Good Times for a Great Cause Await at Mercy Gala

May 3, 2013
John McConnell, MD

John McConnell, MD

In the spirit of its “garden parties” of days gone by, Mercy Health Foundation Independence has planned a special event fund-raiser for Saturday, June 1, to include a variety of entertainment, gourmet food and special presentations.
The 2013 Vision Forward Gala will kick off at 6 p.m. with non-stop activity, including a refreshment hour, silent auction, gourmet hors d’oeuvres dinner, awards presentation and a special keynote address by John McConnell, MD, chief executive officer of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.
A native of Independence and a noted urologist, Dr. McConnell spent much of his career on the faculty of the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, where he served in a number of clinical and administrative roles, including as urology department chair; prostate disease center director; vice president for clinical programs; executive vice president for administration; and executive vice president of health system affairs.
In 2008, he became the first CEO in the history of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, where he oversees the clinical, research and academic enterprises of the organization.
Other highlights of the June 1 event will include the second annual presentation of the Catherine McAuley Legacy Awards; silent and live auctions, featuring dozens of unique and valuable items; Casino entertainment, including blackjack, craps and wheel of fortune; and a raffle for a Weber Genesis gas grill.
Attire for the evening is dressy casual, and valet parking will be available.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Vision Forward Campaign to support future facility improvements at Mercy Hospital. The campaign kicked off in February 2012 and to date has reached approximately 70 percent of its $100,000 phase one goal.
Reservations for the gala are $40 per person, which includes $5,000 in “casino bucks” for the gaming tables. Donations for the grill raffle are $5 per ticket or a set of five tickets for $20. The winning raffle ticket will be drawn at 9 p.m. at the gala, but ticket holders need not be present to win.
Raffle tickets and reservations are available online now at, and more information is available by calling the Mercy Health Foundation office at 620-332-3248.