Staff Report for The Island Connection
Fisher House Charleston is one step closer to making the building at 150 Wentworth Street a reality.
Donations from local organizations and an annual event raised more than $600,000 in just the last month.
“To say we are overjoyed would be an understatement,” said Durbin Emerson, Co-Founder of Fisher House Charleston.
“We believe passionately in this project and the money raised in the last month is helping the organization get that much closer to serving the needs of veterans’ families.”
Bishop Gadsden residents recently raised $100,000 at their annual fundraiser, and elected to make Fisher House the recipient. The Episcopal retirement community on James Island hosted an evening good food, drinks, remembrance and appreciation at its Nov. 10 Gala for Giving, honoring the resident veterans at Bishop Gadsden. The savory and exotic menu brought flavors from Southeast Asia, Korea, and Europe to the night.
Resident veterans shared and displayed various memorabilia from their time in the service.
“Bishop Gadsden is most proud to support Fisher House Charleston. Caring for our veterans and their families is something our community is honored to stand behind. With a cause that directly impacts the men and women who have made this country the nation it is; due to the generosity of our residents, future residents, staff, and corporate sponsors, we are thrilled to be able present a check for $100,000,” Bill Trawick, CEO/President of Bishop Gadsden, said.
On Veterans Day itself, the Fisher House Charleston held its annual ball, and the live auction generated more than $500,000 in donations.
Meanwhile, Phi Gama Delta fraternity at the College of Charleston chose to raise funds for the Fisher House during an annual donation drive. After a week of events, they presented Fisher House Charleston with a check for more than $17,200.
“This was the most money we have ever raised,” Skyler Patrick, President of Phi Gamma Delta, said. We wanted to donate to the Fisher House Charleston because we believe in their organization and are happy to help them reach their goal.”
Once completed, the Fisher House Charleston project will provide a comfortable refuge for families of patients at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center. Fisher House Charleston will relieve the burden of costly hotel stays so that families can focus on what is really important: visiting their family member in the hospital and not having to sleep in their vehicles or in the patient’s hospital room.
The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, located in downtown Charleston, is one of the most highly rated VA hospitals in the country. It serves more than 4,500 veteran inpatients annually from 22 coastal counties from Myrtle Beach, SC to Savannah, GA. Charleston is a beautiful tourist-welcoming location—with that comes high dollar nightly accommodations. Not all visitors to Charleston are on vacation and can afford vacation rates.