Mercy Care celebrates 10th anniversary

mercyPHOTO PROVIDED Mercy Care Board of Directors presented Volunteers with the “Doors of Mercy,” a photo collage project developed by elders and volunteers depicting elders opening their doors to their Mercy Care Friends.

PROGRAM: Seeks to comfort lonely elders, promote communities friendly for the aging

LAKE PLACID — The Board of Directors of Mercy Care for the Adirondacks recently marked the 10th anniversary of the Sisters of Mercy’s renewed mission to enhance life for local senior citizens.

Mercy Care works to relieve the isolation and loneliness of elders, empower communities to become more aging-friendly and raise awareness about the challenges and aspirations of older adults.

At a free event at the Crowne Plaza Resort Golf House Restaurant in Lake Placid, board members expressed their gratitude to volunteers, donors, partner organizations, government officials and community leaders for encouraging and supporting Mercy Care.



Mercy Care Anniversary Event Chair Susan Sweeney, a board member, and Board President Jerry Hayes presented four awards:

• The Tender Courage Award, given to Sister Patricia Vetrano, president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Mid-Atlantic Community, and Dr. Paul Reiss, president of the Board of Mercy Uihlein Health Foundation in 2007.

They led the way 10 years ago in establishing Mercy Care.

• The Community Empowerment Award, presented to Adirondack Foundation for empowering organizations and communities to recognize and address the need to enhance the fullness of life of elders living in the Adirondacks.

The award recognized the foundation’s work to provide education programs to advance best practices, foster collaboration, partnership and networking and provide connections to generous people who can help.

• The Catherine McAuley Award, presented to Dr. Ellen Vopicka, who first came to the Adirondacks from New Jersey with a friend and became immersed in Mercy Care’s mission.

Vopicka serves as a mercy associate, was a Mercy Care board member and is a generous donor and a member of Mercy Care’s Fund Development Committee.

• The Errands of Mercy Award, presented to all of Mercy Care’s friendship volunteers, caregiver advocate volunteers and volunteer parish nurses.

Since 2008, 135 people have been trained as Mercy Care volunteers. They have contributed more than 22,000 hours of volunteer service, valued at over $500,000.

Mercy Care volunteers assist 107 elders with informal support to help them age in place more successfully.

Volunteers were presented with the “Doors of Mercy,” a photo collage project developed by elders and volunteers. They were also given a pin from the Mercy Care Board.

Besides Sweeney and Hayes, other Board of Directors members are Vice President Sister Camillus O’Keefe, David Aldrich, Art Devlin, Frank Lescinsky, Jack McGill, Judith Meagher, Paul O’Leary, Susan Sweeney, Mary Welch, Jamie Whidden, Sister Denise Wilke and the Rev. John Yonkovig.



The Most Rev. Terry LaValley, bishop of Ogdensburg, closed the awards program with a prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving for touching the aging in the Adirondacks with mercy.

The appreciation event was held with the support of Friends of Mercy sponsors, Adirondack Health, Elderwood of Uihlein at Lake Placid, David and Mary Welch, Nancy Kastor, Caroline and Serge Lussi, AdWorkshop, St. Agnes of Lake Placid, St. Brendan of Keene, Jerry and Eileen Hayes, Kathleen Keck, Judith Meagher, Susan Sweeney and ClassAct.



For more information on Mercy Care for the Adirondacks, call 518-523-5580, e-mail at or visit

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