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                                                            Allen Clark



       Committee Raises $1.4 Million to Qualify for Grant from Fisher House Foundation

DALLAS – April 13, 2007 – Families of soldiers and veterans being treated at the Dallas VA
Medical Center will soon have a new “home away from home,” with construction of a VA Fisher
House on the medical complex at 4500 South Lancaster Road. Officials will break ground at a
ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 19, for a 7,500-square-foot residential facility to provide
lodging for families of veterans receiving care.

       The groundbreaking follows a successful two-year campaign to raise local matching
funds to qualify for a grant from the Fisher House Foundation, located in Rockville, Md. The
local Fisher House campaign raised more than $1.4 million through its fund at Communities
Foundation of Texas, Dallas, in order to receive matching funds from the Fisher House
Foundation to construct the facility.
       Free temporary lodging will make a great difference to families sometimes sleeping in
waiting rooms at the medical center, eating food from vending machines and bathing in
restrooms, said retired Maj. Richard “Dick” S. Agnew, chairman of the Advisory Council and
finance committee of the Fisher House – VA North Texas Campaign.
       “The United States of America is at WAR, and we are extremely grateful to the
contributors who recognize the sacrifices made by our military families and are making it
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possible for them to stay in a comfortable environment while visiting their loved ones,” Agnew
said. Patients arriving from Iraq and Afghanistan often remain at the medical center for longer
periods than in previous wars, causing hardships for many families.
       Dallas oilman and investor T. Boone Pickens provided a $600,000 lead contribution to
the campaign last summer. Other major contributors include the Elsie and Marvin Dekelboum
Family Foundation recommended by Gail Hartstein and Scott Powell, Hillcrest Foundation,
Hoblitzelle Foundation, Raytheon Company, Metroplex Military Charitable Trust, Hawn
Foundation, M.B. & Edna Zale Foundation, Catholic Foundation, Lockheed Martin, American
Legion Post 655, VFW Post 8923, 7-Eleven, Inc., W.P. & Bulah Luse Foundation, Gayden
Family Foundation, and two donor-advised funds at Communities Foundation of Texas, the John
P. and Jane K. Wilson Fund and the Don M. and Kathryn B. Houseman Fund.
       The Dallas VA Fisher House, due for completion by the end of the year, will include 21
suites, each with two double beds and private bath, as well as a living room, playroom, dining
room and communal kitchen. Upon completion, the Fisher House, which will serve family
members visiting from distances 50 miles or greater, will be turned over to the Department of
Veterans Affairs for management by the Social Work Service of the VA North Texas Health
Care System. The facility will have one salaried manager, and volunteers will provide additional
       Forty-three Fisher Houses are located or planned for 2007 at military and Veterans
Affairs facilities in the United States. The Fisher House program, which was established by New
York real estate developer Zachary Fisher, annually serves more than 8,500 military families and
has provided more than two million days of lodging since its founding in 1990.