Why I Give: Dan Mulvihill’s Generosity Stirs Next Generation

Why I Give: Dan Mulvihill’s Generosity Stirs Next Generation

Dan Mulvihill’s support for Scripps Mercy Hospital was sealed with two fateful words: “Yes, Sister.” When Sister Mary Joanne DeVincenti called on him to help launch the Mercy Hospital Foundation nearly 40 years ago, he knew he couldn’t say no.

Dan and his wife, Mary, led the way in raising millions for Scripps Mercy and its programs before his death in July 2020. One of his initiatives was Mercy 1000, an effort to get 1,000 people to donate $1,000 annually in unrestricted support for Scripps Mercy. Over the years, Mercy 1000 has helped fund some of the most pressing needs at the hospital, including an electronic medical record system, upgrades to the Maternal Child Health unit and new surgical equipment.

Donor Dan Mulvihill stands next to his wife, Mary, as the pair reflects on their decades-long commitment to the Scripps Mercy community.

The act of giving back goes way back

Among the donors to Mercy 1000 were Dan’s friends and colleagues, inspired by his generosity and dedication.

“Dan had the ability to make you want to be a part of the Mercy community,” says longtime family friend Tom Mulvaney. Mulvaney’s parents, Jim Sr. and Ruth, were longtime Mercy 1000 members who instilled the value of philanthropy in their children. “It’s people like the Mulvihills who have inspired the next generation to want to give back to the community to make it a better place for all of us.”

The Rippee family and the Mulvihills also go back a long way. Lynn Silva, daughter of Bill and Kay Rippee, recounts a time when her mother and Mary Mulvihill enlisted the help of their husbands while planning the annual Juniors of the Social Service Mardi Gras Ball they had volunteered for in the 60s.

“My dad and Dan Mulvihill had to ride tricycles carrying balloons. Neither one of them could ride a tricycle and the balloons were going everywhere,” Silva says. “Every time my parents and Mulvihills would get together, they’d bring up the balloons, how much fun they had and how volunteering brought them together.”

Philanthropy runs in the family

Silva inherited her parents’ love for giving back. She also spent time on the Mercy Foundation Board and is a former chair of Mercy 1000. 

“I really got to see Dan and his magic working with people, facilitating and collaborating, and most of all giving,” she says. “He made you want to get involved because he always had a twinkle in his eye and you just knew he was doing things for all the right reasons.”

Leave a legacy of your own

You too can be a part of the Scripps community, leave a legacy and inspire others. Supporters have donated millions to benefit Scripps through our annual giving societies: Mercy 1000, Scripps President’s Council and Partners for Scripps Cancer Center. Programs such as graduate medical education and patient support services, along with innovative robotic surgical technology, are areas that have benefited from annual gifts. 

Giving society members also enjoy added benefits, such as invitations to exclusive virtual events on the latest medical advances, a subscription to San Diego Health magazine and complimentary parking at Scripps locations.

This content appeared in San Diego Health, a publication in partnership between Scripps and San Diego Magazine that celebrates the healthy spirit of San Diego.