Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Croy Canyon Ranch secures major donation

Valley developer Harry Rinker pledges $1 million for senior living facility

Express Staff Writer

Wood River Valley developer Harry Rinker, standing between Jeanne Cassell, president of the Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation, and Blaine County Commissioner Tom Bowman, has pledged $1 million toward construction of the much-anticipated Croy Canyon Ranch continuing-care facility. The proposed facility would be built on land already owned by the foundation west of Hailey in Croy Canyon. Photo courtesy of Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation

Efforts to secure private funding for the proposed Croy Canyon Ranch continuing-care facility are beginning to bear fruit.

At a meeting last week with the executive committee of the Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation, Wood River Valley developer Harry Rinker announced that he is pledging a lead gift of $1 million toward construction of the senior living facility. The proposed facility is planned for a site west of Hailey in Croy Canyon.

The gift kicks off the foundation's drive to raise $12 million toward construction of the $29.5 million facility. Additional sources of funding for the project will come from the sale of Blaine Manor, the county's current senior-care center, and up-front deposits from future residents of the facility.

Rinker was a member of the foundation's original board of directors.

A news release from the foundation says Rinker is "thrilled" that plans for the large facility are moving forward. He complimented the foundation's board of directors, the Blaine County Commission and other members of the community for their commitment to the project.

"I am impressed with the realistic business planning, and I feel honored to be part of this important and much-needed facility," he said.

Last fall, the results of an in-depth feasibility study conducted on behalf of the foundation indicated additional sources of philanthropic funding will need to be found. Through Rinker's donation, that funding need appears to be on its way to a solution.

Even on its own, his gift is quite significant, said Jeanne Cassell, president of the Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation.

"But the true impact of it goes far beyond its face value. He is a leader among his peers when it comes to philanthropy, and others will be affected by his confidence," she said.

For many years, Blaine County has funded the county's senior care through its subsidization of Blaine Manor on Main Street in Hailey. But last May, county voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure authorizing the county to sell the existing facility and direct the proceeds of the sale to help pay for Croy Canyon Ranch.

For now, the county subsidizes the operation of Blaine Manor to the tune of more than $600,000 annually. But as long as additional donations come in, county taxpayers' responsibility for funding Blaine Manor may eventually be eliminated.

"Mr. Rinker has always been very involved in the community and he really sets a standard for those who choose to share their good fortune," County Commissioner Tom Bowman stated in a news release from the foundation. "My hope is that his example will spur other donors who may be sitting on the fence, and get this worthy and greatly needed project accomplished."

In addition to the continuing-care portion of the facility, plans for the Croy Canyon Ranch also call for assisted and independent living accommodations.

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