LIMA — The Lima Elks Lodge 54 donated $10,000 to each Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center and Lima Memorial Hospital Thursday.
“The Cerebral Palsy Committee gives out 15 donations a year,” said John Evans, exalted ruler of the Elks Lodge. “We’re very fortunate to get two of those donations for Lima hospitals.”
The donation to St. Rita’s was made to the pediatric rehabilitation program. The program provides different therapies for children up to 18 years old including speech and physical therapy, said Laura Mitchell, an occupational therapist at the rehabilitation department. The program treats children with a wide range of conditions including diagnoses of autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and many others.
“The money really helps us keep updated equipment and toys for the kids we treat,” she said. “It helps us stay on the forefront of treatment.”
The funding is also used to provide financial aid to families who can not afford their child’s treatment, said Jacque Daley-Perrin, president of St. Rita’s Health Care Foundation.
The Elks have provided a total of $346,000 of donations to St. Rita’s since 1971, said Evans.
“It’s huge,” said Christine Wagner, executive director of Lima Memorial Hospital Children’s Developmental Center. “It’s a big part of our budget. Each year we don’t anticipate but always are hopeful for a donation from the Elks.”
Wagner said the donation from the Elks Lodge constitutes 10 percent of the center’s budget. The center uses the funds for things like mobility equipment, seating in the classroom, adaptive equipment and anything else the students need, said Wagner.
“Our center maximizes every dollar they have to give our kids the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Lynn Carpenter, Lima Memorial Foundation Board of Director member.
The Lima Elks Lodge 54 has donated a total of $436,697 to Lima Memorial Hospital since 1979, said Evans.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362