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Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Neurological center drive gets boost

Campaign nearing $1.1 million goal

By William Kincaid
BURKETTSVILLE - The Center for Neurological Development officials are nearing their fundraising campaign goal of $1.1 million after recently receiving a $100,000 windfall.
With $870,00 either donated or committed by local corporations and individuals, officials say they have enough money to begin soliciting construction bids and hope to break ground in August on a major renovation that includes a new 6,000-square-foot wing.
The Cooper Family Foundation, affiliated with Cooper Farms, recently awarded a $100,000 grant to the center, the largest corporate contribution of the multiyear campaign, center director Joan Kiser told the newspaper.
"Our center is deeply grateful to the Cooper family for their generous and commendable donation. Their gift brings us closer to the reality of our campaign goal of $1.1 million," she said. "We appreciate the time and thought that the Cooper Family places in the processing of grant applications."
The center's 12-member board of trustees kicked off the campaign in 2016, focusing on corporate sponsors before moving on to small businesses and local residents to help meet their financial goal.
Board treasurer David Kaiser said in July that trustees were hoping for a six-figure donation to come through to advance the campaign. That aspiration became a reality with the Cooper Family Foundation grant.
"We never know what to expect," Kaiser said. "We hope for some nice donations from corporations."
Those looking to help close out the campaign can send a check, payable to CFND Building Fund, to Center for Neurological Development, 78 W. Main St., P.O. Box 117, Burkettsville, Ohio 45310.
The forthcoming project involves the demolition of a deteriorating 1930s section of the center, which will be replaced with a new wing on the west end to house the kitchen/cafeteria, an enhanced speech department, additional office space, handicapped-accessible bathrooms, laundry room and basement.
The nonprofit, tax-exempt center has provided free therapeutic services to neurologically impaired children and adults for more than three decades. It receives no state or federal funding and is financed entirely through donations from businesses and individuals.
The neurological center began operations June 11, 1984, at the former St. Peter School near Fort Recovery, with three patients and 11 volunteers.
Today the center, consisting of seven full-time and four part-time paid employees, provides therapy five days a week to about 70 patients with assistance from more than 300 volunteers. It primarily serves Mercer, Darke, Auglaize, Shelby and Jay counties.
Although adequate for the first 18 years, the center outgrew the former school building. The neurological center's board purchased the former Burkettsville school building from St. Henry Consolidated Local Schools for $1. They spent more than $100,000 on improvements, and many businesses, industries and individuals donated supplies and labor. That facility opened Dec. 3, 2002.
A generous donation from the estate of Joan Forrest in November 2007 paved the way for a 2,800-square-foot addition, featuring a large therapy room complete with an in-floor trampoline and a long carpeted area where clients can exercise.
Numerous therapies and exercises are used, including patterning - the repeated manipulation of body parts, which center officials believe stimulates normal motor development activities and helps repair damaged brain tissue.
All human brains develop through movement, and the center guides its patients "back through those early stages of movement," Kiser pointed out last year.
The center accepts any person who has brain- or spinal-cord-related injuries and afflictions, Kiser has said, noting the center has accepted patients from out of state and even out of country.
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