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placeholder April 17, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 8    •   Oakland, CA
Senior Living & Resources

Mercy's executive director, Tamra Marie Schmutzler; Bill Brusher; and Andy Bowles, development director, at the Heart of Mercy event.
Courtesy photo

The 'Heart' of Mercy: Longtime volunteer honored

On March 18, Mercy Retirement & Care Center hosted its Heart of Mercy Event to celebrate its 145th anniversary, raise critical funds for its charitable care program, and honor one of its most faithful and dedicated supporters: William (Bill) Brusher.

The ceremony was hosted on-site at Mercy, with 100 guests in attendance at the sold-out event. More than $100,000 was raised for Mercy's Charitable Care Program, which ensures that more than 20 residents and families can continue to call Mercy home.

The event began with the bishop of Oakland, the Most Rev. Michael C. Barber, SJ, providing a blessing and invocation. Twelve of Brusher's family members were in attendance and each of his sons provided moving remarks and tributes to their father. Most Rev. John S. Cummins, Bishop Emeritus of Oakland, presented the Heart of Mercy Award to Brusher.

Over the last 40 years, Brusher has volunteered approximately 3,000 hours to serve the elders at Mercy. His service as a board member, volunteer, donor, resident and friend of Mercy is unparalleled in Mercy's 145-year history. A pillar of the community and member of the Order of Malta for almost 30 years, Brusher is beloved by all of the staff and families at Mercy.

"This year's Heart of Mercy Award is long overdue and we are truly blessed to have Bill as part of our community," said Tamra Marie Schmutzler, Mercy's executive director. "Bill occasionally jokes that after 96 years, he still hasn't learned how to say 'no' to people. On behalf of the thousands of elders at Mercy whose lives have been impacted by Bill's generosity and spirit, we thank Bill for always saying 'yes' to serving our community!"

Since 1872, more than 10,000 elders have come to Mercy to enrich their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Today, one-third of Mercy's residents are elderly Catholic sisters, brothers and priests. The spiritual values and mission of Mercy's founders, the Sisters of Mercy, remain at the heart of their care.

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