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by John Romac and Kelly Roseberry
If you drive by the Travis Mills Foundation this summer, you'll see construction underway. Currently, the Travis Mills Foundation is working on rejuvenating the Elizabeth Arden tennis court for tennis and basketball as well as winter use as a skating/sled hockey rink. The retreat's Lakeside Cottage has also undergone a major winterization to allow for use during the winter family retreats, for ice fishing, snowshoeing, and other winter activities on or near the lake. In the foreseeable future, the foundation is working to break ground for a new Health and Wellness Center. The 9800 square-foot facility will have an in-ground pool and fitness center to promote health and wellness year-round for veterans and their families. Amazing growth since 2017 when the foundation first welcomed veterans and their families. Every year brings an expansion with plans to serve more families throughout the year.
While at the moment, the Travis Mills Foundation is unable to host in-person programming, the foundation has adapted and overcome the current challenges that everyone has been facing by launching our Modified Recalibrate Program. Our recalibrate program was formed to support veterans and their families by identifying their needs and connecting them with the correct tools or assistance needed. Thanks to your support, we have been able to continue this program and keep giving back to our veteran families! Check out the video that our friend and participant Josh Keller made using the new tools that the Travis Mills Foundation was able to provide to him through our modified recalibrated program!
Since June 1, 2020, the Travis Mills Foundation has worked to extend the "Long Term Program" declaration in the Mission Statement. Over 70 families have engaged in this program to further their wellness. Dr. Kelly Roseberry summed up the Foundation efforts:
We have sent LOTS of gift cards to Home Depot and Lowe's to help with everything from new/accessible flooring to new decks/porches, landscaping, and various other home improvement projects. Gift cards to Dick's for kayaks, Tractor supply for a trailer for kayaks, U-Haul for a bike rack, Amazon, a bike trainer, groceries, date night in a box, Top Golf family outings, subscription for monthly dog toys for a service dog, Costco membership, Beach Body workout subscription, iPad and hand modification grip for drawing, home workout equipment, Wayfair, Crate and Barrel, and Hayneedle gift cards for updating furniture and providing new outdoor furniture and play sets for families, new grills, and many, many, many restaurant gift cards for use when they start to venture back out.
Unfortunately, we could not have the families come to us this year, so we went to them. During our volunteer hours, my husband and I have been blessed to meet and hear the stories of the Veterans who come with their families. Here is just one account — the struggle of one veteran and what an R&R break at Travis Mills can mean to a vet going through recalibration. Tough work for veterans who never give up.
For more photos, go here.
John Romac is Volunteer Coordinator and Kelly Roseberry is Program Director for the Travis Mills Foundation.