Perry County Memorial Hospital, Mercy build bikes for charity

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Some children will receive a special gift this holiday season thanks to leaders from Perry County Health System (PCHS) and Mercy Hospital Jefferson.

Mercy leaders frequently give back to their communities and were looking for a way to include members from the Perryville community. They elected to assemble bicycles for children in need and invited PCHS leaders to join them. About 80 leaders from the two health care organizations came together on Friday, Nov. 18 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Perryville.

“It was an enjoyable day for all of us,” said Chris Wibbenmeyer, Perry County Health System CEO. “Getting the chance to work side-by-side for the benefit of children in our communities is a great way to start the holiday season.”

“Supporting charities and other organizations that provide for our communities is an integral part of what we do to live the legacy given to us by the Sisters of Mercy,” said Eric Ammons, Mercy Hospital Jefferson president. “As we learn about and work to become part of the Perryville community, this was a natural next step. We’re grateful to be welcomed into this community.”

PCHS and Mercy leaders worked together to assemble 14 bikes and donated half of them with helmets to the Regional Family Crisis Center in Perryville and the other half with helmets to Jefferson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) in Festus.

The Regional Family Crisis Center supports victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and human trafficking across six counties providing both resident care in their shelter and non-resident care.

“This event means everything to us when it comes from our own community,” said Emily Macdonald with Regional Family Crisis Center who accepted the bikes for the center. “The holidays are a busy time for us, and these kids have seen too much at their age. These will be meaningful gifts for them.

“We are very appreciative from the bottom of our hearts from the staff and families we serve.”

CASA advocates for children in foster care in Jefferson County and supports about 700 kids on any given day.

“Foster kids take very little with them when they move to foster care. They don’t get to bring any of their toys with them and certainly don’t get their bikes. This will mean so much to them,” said Alicia Knickman with Jefferson County CASA who accepted the bikes for her organization. “Thank you to PCHS and Mercy for choosing us. For them to value us this much is touching.”

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