Credit unions and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital joined the 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC) and RealClearPolitics to open a horticultural therapy suite in Angie’s Rooftop Garden at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland Wednesday. Janna Ryan, wife of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), cut the ribbon with the help of UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital child patients and siblings Cordelia Willets, CC Willets and Constance Kammerer.
CUNA and RealClearPolitics honored the RNC by taking on the project. Representatives from CUNA, the Ohio Credit Union League (OCUL), UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, the RNC and RealClearPolitics, along with special guests, were on hand for the event and discussed the importance of the event.
“It’s an honor to be able to work with local credit unions, RealClearPolitics and the Republican National Convention on such a meaningful and lasting endeavor that will impact the lives of children and their families for years to come,” said Rich Meade, CUNA chief of staff/chief operating officer.
The effort represents a tradition dating from 2000 of credit unions honoring cities that host the national party conventions with “leave-behind” projects which serve the local communities long after the conventions have left town.
Credit unions funded construction earlier this spring to open a horticultural therapy suite in honor of the 2016 RNC. OCUL spearheaded fundraising by the credit unions and raised more than their target goal of $300,000--the amount needed to cover the project costs--in the spring.
“This is a great opportunity to create an enduring example of how credit unions impact the lives of their members and their communities,” said Paul Mercer, OCUL president/CEO. “With the help and support of many across the credit union movement, I’m proud that Ohio’s credit unions will sprout a therapy retreat for the children throughout Ohio cared for at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.”
The suite is an enhancement of Angie’s Rooftop Garden at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. Angie’s Rooftop Garden is part of the Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute.
A construction kick-off and volunteer day took place earlier this year to help transform the space that now includes glass mosaic tiles to commemorate the project.
New equipment and activity centers in the suite will help the staff at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital address the special needs of hospitalized children and their families.
Patti DePompei, president of UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s, said the hospital is “grateful CUNA and Ohio Credit Union League shared in our vision to expand our horticultural therapy services.”
CUNA, credit unions in Pennsylvania and RealClearPolitics also are working with the Democratic National Convention Committee on a companion project for a wellness garden at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The ribbon cutting event will take place during the week of July 25-28 in Philadelphia.