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Published on May 27, 2010

Mercy receives grant for establishment of non-profit community center

Mercy Medical Center is pleased to announce it is the recipient of a $600,000 grant from The Hall-Perrine Foundation for the creation of a non-profit community center to be located in the former Penny Saver building at 621 4th Ave. SE.

The building will be named the Sister Mary Lawrence Community Center, in honor of the former Sister Mary Lawrence Hallagan, one of the most well-known and influential Sisters of Mercy to have lived and worked in Cedar Rapids. Sister Mary Lawrence would have celebrated her 100th birthday this year. She passed away in 1999. The creation of the Sister Mary Lawrence Community Center is Mercy's gift to the community in honor of her many contributions to the hospital and the city of Cedar Rapids.

The goal of the non-profit community center project is to create long-term office and work space for several nonprofit organizations that will benefit not only from the space allotment but also from a shared vision to enhance the health and well-being of the community.

"We've become aware that many local non-profit organizations are still in need of permanent office space following the flood of June 2008," says Tim Charles, president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center. "In keeping with our mission, it is our goal to continue to search for ways to enhance the health of the communities we serve. Providing adequate space for local non-profits has been a tradition for Mercy for many years. We're pleased to have received the Hall-Perrine grant to help us move this project forward."

Current tenants in the Penny Saver building include Kids First Law Center and the Young Parents Network We Care Shop. They lease the space from Mercy for $1 per year. They will continue to be tenants following renovation of the building. Several other organizations will locate their offices in the building as well, including the Boys and Girls Club and Gems of Hope. Additional space remains available for several more tenants.

Renovations to the former Penny Saver building are scheduled to begin in September with completion scheduled for December or early January.

The addition of this valuable resource to the community is just one of the ways Mercy is commemorating the life and legacy of Sr. Mary Lawrence Hallagan over the course of the next six months. Additional observances and related projects will be announced as the multi-phase observance of what would have been her 100th birthday, continues.