Proceeds from the Jon Harold NICU Classic presented to Mercy Medical Center and Akron Children’s Hospital
Stark, Portage and Summit County high school baseball coaches and players came together on May 3 at Mercy Medical Center to present checks of $2,880 each to Mercy’s Neonatal Special Care Nursery and Akron Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The donations were proceeds from the Jon Harold NICU Classic, a fundraiser started in 2017 by then–Lake High School senior and baseball player Jon Harold.
Harold was born three months premature and spent nearly two months in Mercy’s Neonatal Special Care Nursery. He had heard the stories about his start in life and the care he received at Mercy, so when it came time to create his National Honor Society community service project, he started the NICU Classic.
“I decided to donate back to the place that got me started,” Jon said. “I probably wouldn’t be here without the care I was given at Mercy.”
Elaine Campbell, director of Mercy Fund Development, remembers her first contact with Harold a couple of years ago. “He called and said he’d like to do a fundraiser at a Lake High School baseball game and give the proceeds back to Mercy’s Neonatal Special Care Nursery,” she recalls. “He’s a very special young man and a grateful patient,” Campbell adds about the now–University of Cincinnati sophomore.
Lake High School baseball coach Joe Anderson’s daughter spent six days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Akron Children’s Hospital. He has helped lead the charge to continue the fundraiser, which was renamed the Jon Harold NICU Classic, and this year included 18 baseball teams. Participating teams collected donations at games and raised money through T-shirt sales.
“In this community, it is awesome to meet young people like Jon Harold and to see what can be accomplished when a community comes together for an important cause,” said Paul Hiltz, president & CEO at Mercy Medical Center. “Because of their efforts, babies born premature will benefit.”
To learn more about Mercy Development Foundation, visit cantonmercy.org/giving or call 330-430-2750.
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