Mercy Health Foundation’s signature fundraising gala returned for its 22nd year in Northwest Arkansas and this time, it reached a perfect pitch - to the tune of $1.05 million raised for the local community.
The O’Night Divine Charity Ball, presented by Walmart and Sam’s Club, along with Lee and Linda Scott, was held Saturday, Dec. 5, at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers, Ark.
Emcee Neile Jones, with 8th and Walton, was back by popular demand. The Emmy Award winning former anchor at KNWA-TV has hosted the charity ball five times. And new this year, all the way from Los Angeles, was a cappella group The Filharmonic, who headlined the fantastic event with their rendition of ‘O Holy Night.' The group was featured in NBC’s hit musical competition, “The Sing-Off,” and has shared the stage with Linkin Park, Black Eyed Peas and a cappella sensation Pentatonix. They were also featured in the hit movie “Pitch Perfect 2.”
The Filharmonic took the stage immediately following a live auction in which all proceeds ($65,000) will stay local. This year, an incredible $1.05 million raised mostly from the "Dicky Ray Club" portion of the gala, will support enhancements to Mercy Cardiology with the addition of Therapeutic Hypothermia, a special cooling therapy that benefits cardiac arrest patients. By cooling certain patients’ body temperatures to 32-34 degrees, the therapy improves survival and brain function.
“We’re privileged to offer this therapy at Mercy Northwest Arkansas,” Clark Ellison, Mercy Health Foundation regional vice president, said. “What a testament to the generosity of our donors who have stood behind us for more than two decades, helping us enhance health care services, support patient education and fund charity care here at Mercy.”
Last year, more than 1,400 people attended the annual charity ball, raising nearly $900,000. Past donations have supported Mercy’s mobile health unit, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), 4D heart ultrasound, vein viewer, stereotactic breast biopsy, Sisters Health Boutique and more.
"This year marks the 20th year of Mercy delivering on the promise of compassionate care and exceptional service in Northwest Arkansas," said Eric Pianalto, Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas president. "Over the last 20 years, we have been blessed by the giving spirit in this community to meet the health care needs of all people who seek our care. The community has raised more than $61 million in support of the more than $400 million in total investment to advance both access and treatment."
Pianalto shared that Mercy plans to continue making a significant financial investment over the next five years with its Strategy 2020 Plan.
"With your help, we will continue to bring new and needed services to the community, and continue to provide expanded access to health care for those who seek our care, regardless of their financial status."
Mercy then announced the recipients of Family of the Year, Organization of the Year and Volunteer of the Year. There was also a check-in with baby Beau Brunen, who was born eight weeks premature. He was introduced to last year's charity ball attendees who helped raise funds for Mercy's NICU.
View the playlist below for video announcements shown during the charity ball:
Mercy Northwest Arkansas employs 1,800 people. It includes the 200 bed Mercy Hospital in Rogers, Ambulatory Surgery Center in Bentonville, multispecialty facility in Bella Vista and 30 Mercy Clinic locations within the Northwest Arkansas region; Bella Vista, Bentonville, Centerton, Lowell, Rogers and Springdale. Mercy employs more than 190 integrated providers across Northwest Arkansas. Mercy Northwest Arkansas is part of Mercy, the nation’s seventh largest Catholic health care organization in the U.S. For more information, visit www.mercy.net/nwa.
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