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Published: Saturday, 10/15/2005

St. Vincent's to herald future at '150th' fete

St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center observes its 150th anniversary tomorrow, and hospital officials are throwing a party open to the public with music, games, and free Tony Packo's hot dogs.

The festivities, from 1 to 4 p.m., will be on the grounds of Central Catholic High School, 2550 Cherry St., which is three blocks away. St. Vincent officials plan to bask in the hospital's rich history and herald the future during the fete.

"A lot has stayed the same when you think about our mission," said Jeff Peterson, president and chief executive officer of St. Vincent. "What's different today from 150 years ago? Just look at the Life Flight helicopter that can cross Lucas County in 9 minutes."

That advance is a far cry from when the hospital's founders, the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, arrived 150 years ago.

Back then, the small group of Grey Nuns came to Toledo to start a hospital to care for the sick and poor. The primary means of transportation was either walking or riding a horse.

St. Vincent officials expect more than 3,000 people to attend the party. They're planning music from the KGB Band, health screenings, and a visit from the Life Flight helicopter.

In addition, those who come can help paint a portion of the 150th anniversary mural that will be displayed inside the hospital.

The mural, commissioned by St. Vincent, was created by a group of high school students involved in the Young Artists at Work program of the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo.

At 1:30 p.m., U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) and Toledo Mayor Jack Ford will speak.

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