In 1969, Mary Davis Porcari lost the youngest of her five children, Mary Elizabeth, to a rare genetic disorder. Following this tragedy, Mary was determined to become a Registered Nurse – like her mother before her – and provide the caring, professional assistance to those in need that she had experienced.
While responsible for four children at home, Mary enrolled in the Nursing Program at Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y., studying nights, weekends and holidays to earn her RN in 1971. Mary began her nursing career at the old Park Avenue. Hospital in Rochester, later moving to the new Park Ridge Hospital where she worked as a Medical-Surgical nurse for nearly two decades. Remarried, Mary Porcari Brady went on to work at several other Upstate New York hospitals including the Old Forge Medical Center, Cortland Hospital and Oswego Hospital, from which she retired in 2000. In 2001, Mary died unexpectedly at age 64.
Working with the Monroe Community College Foundation, the surviving children of Mary Porcari Brady (Jinny Porcari Keough, Jim Porcari, John D. Porcari and Charles F. Porcari) found that faculty at the MCC School of Nursing were frustrated that top-tier students occasionally had to suspend their studies – or even drop out entirely – due to unexpected emergency financial needs outside the classroom.
Managed entirely by the Nursing School faculty, the Mary Porcari Brady Fund was established at Monroe Community College in 2006 with a $250,000 commitment from the surviving Porcari siblings. Designed into the commitment was the caveat that 100% of all funds be used to assist student nurses, with all overhead and administrative costs donated by the Fund Managers. See the 2006 press release here.
Another goal was to expand the MPB Fund beyond Monroe Community College in Rochester. In 2014 Mary Porcari Brady Fund emergency student support programs were established at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, N.Y. and in 2020, Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, N.Y.
In recognition of the rapidly emerging requirement from many employers that Registered Nurses have a Bachelors of Science (Nursing) degree, Monroe Community College worked with the Porcari siblings to create the Mary Porcari Brady Continuing Education Fund – a subset of the MPB Fund – in 2016. These monies provide financial support for nursing students taking specific courses that earn credits transferable to four-year colleges offering nursing programs. Learn about the two latest recipients of the Mary Porcari Brady Continuing Education Fund below: