Mercy Medical Center Merced foundation on its way to $5 million goal

November 10, 2009 

In this tough economy, $5 million is a lot of money.

That's the goal the Mercy Medical Center Foundation has set to help get the new hospital, slated to open in May 2010, up and running.

And it's well on its way to meeting that goal.

Billie Razzari, foundation president, said the board set a goal of $5 million to help buy medical equipment for Mercy's new hospital on North G Street. So far, the community has responded with $3.4 million.

"We have had a lot of successes that will benefit the medical center," Razzari said.

Among those successes was the gala held Sept. 26, when more than 700 people gathered at the site of the new hospital to help the foundation push closer to $5 million.

Razzari said the goal was set in 2007 after talking with hospital administrators about what was needed.

Barry McAuley, foundation board member, said the foundation is still contacting the community to reach the goal.

"We are currently working with a number of individuals, families and institutions that have expressed an interest in helping us achieve our goal of providing the best equipment for our new hospital," McAuley said.

The foundation is celebrating its 25th year. Originally, there were two foundations when there were two hospitals in town. When the hospitals merged in 2001, so did the foundations. Started by medical personnel and local citizens, the foundation set its goal to help the hospital.

And even during a recession, foundation board members say the community has stepped up to help.

"We still find that generosity exists," said Bob Ayers, a board member. "People who believe in this community have always and will always plow back their success," he said.

Although they are still more than $1 million away from their goal, Razzari has no doubt that the foundation will raise the $5 million.

"We don't have a deadline," Razzari said. "We will continue our efforts until we meet that goal."

Reporter Carol Reiter can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or creiter@mercedsun-star.com.