CARE Kicks Off Building Campaign

CARE for Children’s Building Campaign for the Future of Children of all Abilities kicked off with a bang with a lead gift from Zippo Manufacturing of $1,000,000 with naming rights for the building.

Deborah Price and Karen Gelston will serve as co-chairs for the campaign, to support the construction and operation of the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center, to be located at 723 East Main Street in Bradford.

The fundraising campaign is the largest in CARE’s history and has so far been in a quiet phase, bringing in more than $1,225,000 since December 2011. The agency is kicking of the public phase Monday, May 7th which includes an estimated goal of $1,500,000 for construction and related costs which CARE is optimistic of raising over the next year.

After the construction phase is completed, the organization will work to raise an additional $500,000 over the next five years to pay back the $175,000 expended for the property purchase and $250,000 for additional parking, and playground and equipment. The remainder of any funds raised will be used for an endowment for future building improvements and repairs.

“Throughout the planning phase of the building project the leadership team’s goal was to have a new facility that would strengthen the identity of the organization, and enable CARE to meet the health, therapy and developmental needs of local children for years to come,” said Mandi Wilton Davis, Development & Marketing Coordinator.

Architect Rick Larson of R.W. Larson & Associates began the design phase of the nearly-10,000 square foot building in 2011. The facility will house the administrative offices, early learning center, space for health clinics and therapy sessions. The project is currently out to bid with the groundbreaking scheduled to take place next month.

Gelston has been a member of the CARE board since 1999, serving one term as President. She holds a Masters in Social Work and has spent her career as health and human service professional, retiring from Bradford Regional Medical Center in 2011 as the Director of Social Services/Case Management/Patient Representative.

Price has been a member of the CARE for Children Board of Directors since 2004, serving one term as secretary of the board. After more than 40 years in health care, she retired in 2011 as the Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services/Chief Nurse Executive of Bradford Regional Medical Center.

“We are confident that Debbie and Karen’s extensive knowledge, and commitment to CARE for Children and our mission, will ensure success,” said Davis. “Both women are exemplary leaders and we are confident we will reach our goals with their support and guidance.”

In a joint statement, Price and Gelston said, “It is an honor and a privilege for us to serve as co-chairs of this campaign, and we are committed to doing so in a way that honors the organization’s mission.

“We are coming to the community and asking them to ‘Help Us Grow’ as this incredible organization has helped thousands local children grow.”

For more information on CARE for Children’s Building Campaign for the Future of Children of All Abilities, please visit

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