FRANKLIN, W.Va. — The Lions Clubs in Franklin and Sugar Grove raised more than $166,000 of the $300,000 needed to “rehab” the physical therapy department at Pendleton Manor in Franklin.
The upgrade is the start of a $3 million remodeling project to replace walls, expand rooms and enlarge bathrooms in three wings of the facility, originally built in 1974. That fundraising is still ongoing. The Lions Club funds, specifically, will help update, remodel and double the size of the center’s physical therapy department.
Pendleton Manor provides inpatient and outpatient therapy for individuals who are rehabilitating and recovering from surgery, injury or illness.
The facility has increased its capacity to the point where it has to “stagger” clients to make room for everyone, according to said Carolyn Simmons, Pendleton Manor resource director.
Franklin resident Ruthalene Judy said taking her physical therapy at Pendleton Manor “saved me travel time and the gas money needed for the twice-a-week two-hour trip across the mountain. These guys are terrific and helped me get back to work two weeks early.”
Physical therapist Barb Woodward pointed out that “having more room to work will really benefit the patients. We’ll not be so much on top of each other.”
Occupational therapist Liz Somerville said the extra space will allow for better care.
“Sometimes, privacy is needed for treatment, and now we have little privacy except for one curtained area. We will also have room for additional equipment,” she added.
Under the direction of Jane Eye, the Franklin Lions Club secretary/treasurer, and Thomas Mitchell, the Sugar Grove club’s president, the two civic groups applied for a Lions Club International Foundation matching grant worth $75,000, which was awarded in August.
The LCIF grants provide matching funds for large-scale Lions humanitarian projects that are beyond the scope of traditional club fundraising activities, Eye said.
Founded in 1917 and best known for fighting blindness, Lions Clubs also volunteer for other community projects, such as caring for the environment, feeding the hungry and aiding seniors and the disabled. It is the world’s largest service organization with approximately 45,000 clubs in more than 200 countries.
Since 1968, LCIF has awarded more than $700 million in grants to support Lions’ projects around the world, Eye said.
Local funds for the Pendleton Manor project had to be raised in six months.
Both clubs devised additional activities and initiatives to raise the $75,000 needed to match the grant. Projects included golf tournaments; country ham and cornbread/beans booths, and a pancake breakfast at the Treasure Mountain Festival; raffle tickets for guns and a handmade quilt by Janet Underwood; steak, pancake and spaghetti dinners; and private donations.
“Many local organizations, church groups, Pendleton Manor Auxiliary and individual donations raised the matching funds to earn the grant,” Simmons said.
Local contributions actually surpassed the $75,000 match, raising a total of $91,428.50, Eye said.
“Three people gave gifts of $10,000 and 11 other civic groups and 12 church groups contributed to the match, as well as countless individuals,” she said. “Franklin and Sugar Grove Lions clubs are so proud of our community and what they have done for Pendleton Manor. … It’s people like [them] that make the impossible possible.”
Contact Joan Ashley at 574-6281