CLEVELAND, Oh: “We did it!” Those are the words of Tom Sweeney, the Board President for The Greater Cleveland Fisher House (GCFH), in announcing that the GCFH capital campaign has reached its fundraising goal of $3 million as of July 15 th . “It’s been a long and interesting journey,” said Sweeney, a Vietnam veteran and former WKYC TV3 anchorman, “but we are there due to the support and generosity of from some of the area’s largest corporations, hundreds of mid-sized businesses, individual donors, and of course the Northeast Ohio military and veterans community.”
Sweeney said the $3 million goal was reached as the result of three large contributions which all arrived simultaneously within a week’s period. Those donations included the Cleveland Foundation, the PNC Charitable Trust/Edwin D. Northrup II Fund, The Catherine L. & Edward A. Lozick Foundation, and a donation of $28,800.00 from Susan and Bob Conkey of Amherst, Ohio, who held a private fundraising event at their home. “These four donations are reflection of the diversity of support this initiative has received all along,” said Sweeney.
As part of a new design concept, the Greater Cleveland Fisher House will actually be two homes with 12 – 14 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. 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. “Not only is the national Fisher 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,” said Sweeney.
Pre-construction due diligence is already underway and both the Fisher House National Foundation and the Veterans Administration have assigned project managers. Note that the national Fisher House Foundation controls the construction and schedule. The targeted time window for groundbreaking is late 2016 with a build window of 10 – 11 months.
The formal GCFH capital campaign will wind down 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. Finally, funds will be used to assist Fisher House families with children who may educational scholarship needs.
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.
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.
21886 Seabury Avenue ∙ Fairview Park, OH 44126-2644