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Senior Citizens Group Helps Hundreds of Military Veterans Through Donation | Business

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Senior Citizens Group Helps Hundreds of Military Veterans Through Donation
Senior Citizens Group Helps Hundreds of Military Veterans Through Donation

Two decades ago, a small group of Loudoun County senior citizens saw the need for a dedicated multi-purpose senior center to benefit the entire Loudoun community to encourage healthy aging of the county’s older population. The Friends of The Senior Center at Cascades (FSCC) was formed and they began by educating the County Board of Supervisors of their vision. Focusing on fundraising efforts and countless volunteer hours, the FSCC was able to give seniors a place to remain active and feel connected.

Now, with the retirement of the FSCC’s president Olga Ricciardi, the Board’s wish is that their remaining funds be donated to help military veterans and their families. The all-volunteer board voted unanimously to donate $150,000 to Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness, where the money will be used to help the country’s combat veterans heal and recover from the aftermath of war.

“We are humbled and honored by the decision of the FSCC board of directors. This group has many veterans who served in our armed forces at the Center and we could tell from day one that this was the motivation of their gift,” says Ken Falke, chairman and founder of Boulder Crest Retreat. “The board of directors from BCR and I would like to pass on our sincere thank you to Olga and the FSCC board for your very generous donation and we want you to know that this money will change the lives of hundreds of military and veteran family members that visit the retreat.”

“Our mission has always been to enrich the lives of people in the community and to give back,” explains Ms. Ricciardi. “While the FSCC’s time has come to an end, we are very happy with the decision to donate these funds to the Boulder Crest Retreat where the money will make a tremendous difference.”

Ms. Ricciardi, president of the FSCC, the founders (many now deceased) and scores of volunteers have overseen the planning and construction of the Senior Center at Cascades located on Whitfield Place in Sterling. The FSCC has donated thousands of dollars to the operation and continuing programs at the center over the years. Olga and board members have seen the fruits of their labor. Now that the center is running well within the Loudoun County structure, with its own 501(c)(3) entity, it's time to dissolve the FSCC. Many seniors at the Center either served in the military or had loved ones who served or still do.

Boulder Crest Retreat offers an intense free program for combat veterans, offering them a variety of tools and therapies to help them and their families. At Boulder Crest Retreat, military combat veterans and their family members engage in a variety of programs, including yoga, meditation, music therapy, culinary therapy, equine therapy, and gardening. They also incorporate various recreational therapies that include hiking, archery and kayaking. The retreat offers combat veterans and their families the opportunity to stay free of charge for a 2-7 nights at the 37-acre retreat.  

The Retreat welcomes combat veterans who are active-duty, reserve and National Guard, veterans, family members and caregivers, and Gold Star Families. Boulder Crest Retreat is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that is funded entirely by private donations by individuals and organizations from around the country. For more information about the retreat, please go to www.bouldercrestretreat.org. View a video about the Boulder Crest Retreat here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KztgmScOQLw.

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