Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Almost $2M raised for senior center

Foundation seeks additional $10 million from donors

Express Staff Writer

With nearly $2 million of a needed $12 million raised from donors, Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation board members said last week that their effort to fund a new senior care facility is going "well but slowly."

In May, county voters overwhelmingly approved a plan to sell Blaine Manor, the existing county-run nursing home in Hailey, and put the anticipated $6 million in proceeds toward construction of a new facility, to be run by a nonprofit corporation. The sale would get the county out of the nursing home business, thus saving it about $600,000 a year.

The estimated cost of Croy Canyon Ranch is almost $30 million. In addition to the $6 million from the sale of Blaine Manor, the foundation hopes to collect about $12 million from prospective residents at the new facility. That leaves $12 million needed from donations.

Board President Jeanne Cassell told the county commissioners during a meeting Friday that board members had committed $1,316,000 and other donors had committed $600,000. She said the total sum includes three commitments of $500,000 each.

"The campaign is in the initial stage of getting the seed money," board member Steve Pauley said. "That requires the big money up front."

Commissioner Sarah Michael said the commissioners would like to know by September, before the beginning of the 2009 fiscal year in October, whether the foundation will be able to raise the needed funds. Cassell said the board would be able to do that by late spring.

"If we haven't gotten these major pledges, we're going to have to say it's no go," Cassell said.

Compared to raising money for the fairly recently built St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center, Cassell said, "we're a little more difficult to raise money for, we know, because no one thinks they're going to get old."

Croy Canyon Ranch would be built on a 20-acre site about a mile west of Hailey. The 100-person facility would include a skilled nursing home, assisted living and independent living. Cassell said the latter two sections would help support the more expensive skilled nursing component.

"It's such an expanded facility that it will be able to serve a much broader segment of the community than Blaine Manor does now," board member Jed Gray said.

In an interview, Cassell said the average cost of $120,000 to move into the facility, which would cover a resident's entire time there, is based on that of other, similar facilities in Idaho. She said the actual cost will vary among the three different types of care provided.

Cassell said that the facility's originally estimated completion date of 2010 would probably have to be pushed back to 2011.

If the foundation cannot raise the needed $12 million from donors, the effort will revert to square one and the county will need to come up with a new plan.

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