May 16, 2017

Caritas Gala raises more than $358,000 to support opioid treatment services

Staff report

Caritas Gala Follow Up

Pictured are, front row, Sister of Providence Mary Caritas Geary; and Brenda Garton-Sjoberg, gala chairperson; and, back row, Alice Kennedy, director of special gifts, fund development, Mercy Medical Center; Dr. Mohamed Hamdani, committee member, Opioid Project; Dr. Robert Roose, vice president, Mercy Behavioral Health Care; Allison Gearing-Kalill, vice president of fund development, Mercy Medical Center; John Sjoberg, gala chairperson; Dean Whalen, chair, Opioid Project; and Daniel Keenan, regional vice president, advocacy and government relations, Trinity Health-New England. (IObserve photo/courtesy of Mercy Medical Center)

SPRINGFIELD – Mercy Medical Center’s first Caritas Gala has raised $358,316 to expand and enhance Mercy Behavioral Health Care’s Opioid Treatment and Addiction Recovery programs, including a new inpatient step-down treatment program for post-detox services, giving individuals a better chance at long-term recovery.  

Themed “All You Need is Love,” the inaugural gala was held at the MassMutual Center in March. John Sjoberg and Brenda Garton-Sjoberg served as honorary chairpersons of the event. Sjoberg serves as chairman of the board for Mercy and as vice chairman of the board for Trinity Health–New England. Garton-Sjoberg has served as honorary chairperson of Mercy Gift of Light.

“We are extremely grateful to the Sjoberg family for their unwavering support and commitment to Mercy and the Caritas Gala. Thank you to the gala committee members, sponsors, donors, attendees, and volunteers who contributed to the event’s success,” said Allison Gearing-Kalill, vice president of fund development, Mercy Medical Center. “We are overwhelmed by the tremendous support of our community. These generous contributions enable us to continue to expand, enhance, and educate about our services in order to help more individuals fight the disease of opioid addiction.” 

Plans are already underway for the second annual Caritas Gala which will be held on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the MassMutual Center. Honorary chairpersons are Dr. Mohamed and Kimberly Hamdani and Paul and Anna Mancinone.

Photos and videos from the 2017 Caritas Gala can be found at and on the Mercy Fund Development Facebook page. For more information about Mercy Behavioral Health Care services, please visit