Honouring Our Unsung Heroes - Mercy Stars presented to individuals and groups who go above and beyond for the Mercy Hospital
Friday, September 27th was a special evening for many associated with The Mercy University Hospital which saw the celebration of many Unsung Heroes at the 2019 Mercy Stars Awards. The individuals, teams, and fundraising volunteers who go above and beyond for patients and colleagues at The Mercy University Hospital, were officially recognised at the ceremony which was held at the Radisson Blu, Little Island.
Sponsored by Keanes Jewellers and Trinity, the Mercy Stars is one of the most highly anticipated events on the calendar of the Mercy Hospital.
The Mercy’s ‘School Fundraiser of the Year 2019’ was awarded to Kinsale Community School who have been huge supporters of the Mercy Hospital Foundation for many years. The Mercy University Hospital Foundation works with a number of schools to raise funds and awareness for The Mercy Hospital in an effort to support the Hospital delivering the highest quality of care to its patients. Last Christmas, on December 21st, the Kinsale Community School presented The Mercy University Hospital Foundation with a cheque for an amazing €6,000 as a result of their annual sponsored walk.
Betty O’Sullivan from Listowel, Co. Kerry was named ‘Mercy Stars Hero of the Year 2019’. Betty founded the ‘Climb to Remember’ in 2012, in memory of her mother Bernie O’Sullivan following her passing in 2010. Betty was so grateful for the wonderful care, compassion and dedication shown to her mum Bernie by the doctors, nurses and staff at The Mercy University Hospital and wanted to give back. Since 2012, the ‘Climb to Remember’ has raised over €80,000 for cancer services at the Mercy.
Siobhan Kennedy was awarded the ‘Mercy Foundation Hospital Hero of the year 2019’. Siobhan has been a dedicated team member at the Mercy for many years and the award acknowledges her hard work, support and dedication. Siobhan is always ready with humour and good nature, whatever the circumstances.
‘Event Organisers of the Year 2019’ went to Adrian McAuliffe who organised a concert in memory of his sister Rose following her untimely death to cancer. Adrian, along with friends and family organised a superb night of traditional music which was headlined by the legendary group De Dannan and Eleanor Shanley. The concert also featured the Shandrum Ceilí band and songstress Elle Marie O’Dwyer. On the night an incredible €12,000 was raised in aid of The Mercy Hospital as well as another €12,000 in aid of Marymount.
Mary Buckley from Rathcoole was awarded the ‘Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year 2019’ for her tremendous fundraising efforts. Mary first began fundraising just 2 months after her husband John passed away from pancreatic cancer. Mary organised a coffee morning at her home in Rathcoole to raise funds for the Mercy Cancer Appeal. That was back in 2016, and since then, Mary and the entire Buckley family, have raised over €20,000 in aid of The Mercy. Earlier this year, Mary helped launch the 2019 Mercy Hospital Foundation Newsletter by sharing her story in order to encourage others to give back.
The award for ‘Civil Service Heroes of the Year 2019’ went to the Irish Naval Service, Haulbowline which was presented to Commander Brian Fitzgerald. The Irish Naval Service, Haulbowline has raised thousands over the years for the Mercy’s smallest patients. From Heroes day, where they held a special VIP Coffee Morning on the L.E. Eithne as well as open tours to the public. Their fantastic team has also visited St Anne’s ward and put smiles on the faces of the youngest patients at The Mercy.
The ‘Mercy Stars Corporate Fundraiser of the Year 2019’ went to Cork based firm RedHat as a result of their phenomenal support for the ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer Walk.’ RedHat really went the extra mile which saw them complete a bed push all the way from the Viaduct to Bandon as part of the popular walk in memory of Bandon man Mark Prendergast. RedHat raised an incredible €11,000 and in total, the walk raised over €300,000 for the Mercy Cancer Appeal.
The ‘Mercy Stars Challenge Event Organiser of the Year 2019’ was awarded to the Kelly family for the annual ‘Ger Kelly Memorial Walk’. Ger Kelly sadly passed away in 2015 following a long illness and in 2016, Ger’s wife Catherine, daughter Aideen and son Pete decided that a fundraising memorial walk was a lovely way to celebrate his life and remember him, while giving something back to the Mercy for the help and support they gave Ger and his family. To date, nearly €17,000 has been raised for the Mercy Hospital Foundation. This has enabled the team at the Mercy to purchase furniture for a new Consultancy Room called the ‘Quiet Room’ in St Theresa’s Ward as well as supporting the Mercy Cancer CARE Centre.
‘Churchgate Collector of the Year 2019’ was Nancy Kenny from Kilworth, who has been the hospital’s church gate collector at St. Martins Church, Kilworth since 2010. Nancy and her family have a strong connection with the Mercy and have raised over €3,000 to date.
‘Face to Face Fundraiser of the year 2019’ was awarded to Cork man Ross Kearney. The Mercy Hospital has thousands of people all over County Cork and beyond giving €15 a month to support the hospital. Ross has signed up 246 people to support The Mercy Hospital which means that this year alone, those donors will raise a huge €55,350 to help patients at The Mercy.
The 2019 Hospital Award winners were the Occupational Therapy Department (Clinical Team of the Year); Emergency Department (Ward Team of the Year); Human Resources (HR) (Support Services Team of the Year); and Friends of the Mercy Volunteers (Hospital Services Team of the Year); while Noreen Brickley, theatre nurse was awarded the Lifetime Achievement for her 40 years of dedication to the Mercy University Hospital.
Speaking at the awards, Mícheál Sheridan, CEO, Mercy Hospital Foundation said, “We are delighted to recognise and celebrate so many amazing people here tonight and that’s exactly what the Mercy Stars are all about. The selfless dedication of all those who give of their time is an inspiration. Their support and dedication allow The Mercy University Hospital, the People’s Hospital, to advance research, diagnosis, treatment and care of patients.”
Further information on all the night’s winners is available on www.mercyfundraising.ie.