After the pandemic pushed back plans for a year, a pediatric therapy center in East Manchester Township recently launched a $ 4.5 million fundraising campaign – and organizers say the funds will be used to secure the future of the non-profit organization.
Leg Up Farm, located at 4880 N Sherman St., launched a public fundraiser in April and has since raised over $ 1.6 million to reach a goal of $ 4.5 million by the end of the month of June, according to the organization.
“We want to make sure that Leg Up Farm’s legacy lives on forever and the easiest way to do that is to create wiggle room with our finances,” said Jennifer Hitz, Director of Development. “If we could do this for Leg Up Farm, it would mean so much to the organization and the years to come.”
The funds will be used to improve the fixed assets and reduce the liabilities of the center according to Leg Up. One million will be used for improvements such as on pastures and fields, lighting and HVAC, interior improvements and modernization technology and $ 3.5 million injected into debt.
“With this campaign, we are looking to pay off the initial mortgage we had to take to open Leg Up Farm, and then we also do some strategic capital projects on top of that to strengthen the building and power to achieve additional savings through to that, ”she said.
Hitz said annual savings of over $ 240,000 per year could be invested in programs and services to further improve the customer experience, for example for Coulson, 5, who is undergoing physical and ergonomic therapy at Leg Up.
Coulson’s mother, Anna Rome, said her family would be in big trouble without the nonprofit.
“If we didn’t have Farm Advance Coulson certainly wouldn’t be where he is today. He wouldn’t be able to do the skills, and he wouldn’t have the confidence and he loves being here,” she declared. “He is happy here. As a parent, I am very confident that my child is receiving quality care.”
A friend spoke in Rome about Leg Up Farm several years ago and the rest is history, she said. Coulson, who suffers from a condition called congenital arthrogryposis multiplex, used a wheelchair before having surgery last year, Rome said. But in less than six months between surgery and leg up services, the 5-year-old is now walking on crutches and it’s amazing, his mother said.
“The level of skill and love for what they do. We feel very happy to be here,” she said. “He doesn’t see it as medical treatment. He just comes to play with his friend (therapist), and I love it.”
Founder Louie Castriota opened Leg Up Farm in 2010 with the intention of being the ultimate therapy center for children with special needs in York County, Hitz said. That dream is coming true and the center has offered 125,000 pediatric therapy appointments for children with special needs and their families, she said.
She said about 80% of nonprofit clients pay for their services through Medicaid.
The fundraising campaign was due to start in April 2020 but has been postponed until now due to COVID.
“I think for us it was really – you know – coming to our 10th anniversary, realizing that we’ve served over 13,000 kids and really wanting to do something that will catapult us into the future,” Hitz said.