The Mercy Health Foundation Ball is used as a fundraising event that, in collaboration with outside donations to Southern Cross Care Victoria’s Imagine Fund which merged with Mercy Health in 2017, supports some of the provider’s most socially and financially disadvantaged residents and clients realise their lifelong dreams.
Mercy Health Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Adjunct Professor Stephen Cornelissen says the Imagine Fund has already helped many residents and clients tick off their bucket list items - including Tiger Moth flights, Harley Davidson motorcycle joy rides, a scenic helicopter flight and a trip to the Frankston Sand Sculpture Festival.
He says watching people’s faces light up hearing their bucket list stories - days, weeks and even months after the experience - is “priceless”.
“At Mercy Health we believe in looking after the whole person, not just their health and physical wellbeing,” he says.
“If we can help our residents and clients to follow their dreams and continue to live life to the fullest then we have achieved what we set out to do.”
Prominent entrepreneur and business leader, and founder of online experience gift company RedBalloon, Naomi Simson commended the initiative in her role as Master of Ceremonies at the Mercy Health Foundation Ball, adding that often, we hold ourselves back from chasing our dreams.
“A bucket list is a wonderful way of having everything in its own space,” she says.
“I think that little voice inside our head often wants us to play small and we all need people to challenge us to greatness to play a bigger game.”
Lifelong St Kilda Football Club fan Margaret Vears is one of the Mercy Health residents hoping to have her bucket list wish fulfilled with the help of the Foundation Ball and other outside donations.
“Watching the game on TV is the highlight of my week [and] everyone knows not to panic if I have no voice after a win,” she explains.
“I would love for one last time to see my boys play at a live game and maybe even give one or two of them a sneaky kiss on the cheek for good luck!”