Local foundations lend leadership support to foster-care campus

Place of Hope’s Paxson Campus

After almost 15 years of being home to foster families, Place of Hope’s Paxson Campus is in need of renovations. Upgrades to the privately owned main roadway and seven single-family homes are on the wish list, as well as renovations to the original children’s playground. The older children patiently are waiting for a sports court.

So when Place of Hope Executive Director Charles Bender put out a call for help, Dave Donten was one of the first to respond. As a trustee to the C. Kenneth & Laura Baxter Foundation, Donten was responsible for initiating a $100,000 Matching Challenge Fund with $75,000 from the foundation for the “Summer Hope” Improvements Campaign.

Donten’s action was echoed with a $25,000 pledge from Tim Henry and John Thomas, fund advisers with the James and Claudine Kirkwood Fund.

“The family-style and faith-based home environment that the Paxson Campus provides not only foster families but also serves as facilitator of the administrative staff of Place of Hope,” Donten said. “These important facilities need to be preserved and maintained. This campus is a neighborhood and a hub where the community can come and help these children have full and hopeful lives. As with any home, it requires care and upkeep.”

Added Thomas: “With the growth of the many programs for development of these children, as well as the diversity of opportunities now afforded them, it is time to update and improve the facilities of the Paxson Campus.”

Thanks to the two foundations, Place of Hope is halfway to meeting its $200,000 goal for renovations and upgrades.

“Our community has an astonishing way of helping us provide for these children and keeping them safely in our care,” Bender said. “I have the same faith in this campaign.”

With campuses in Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach and Boca Raton and new offices in Hobe Sound, Place of Hope is a faith-based, state-licensed, child-welfare organization that provides family-style foster care and other services. For information, call 561-775-7195 or visit placeofhope.com.

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