This $15,000 grant from the Ohio Elks Cerebral Palsy Fund Board was submitted by the Local Cerebral Palsy Fund Committee and the Fisher-Titus Pediatric Therapy Team. The grant will help support programs for pediatric patients with cerebral palsy.
“This is the first time we have applied locally for the grant and we are elated that Fisher-Titus received the funds,” said Laura Wheeler, the local chapter’s chairperson for the Cerebral Palsy Fund Committee. “Each year the Norwalk Elks sends funds to the state Elks association and we wanted to see the money come back to our community.”
The Norwalk Elks Lodge hosts a fundraiser annually to support cerebral palsy, which is the primary charity focus for the Ohio Elks Association. The 2016 event raised $4,500.
The local Elks event is designated in memory of Errol “Chum” Zimmerman, a member of the local Elks chapter who had cerebral palsy and died in 2013. Chum also had ties to Fisher-Titus as both a patient and a volunteer.
“Chum impacted many lives as he battled cerebral palsy and the local fundraiser, as well as this grant, help keep his memory alive,” Wheeler added.
In March, members of the Norwalk Elks Cerebral Palsy Fund Committee, which include Wheeler, DeEtte Zimmerman, Scott Whitehurst and Mel Holida, encouraged the Fisher-Titus Pediatric Therapy Department to fill out an application for the grant. The application was then submitted to the state level for review and was selected for a $15,000 grant.
“Fisher-Titus is excited to receive this grant and will use it to help serve the needs of patients with cerebral palsy. We thank the Elks for thinking of Fisher-Titus as a grant recipient,” said Lorna Strayer, president and CEO of Fisher-Titus Medical Center.
It is great when organizations can partner to serve the needs of our community and especially our children.”
On average 7 to 10 percent of pediatric therapy patients seen are diagnosed with cerebral palsy, according to Mary Helton, Director of Rehabilitation Services at Fisher-Titus.
“The Fisher-Titus Pediatric Therapy Department is looking forward to expanding services for individuals with cerebral palsy through the purchase of new equipment that will help patients more quickly reach their potential,” Helton said. “This grant will make these purchases possible and will have a significant impact on our patients and community.”
With the grant money, the Pediatric Therapy staff is considering the purchase of a spider cage, a suspension system that uses belts and elastic cords to improve balance, coordination and function in patients with cerebral palsy.
The Fisher-Titus Pediatric Therapy Department provides evidence-based pediatric therapy services to children with a variety of physical and communicative impairments. On average, staff see 250 children per month in the outpatient therapy department and offer specialized summer camps/programs to about 50 children each summer. The pediatric therapy team includes 10 speech therapists, nine occupational therapists and three physical therapists. For more on Fisher-Titus Therapy, visit fishertitus.org.