Veteran's home introduces new board members
COLUMBIA -A veterans' home program in Columbia welcomed four new board members to the housing service program Tuesday and one of their main goals is to raise funds for a new campus.
Welcome Home, Inc. announced Lt. General Richard Harding, Dale Fitch, Mary Paulsell and Robert Ross as the new board additions.
Three board members resigned this year and there was one vacant board slot. Chief Executive Director Sarah Grim said each member brings personal expertise to help enhance Welcome Home's capital campaign. The campaign is raising funds for a larger facility that will house 32 beds and provide housing for women and families. The current home provides 10 beds and serves only men.
Paulsell is the president of the Missouri Veterans History Project and of the Central Missouri Honor Flight. She has been involved in the advisory board for the capital campaign since last year.
Grim said, "That's really wonderful that we're able to now use her expertise with Missouri Honor Flight and bring that directly to Welcome Home."
Harding served 34 years as a U.S. Air Force attorney and earned the position as the highest ranked decorated military attorney. Ross teaches public communications/marketing and local government at MU. He served 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Grim said, "General Harding and Mr. Ross have a lot of experience with non-profit organizations and have long tenure with the military, so we're hoping that their connections and their experiences can help us bring more of the story of the homeless veteran to the public."
She said she feels it is important to have people on the board who have served and put their lives on the line.
Fitch is a professor at the MU with a master's and doctorate degree in social work.
"He brings a wealth of research background and success with grants," Grim said.
Welcome Home hopes that Fitch is able to use his expertise to attract more public and private grants to fund Welcome Home's operations and the capital campaign for the construction of the new facility, Grim said.
She said Welcome Home hopes to get half the funding through grants and contracts and the second half from donations. Grim said $3 million still needs to be raised. Welcome Home hopes to raise $100,000 a month for the next 30 months.