BETHESDA, Md., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ — The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF) announced today that with the help of American TV icon Bob Barker, it has reached its goal of $60 million to complete its current project, the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), an advanced facility dedicated to research, diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) suffered by U.S. military personnel.
The announcement comes after Mr. Barker, the long-time host of TV’s “The Price is Right” and a Naval aviator who served during World War II, pledged to personally contribute the final $3 million needed for the construction aspect of the project. Additional funds will be raised for research and other related items.
“I am very happy to do whatever I can to support the brave men and women who have given so much in service to our nation,” said Barker. “They have given so much for us; all Americans owe them a debt of gratitude for their tremendous service and sacrifice.”
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund has been fundraising for this project since late 2007, and in recent months, the Fund has pulled to within $3 million of the goal. While it has reached the $60 million goal, the Fund is still working to raise additional funds for research and other related efforts for wounded troops.
“This amazing gift puts us over the top,” said Bill White, President of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. “Thousands of Americans have given to this important effort, and Bob Barker has today stepped up to the task. We are immensely grateful for his wonderful generosity and his support for our nation’s servicemen and women.”
“We have much more work to do to help our brave young men and women in uniform,” said Richard T. Santulli, Chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. “But reaching our goal for NICoE is a great step forward in our mission.”
NICoE, located in Bethesda, Maryland, adjacent to the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, will be the Department of Defense’s premiere facility for the study of TBI, which according to some estimates afflicts more than 300,000 veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Set to open next year, NICoE will be a 72,000 square foot, two-story facility. The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is building the Center and equipping it with the most advanced medical equipment for TBI research, diagnosis and treatment. Once complete, the Center will be turned over to the Department of Defense for operation.
About Bob Barker:
Bob Barker retired in 2007 from a long and notable career in television, hosting shows such as Truth or Consequences and, most famously, the Price is Right, which he helmed for 35 years. He has made numerous other television appearances throughout his 51-year career, including hosting The Rose Parade, The Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants for 21 years. He made his motion picture debut with Adam Sandler in “Happy Gilmore” in a comedy sequence that has become part of movie folklore. He is also well known as a leading supporter of animal rights.
About the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund:
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund was established in 2000 to provide financial support for the dependents of United States military personnel lost in performance of their duty. Originally operated as a program of the Intrepid Museum Foundation in New York City, the Fund was established as an independent not-for-profit organization in 2003. Through 2005, the Fund provided close to $20 million to families of United States military personnel lost in performance of their duty, mostly in service in Iraq and Afghanistan. In January 2007 after only 16 months of fundraising and with the generous support of over 600,000 Americans, the Fund completed construction of the Center for the Intrepid, a $55 million world-class state-of-the-art physical rehabilitation center at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. This Center serves military personnel who have been catastrophically disabled in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and veterans severely injured in other operations and in the normal performance of their duty. In June 2008, ground was broken on the Fund’s current project, the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE).
SOURCE Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund