MDCH Children With Special Needs Fund Receives $25,000 Grant

Contact: James McCurtis, Jr. (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

June 9, 2010

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) today announced that the Michigan Children with Special Needs Fund (CSN Fund) received a $25,000 grant from the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation. The grant will help the CSN Fund provide children access to their community through the purchase of equipment that promotes mobility. This grant will be designated specifically for the purchase of ceiling track lift systems, platform lifts and stair lifts.

"This grant will be extremely important to families of children with special needs," said MDCH Director Janet Olszewski. "Providing the funding for these lifts for families will make an enormous difference in their every day lives as they gain access to not only their homes, but also to the rest of their family."

Created in 1944 with a bequest of Dow Chemical Company Stock from James and Elsa Pardee, the CSN Fund has helped thousands of families obtain equipment throughout the past 65 years when no other resource was available. Today the Fund value is almost 20 million dollars comprised entirely of private donations and is the only state-run program like this in the nation.

"We are thrilled to receive the news that our grant request was reviewed and $25,000 was being awarded to our program," said Lisa Truscott, executive director of the CSN Fund. "Our fundraising efforts will continue and further the growth of the Fund so we can reach the increasing number of families in need."

Based in Midland, Michigan, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation was established by Eda U. Gerstacker in 1957 in memory of her husband. Mrs. Gerstacker died in 1975 and family members continue to serve as officers and trustees of the foundation.

"What makes this donation so unique and meaningful is its connection to the CSN Fund's original donor," said Truscott. Rollin Gerstacker and James Pardee were brothers-in-law having married twin sisters, Eda and Elsa. "Gerstacker and Pardee both died over 50 years ago, but their legacy continues to live through grants such as this," said Truscott.

To determine if a child is eligible for services, contact the Children's Special Health Care Services worker in your local health department or the Fund directly at (517) 241-7420.

Further information can also be found at www.michigan.gov/csnfund. Individuals wishing to make a tax-deductible donation to the Children with Special Needs Fund can call (517) 241-7420 or mail them directly to: Children with Special Needs Fund P.O. Box 30479 Lansing, Michigan 48909-7979