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GCFH Spring 2017 – Update

Spring 2017 – Update

The following is the update report on the status of The Greater Cleveland Fisher House (GCFH) project through May 1, 2017.

The first piece of big news as of the filing of this report is that we are awaiting the official
groundbreaking date from the National Fisher House Foundation at any moment. All eight parcels of the designated project site (East 105th Street and Ashbury – a block north of The Louis Stokes VA Medical Center) have been assembled under one title for transfer to the Veterans Administration. That document is currently at the Veterans Administration Office of Real Properties in Washington, D. C. Once signed,
a groundbreaking date will be issued. The preparation of this property title packet followed the successful completion of “due diligence” for the site, designating it as “clean” and free of any type of EPA-related issues, as well as tax issues.

The second piece of big news to report is that the capital campaign hit its $3 million goal as of this Past Labor Day weekend. As recently announced as part of a new design concept, the Greater Cleveland Fisher House will now actually be two homes with 16 suites and will accommodate up to 50 family members. The houses will be built adjacent to the grounds of The Louis Stokes VA Medical Center in University Circle, Cleveland. Again, the exact location of the eight parcels acquired is at the corner of East 105th Street and Ashbury, just north of The Louis Stokes VA Medical Center.

The Greater Cleveland Fisher House (GCFH) is the Northeast Ohio affiliate of The Fisher House Foundation. Based in Rockville, MD, The Foundation is best known for the network of comfort homes it has built on the grounds of major military hospitals and Veterans Administration (VA) medical centers.

At this time, there are 72 existing Fisher Houses operating in America; three overseas. Plans are the drawing board for an additional 12 Fisher Houses, including Cleveland.
The cost to build the Fisher House is approximately $7 million. The goal of the Greater Cleveland Fisher House Task Force was to fundraise $3 million. That goal was reached this past August. But the news is better. Not only is the Fisher House National Foundation matching on the cost of the first house, but through its generosity it will be picking up the entire construction cost of the second house! We are getting two houses for the price of one.

Pre-construction due diligence is already underway and both the Fisher House National Foundation and the Veterans Administration have assigned project managers. Talks with the Fisher House National Foundation are also nearing completion regarding the offer by Local Laborers 18 to come in with their manpower and equipment to do all site preparation. Note that the Fisher House National Foundation controls the construction. The targeted time window for groundbreaking is Spring 2017 with a build window of 10 – 12 months.

It is our intention to begin winding down the formal capital campaign by the end of this year and then transition from a capital campaign task force to The Friends of the Cleveland Fisher Houses committee. Funds donated going forward will be used to purchase deep-discounted airlines tickets for Fisher House families traveling to and from Cleveland (done through the Fisher House Hero Miles program). Funds
will also be used to obtain “entertainment values” for the families in the community such as museum passes, Goodtime cruise tickets, tickets for family events at Quicken Loans Arena, etc. Finally, funds will be used to assist Fisher House families with children who may educational scholarship needs.

Note that The Greater Cleveland Fisher House is tax-exempt under IRC 501(c)(3), and donations are tax deductible to the maximum amount permitted by federal law. Please contact me (440) 377-0067 or by e-mail at stokesfisherhouse@gmail.com should you require further information.

Additional information, as well as a video which also tells the Greater Cleveland Fisher House story, can be found on our website at: www.greaterclevelandfisherhouse.org. Please contact me at 440-377-0067, or by e-mail at stokesfisherhouse@gmail.com should you require additional information.

Sincerely,

Richard L. DeChant, Jr.
Secretary/Treasurer
The Greater Cleveland Fisher House