It’s a project more than 5 years in the making, but the Fisher House Wisconsin is now officially open for business! Steinhafels is proud to have played a part in making that happen.
The Fisher House Foundation provides a network of comfort homes, where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. There are currently 70 locations on the grounds of military and VA medical facilities throughout the United States, as well as Germany and the United Kingdom. The program began in 1990.
Steinhafels knew right away that this was a project we wanted to be a part of. As Marketing Director Dirk Stallmann explains, “The Fisher House is such a wonderful way to give back to the men and women serving our country, particularly those who are recovering from injury or illness. Providing a convenient place for their families to stay during their time of need provides countless benefits.”
Wisconsin’s new Fisher House sits on the picturesque campus of the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee. Steinhafels was honored to be invited to take part in the ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, April 23.
It was a gorgeous day for the ceremony, and hundreds came out to recognize our brave heroes. The program began with a Presentation of the Colors and a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem. Distinguished guests included retired military, medical professionals, and Ken Fisher–CEO and Chairman of the Fisher House Foundation.
However, the most touching part of the morning was definitely an emotional speech by Michael Halula. Michael’s son David sustained a traumatic brain injury in 2007 during a car crash. It happened just before he was scheduled to deploy. After receiving acute care at the Milwaukee VA, David was transferred to the Minneapolis VA for rehab. He remained there for 11 months. During that time, Michael and his wife visited David on the weekends, and stayed at the Minneapolis VA Fisher House. Their story is just one example of the 277,000 families served by Fisher Houses since 1990.
Steinhafels takes part in many community events, but this one is extra special. As Stallmann notes, “We are in the business to help create the home of our customers’ dreams, and the Fisher House Wisconsin was a perfect tie.”
But we are just one small piece of this amazing puzzle. This project truly shows how generous the people of Milwaukee are, and how much we support our veterans. We are the first community ever to raise enough funds for a Fisher House before construction even began! This wasn’t all that surprising to those who live here in Wisconsin. As Stallmann explains, “When seeing the house, my heart swelled with pride for our entire state. This house was built with the love and generosity of so many donors, and serves as another example of why Wisconsin is so special.”
The home has a cozy feeling, but measures a roomy 13,000 square feet. It includes 16 private suites and a communal kitchen and living area for people traveling at least 50 miles to be with family members getting treatment at the VA medical center. Those who attended Saturday’s ceremony got a chance to get a first glimpse inside the home!
If the house is at capacity, the Fisher House will pay for those families to stay in a nearby hotel. This truly shows the foundation’s commitment to our community, our veterans, and their families. We are so proud to be a part of this fantastic mission!
Click HERE for a full gallery of photos from the ceremony and house tour.
Click HERE for video of the ribbon-cutting.
Click HERE for behind-the-scenes video from the house tour!