission is to support the ideals and philosophies of Mercy Medical Center and the ministry of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine," Gill said.