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Centre Care launches $2 million fundraising campaign

PHOTO PROVIDED Molly Schwartz, a donor to the project, signs a column in the entryway of the new facility currently under construction on the Benner Pike.

BELLEFONTE — Local nonprofit Centre Care is launching a final $2-million “Make our House a Home” fundraising campaign to benefit future residents and patients of its new $45-million skilled nursing facility set to open next year.

The State-College-based Hamer Foundation is kicking off the campaign with a commitment to match the first $300,000 raised from individual donors.

“The new Centre Care belongs to everyone who has made our part of Pennsylvania their home. We care deeply about every person in our community and want to ensure they receive the best care. But we need help. We’re calling on the community to support us so we can create the next best place to home at our new facility,” Betsy Boyer, Centre Care’s Board President, said. Centre Care is the nonprofit that currently operates Centre Crest in Bellefonte.

The announcement was made at the new facility, which is currently under construction. Following the announcement, several donors who already contributed to the campaign signed a column in the entryway of the new facility.

Thanks to more than $4 million raised from generous private donations, Centre Care is just $2 million away from its goal. The final $2 million will help make this new healthcare facility a home. Gifts will provide comfortable furnishings and equipment to enhance the quality of life for residents and rehabilitation patients.

“After experiencing firsthand the need for quality, loving care for both of our mothers in their later years, we realize the importance of a facility such as Centre Care,” said Kay Barker, a local donor. “We have witnessed the compassion and concern of the Centre Care Board and their commitment to serve and enrich the lives of the elder community in Central Pennsylvania. We are appreciative of the work of Centre Care and feel honored to be able to contribute to a project that will have a positive impact on our region for decades into the future.”

According the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, 21% percent of Centre County residents aged 60 or older have an annual income of less than $17,655. To meet these trends, the nonprofit is building the largest skilled nursing facility licensed to accept Medicaid insurance in the county.

“We feel very strongly that everyone should have access to assisted living services including disability and elder care regardless of personal circumstances. We are pleased to support Centre Care’s building expansion program that will provide dignif­­­ied care for citizens of our Centre County community. We hope others will join in supporting Centre Care’s mission of serving those in need of special services that will be greatly enhanced through the completion of this important building project.” Ron Friedman, a local donor, said.

The facility will offer traditional long-term care, and three specialty neighborhoods that are in high demand for Centre County residents. A high acuity neighborhood will serve patients with complex medical conditions. A memory care neighborhood, of which there are few in the area, will provide a more home-like experience for those living with dementia. A short-term rehabilitation neighborhood will serve rehabilitation patients seeking to recover from surgery or an accident.

The kickoff also marked the sixth anniversary of Centre Care which began after the county transitioned ownership of Centre Crest to the nonprofit. In its first year after the transition, the nonprofit turned around the business and has operated in the black every year since.

Visit centrecare.org to donate or learn more about the campaign.

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