West Haven Rotary Joins Forces with Local Business Community: Kicks Off $3 Million Fundraising Campaign for Connecticut’s First Fisher House

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (April 12, 2012)The Rotary Club of West Haven’s 24th Annual Silent and Live Auction to be held on April 28, 2012 at the West Haven Italian American Club – Westwood will kick off the organization’s fundraising efforts to help raise three million dollars for Connecticut’s first Fisher House. For numerous years, the Rotary Club has supported the West Haven community and in 2012 added Friends of the Fisher House Connecticut to its long list of charitable groups. www.westhavenrotary.org


The Fisher House is to be located at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System’s West Haven campus. A home-away-from-home for hospitalized veterans’ families, Connecticut’s first 16,000-square-foot Fisher House – a six million dollar project in total – will add to 54 other residential facilities located nationwide and in Germany. Connecticut’s first Fisher House is expected to open in August, 2013.


Enthone, Inc, at&t, and Metro Taxi are the first West Haven-based companies to sponsor the fundraising efforts. Qualidigm, the health care consulting and research company in Rocky Hill, The Russell Agency, LLC in Fairfield County and Nobile Communications International, LLC in Branford are also among early contributors to help launch the capital and public awareness campaign. Company contributions such as theirs and future sponsors’ will be augmented by “Friends of the Fisher House” fundraising activities, scheduled throughout Connecticut in 2012. When the three million dollar goal is met, The Fisher House Foundation, Inc. will offer a matching grant to realize the needed six million dollar monetary objective.


The Fisher Foundation, Inc.

In 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama identified The Fisher Foundation, Inc. as his designated charity. President Obama and the first lady have also assigned the profits of the children’s books they have written to The Fisher Foundation, Inc. When President Obama donated his entire Nobel Peace Prize stipend to 10 charities, The Fisher Foundation, Inc. received the largest share of the stipend.


“The West Haven Rotary is proud to bring awareness of the Fisher House to the community and to the State of Connecticut,” said John Ambrusco, Jr., president elect for the Rotary Club of West Haven. “With 175 Rotary Clubs in Connecticut alone, the Rotary Club of West Haven is hoping that fellow clubs throughout the state will do their utmost to champion this cause and that more local organizations will join forces as sponsors. We want to show our appreciation to the men and women who so bravely and ably served our country by giving them a red carpet welcome home,” said Ambrusco.


Ambrusco noted that the Rotaract Club, comprised of 36 actively participating students at the University of New Haven, will assist through community fundraising projects they will lead.


“The Rotary Club of West Haven is celebrating its 81st year of community service in our great city,” West Haven Mayor John M. Picard said. “I am delighted to see the future site of Connecticut’s first Fisher House is the recipient of the noble and selfless volunteer efforts undertaken by the Rotary Club and its devoted membership. The West Haven branch of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System currently serves about 57,000 patients each year.”


“As a contributing sponsor, Qualidigm is proud to help breathe life into Connecticut’s first Fisher House and equally pleased to foster the comfort and support of the families of hospitalized veterans who will need essential medical care,” said Marcia K. Petrillo, Qualidigm CEO, a recognized visionary in the design and implementation of quality health care improvement initiatives and a recently-appointed Rotarian.


Who Runs a Fisher House?

Fisher Houses are given to the U.S. Government as gifts.  Military service secretaries and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs are responsible for their operation and upkeep. The Fisher House Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit organization under section 501©(3) of the IRS code, builds new houses, and assists in the coordination of private support and encourages public support for the home. The houses can accommodate 14 to 42 family members. They feature a common kitchen, laundry facilities, spacious dining room and a common living room with a library and toys for children.


Fast Fisher House Facts

ü  Families served annually – 12,000

ü  Total families services since the program’s 1990 inception – 142,000

ü  Number of lodging days offered – More than three million to date

ü  Estimated savings – Participating families have saved nearly $165 million in lodging, subsistence and transportation to date

ü  www.fisherhousect.org


About Rotary

Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional and community leaders. Members of Rotary Clubs, known as “Rotarians,” provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace throughout the world through a “service about self” ethic.


Editor’s Note: Interested sponsors may contact the Rotary Club of West Haven, (203) 936-8380 or via westhavenrotary@gmail.com. For more information, see YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjYspaZgZIE

Originally published Connecticut Business News Journal and West Haven Voice