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2019 Outstanding Friend of the Year Connie Hein, pictured with Lisa Klenke, Mercer Health CEO, and Jon Dingledine, Mercer Health Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer.

(2-14-20) The Medical, Educational and Development (MED) Foundation of Mercer Health awarded Connie Hein, a five-year Charity Ball committee member, the 2019 Outstanding Friend of the Year award at the Friends of the MED Foundation dinner on January 26, 2020. The annual event was attended by more than 150 supporters of the Foundation.

Deb Hemmelgarn, Director of the MED Foundation

“This year’s MED Foundation Friend of the Year is a very generous donor and supporter to the MED Foundation and Mercer Health – a true friend who is greatly appreciated for sharing her gifts with us.”

Connie spends countless hours creating, designing and making anything her or the committee dreams up to make the Charity Ball the premiere event of West Central Ohio.

Hemmelgarn said

“Her creativity literally saves the Foundation thousands of dollars each year. What she is able to do with some carpet tubes, spray foam insulation, hula hoops and pool noodles is quite remarkable. She truly is creatively gifted.”

Following the announcement of the Friend of the Year, Lisa Klenke, Mercer Health CEO, provided an organization update and John Yoder, President of the MED Foundation Board of Directors, shared an overview of the activities of the MED Foundation over the past year including the Charity Ball, the Esmonde-Homan Memorial Golf Outing, the scholarships awarded from funds generated at the golf outing and the growth of the foundation over the past year.

Josie Wendel, creator of the One Legged Mommy, was the event’s keynote speaker. Wendel shared her story of the amputation of her left leg and losing a portion of muscle and tendon in her right arm, how she has adjusted, chosen to focus on positivity and faced the difficulties of life and motherhood as an amputee. Wendel’s mission is to make the lives of other amputees easier by sharing her perspective.

Previous Outstanding Friends of the MED Foundation award recipients include:

  • Jack Hartings and Chris Mohler, Building on a Promise Campaign co-chairs (2018)
  • Maurice and Mary Ann Harting (2017)
  • VJ and Marilyn Westerheide (2016)
  • Remer Holdings, Inc. (2015)
  • Tom Sanderell (2014)
  • Richard “Red” Luken (2013)
  • Coldwater Machine (2012)
  • Francis and Joan Pax (2011)
  • HCF Management, Inc. (2010)
  • Mercer Health Volunteer Association (2009)

Door prizes for this year’s event were generously donated by:

  • Briarwood Village
  • Peg Muhlenkamp
  • Mercer County Elks
  • Sharon and Bob Hibner
  • The St. Henry Bank
  • Volunteer Association of Mercer Health
  • Cooper Farms
  • Celina Manor
  • Niswonger Performing Arts Center
  • Edward Jones – John Yoder
  • Make Mine Chocolate by Terry Rutschilling
  • Tomorrow’s Technology Today
  • Vita Nova Boutique

For more information about the MED Foundation of Mercer Health, or to become a Friend of the MED Foundation, contact MED Foundation Director Deb Hemmelgarn at 419-678-5679 or