By Sten Crissey, Campaign and Planned Giving Manager
Thanks primarily to the generosity of Lea Hill residents and their families – in addition to staff, civic leaders and community supporters – a miraculous story can now be told!
On September 27, 2011 a small gathering of committed Lea Hill residents and community leaders met for the first time. Their formidable goal was to raise $3.5 million: $2 million for the Rehabilitation & Care Center and $1.5 million to fund the Lea Hill Circle of Concern Endowment, to assist residents who had exhausted their financial resources through no fault of their own.
The scale of this undertaking cannot be overstated and, guided by visionary co-chairs Fred and Helena Hanna and community leader Sue Singer, the Lea Hill Advisory Board was formed. In partnership with the Foundation, this dedicated campaign committee worked ambitiously and tirelessly. As a result, we can now proudly announce that our $3.5 million goal has been reached!
This achievement was celebrated at Lea Hill with a festive gathering of residents, staff, family and friends and speeches of gratitude from Wesley Homes Foundation Executive Director Susan McConnell and President & CEO Kevin Anderson. The night was also made special with a lovely prayer lead by Lea Hill Chaplain Nancy Ross.
Asked to comment on the completion of the Campaign, Co-chair Helena Hanna reflected, “The scope and possibilities were awesome but once the hearts and minds of our donors were opened to what could be, it was only a question of time. At that point they owned the dream and that made it become a reality.” Then, leaning back in her chair, she marveled, “What a team we had!”
Of the $2 million necessary to help create the $10.6 million Lea Hill Rehabilitation & Care Center – thus completing the full continuum of care on campus – 67 percent came from Lea Hill residents and staff. Through the benevolence of these generous donors, and others, South King County now has a state-of-the-art skilled nursing center with 35 private rooms (one shared room, with private bathrooms, was created for Medicaid). Prior, this level of dignity and privacy in the area was unavailable.
Furthermore, almost all of the $1.5 million needed to fund the Circle of Concern Endowment came from Lea Hill residents in conjunction with the staff. When present and future generations of residents and their families ponder what it means to live in a Wesley Homes faith-based retirement community, this wondrous act of selfless concern for one another will provide a clear and unequivocal answer.
Wesley Homes Lea Hill is indeed a special place, made so by the residents. Susan McConnell, Wesley Homes Foundation Executive Director, expresses her gratitude to all those who gave so generously to assure the well-being of older adults at Lea Hill and the entire South King County region.
“The caring spirit found at Lea Hill has been an inspiration to all of us,” said Susan. “The successful completion of this campaign clearly demonstrates the high regard people have for Wesley Homes and the love and devotion they hold for this community. As we move forward with campaigns in Puyallup and Des Moines, our Lea Hill Campaign has set the standard and gives us confidence we can achieve our goals!”