ELKHART (June 15, 2016) – A $1.25 million grant from the Community Foundation of Elkhart County pushed CAPS past the “break ground” point in its Building For Kids’ Sake campaign to rebuild the Joy Rose Center.

The grant was announced Friday night at the CAPS 40th Anniversary Celebration.

Since the campaign was launched nine months ago in September 2015, the community of CAPS supporters has contributed more than $3.75 million, including more than $400,000 at the auction, toward the $5.5 million goal to build a new Joy Rose Center on the site of the current home of CAPS on Hively Avenue in Elkhart.

“The support from this community has been incredible,” said Candy Yoder, CAPS President/CEO. “So many individuals and businesses have contributed in significant ways. With so many worthy campaigns underway in our community at this time, CAPS is especially grateful for this outpouring of support.”
The CFEC grant officially put the campaign into the public phase, meaning CAPS now possesses enough capital in grants, pledges and donations to begin construction.

“The Key Initiative Committee believed that with CAPS’s long history of fiscal responsibility and its proactive approach to strengthening families and reducing child abuse,” said Jill Sigsbee, the chair of the Key Initiative Committee that approved the grant request, “this was a capital project we were excited to support .”

The campaign was launched because of limitations inherent to the current Joy Rose Center, a 50-year-old building. A contractor determined it would cost up to $750,000 to renovate the structure to accommodate the growth of its child abuse prevention programs and update the building to current codes and security standards, with ongoing costs continuing to rise as the building ages.

The CAPS Board of Directors vetted several renovation and relocation options, eventually deciding that a new building on the same site as the current building would serve the community best and be the most cost effective over the next several decades. CAPS expects to be able to serve 800 more families per year after construction is completed sometime in the next year.

“It has become clear to the CAPS leadership that the current facility is constraining the growth of the organization,” Yoder said. “This new facility will be a tool to further our mission, ensuring that every child lives a life free from abuse and neglect.”

Also at the CAPS 40th Anniversary Celebration, CAPS marked 40 years of child abuse prevention in Elkhart County by honoring one of the founders of a “child abuse task force” here in the 1970s.

Ruth Gattman, a former AMA Auxiliary member, received the Friend of the Child award Friday night for her efforts to establish child abuse prevention programs in Elkhart, eventually leading to the hiring of Daryl Abbott as the county’s first child abuse prevention program coordinator. Abbott went on to be President and CEO of CAPS for more than 30 years.

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