Del Mar resident chairs 43rd annual Mercy Ball for Scripps Mercy Hospital

By Kristina Houck

Although her husband is a doctor at Scripps Mercy, Lois Stanton spends much of her time working for the hospital, too.

The Del Mar resident has helped raise funds for the hospital since the mid-1970s when her husband, Dr. William Stanton, first joined the medical staff. Today, her husband serves as medical director of the Scripps Cancer Center at Scripps Mercy Hospital’s San Diego campus, and Stanton recently served as chairwoman of the 43rd annual Mercy Ball March 8 at The Grand Del Mar.

“It’s all about giving back,” said Stanton, who moved to Del Mar with her husband in 1975.

Funds raised at the event will benefit maternal and child health services at Scripps Mercy Hospital’s San Diego and Chula Vista campuses. Together they comprise the largest hospital in San Diego County and one of the largest in California, according to the Scripps website.

Scripps Mercy is also the county’s longest established hospital providing more than 120 years of service. Although the hospital offers high-quality care, Stanton said the maternal and child health facilities are in need of upgrades.

“They really are in need of renovation,” said Stanton, who recently toured the facilities at both campuses. “The care is excellent — top notch — but we’ve got to fix this up and make it pretty.

“I need to give back to my mamas and babies at Mercy.”

A Kansas native, Stanton was raised by parents very active in their hometown.

“It’s in one’s DNA,” she said. “Growing up on a farm in Kansas, we were always helping our neighbors in need, whether it was my dad helping somebody harvest or build a barn, or my mom working at the church and the PTA.”

While her husband — who is also from Kansas — went to medical school, Stanton worked as an eighth- and ninth-grade English teacher in St. Louis. In 1970, the couple relocated to San Diego, where Stanton’s husband trained at UC San Diego before joining Scripps.

Stanton worked as a teacher, and later the director, of a local cooking school. After she retired, she dedicated her time to giving back to others.

In addition to her work on behalf of Scripps Mercy, she began volunteering with Social Service League of La Jolla in 1985, serving as president of the organization from 1993 to 1995 and 2009 to 2012. She has also been an active member of the Village Garden Club of La Jolla.

For the past several years, Stanton has volunteered on the Mercy Ball Committee, this year serving as chair.

“I’ve had a great committee to work with,” she said. “It’s been a really good group.”

With “Celebrating Families” the theme of this year’s fundraiser, Stanton said she and the other organizers had no trouble selling out the venue. Roughly 500 people attended the function, compared to last year’s 450 attendees.

The event featured dinner, dancing, a live auction and live entertainment. Longtime Scripps supporters Mary and Dan Mulvihill were also honored during the event.

“Scripps Mercy is a place I feel very comfortable and very at home,” Stanton said. “I believe in it.”

For more information about Scripps Mercy Hospital, visit