The Military Family Center

Rotary’s Global Grant: Funding for big projects is always a challenge. The group decided to purchase physical and occupational therapy equipment and partner with an organization providing equine therapy to give the military veterans and their families the support they needed. A Rotary Foundation Global Grant was considered, but this requires an international partner. Fortunately, Districts 3131 and 3132 in India with whom we had previously helped agreed to assist. The Rotary Foundation Global Grant provided funding of $112,940.00. Twenty-nine clubs in our District contributed to this project initially. 5 clubs and 3 Rotarians contributed later to assist in leasing land for the Military Family Center. This was truly a global project in our back yard.
Equine Partner:  Pegasus Farm in the Stark County provides equine therapy predominantly assisting physically and mentally challenged individuals. In March 2016, they agreed to partner with Rotary to expand a small veterans program into a larger holistic program providing various therapies focusing on the needs of the military community.
University Partner: Walsh University trains physical therapy, occupational therapy and clinical therapy students. Hearing of the project, they have agreed to make the Military Family Center an educational training site with their students providing therapy under the supervision of their faculty at no cost.
The Location: On October 1, 2016, a 20-acre parcel of land in Louisville with a horse farm of 20 stables, an excellent riding arena, and large house was leased to provide a home for the Military Family Center entirely with the financial support of Rotarians.
The Funding: The capital cost to complete the land purchase, provide the necessary facilities, and operate the program for 2 years is estimated at $ 1.3 M.  Recently the Timken Foundation has agreed to commit $700,000 and identified four other foundations to provide an additional $300,000 to support the project. With these funds, the Military Family Center is well on its way to fruition.
So many Rotarians have spent so many hours on this worthwhile project. Our District thanks all involved for their tireless efforts.
“The Rotary Foundation - making a difference around the world and in our community.”
Peter L Apicella, M.D., Rotary Foundation Chair, District 6650
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