LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — It was a record turnout at the 7th Annual VA 5K at the Lexington VA Health Care System on Leestown Road. 445 people put on their running shoes and ran a little over three miles to raise money for veterans.
The event has been going on since 2015 and has been raising money to put toward building a new Lexington Fisher House.
“Today is going to be a huge success, so far, over the last seven years we’ve raised over three hundred fifty thousand dollars for the Fisher House alone,” said Patrick Sinclair a VA voluntary service officer.
The fisher house has been under construction for years now. It’s the first ever fisher house in Kentucky and will be located right next to the VA hospital on Leestown Road. The facility will be a huge asset to veterans and their families as it will provide the families a communal place to live while the veteran receives care at the hospital next door.
Barrett Franklin, the Medical Center Director for Lexington VA Health Care System said this is a huge thing for our community.
“So it’s huge, so I mean the fact that we have over 1800 square feet to be able to really provide a really comfortable family setting for them to be able to truly sort of let themselves rest and be able to recuperate is really really really invaluable and it makes it certainly much more tenable and much more comfortable for them to be able to trust that we’re providing them the best care not only for the veteran but for the family as well,” said Franklin.
The house was supposed to be finished by now, but the pandemic pushed the opening date back by two and a half years. It also tacked two million more dollars on the cost of construction due to inflation and supply shortages.
But rest assured, the now nine-million-dollar facility will be stocked with everything a family needs and has a true Kentucky feel. The 1800 hundred square feet of space has 16 suites for residents and is filled with all things horses and southern.
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“It’s really truly like walking into a five-star hotel. So, I mean when our veterans and families are staying at the fisher house, they’ll have everything they would at home and then some,” Franklin added.
The fisher house also provides a support system for the families. Depending on the veteran’s injuries, the family could be living in the home for weeks or even months.
Michael Neville, Lexington Fisher House Manager Michael Neville explained how the program works.
“What we’ll do is we’ll reach out to them, set up the times and dates in which they’ll be here and again, once here everything is provided to them free of charge, they’re able to utilize the home, come and go as they please. Basically, the idea of this program is to take the concern away from the family and allow them to use this as their home away from home and have all the care taken out of it,” said Neville.
To make a donation to the Lexington Fisher House, head to friendsoflexingtonfisherhouse.org.