A home intended to house families of veterans undergoing medical treatment is being planned for West Haven.
At a meeting of the North Haven Rotary Club, the American Legion Post 76 Commander, Dan Riccio, described a local cause that is close to the hearts of veterans, especially those with serious medical issues. Similar to the Ronald MacDonald Foundation, the Fisher House Foundation builds and maintains long term residential facilities near military hospitals nationwide because the families of seriously injured soldiers need a place to stay during the long rehabilitation process. Such a facility is being planned for veterans receiving care at the VA Health Care System in West Haven.

Commander Riccio explained that through donations from civic groups like Rotary, The Friends of Fisher House Connecticut (which is underwritten by The Creed Law Firm, LLC) have raised over $750,000.  He said its goal is to reach $3 million, and when they do, Fisher House Foundation, Inc. will match the $3 million for a total of $6 million to allow construction to begin.

According to the ‘Friends’ website, “A Fisher House is a temporary residence and is not a treatment facility, hospice or counseling center. The program began in 1990, and has offered more than five million days of lodging to more than 180,000 families.” [www.fisherhousect.org]
A major fundraiser entitled “Dancing with Our Heroes” (with a $500,000 goal) will be held Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. The event will feature dancing for the attendees, dinner, a silent auction, a professional performance, and a dance competition involving veterans.

In addition to serving as the Post 76 Commander, Riccio is employed by the Town of North Haven in the Community Services Department and is a principal organizer of the annual Memorial Day and Columbus Day parades.
PHOTO: Earlier this spring, American Legion Post 76 Commander Dan Riccio accepted a donation from Rotary President Debbie Volain toward building a Fisher House in West Haven.