Leadership Lexington raises $75,000-plus for veterans pavilion

Pavilion for the veterans of Central Midlands Transitional Retreat.

Leadership Lexington raises $75,000-plus for veterans pavilion
The 2019 class of Leadership Lexington County is celebrating raising more than $75,000 through sponsorships, in-kind donations and brick sales, to build a pavilion for the veterans of Central Midlands Transitional Retreat (CMTR).

Leadership Lexington will be hosting a pavilion dedication on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 201 Duffie Drive, Lexington.

The fundraising amount was made possible by the generosity of the community in appreciation of veterans. Donors include: Command Sergeant Major Sponsors: Hoover Buildings, NaturChem Inc., Unlimited Concrete Solutions of SC and the Town of Lexington; Master Sergeant Sponsors: Mid Carolina Electric Coop., Nucor Steel, TD Bank, Sarah Mayle Coaching, and City of West Columbia.

“This is an opportunity for a man that becomes homeless to rebuild his life because you can really start over,” said current Outreach Manager and former resident James Wardlaw (JW). “This is a program that’s successful, and it works.”

The Leadership Lexington County Class selected Central Midlands Transitional Retreat for its 2019 service project in February. CMTR is a housing facility designed specifically for United States Veterans in partnership with the Department of Veterans Administration and many others committed to the needs of the battle-weary.

Central Midlands Transitional Retreat programs include transitional housing, education, training, financial and employment counseling. This amazing organization has done so much since they opened in 2008 and the current Leadership Lexington class desired to help them continue that legacy. CMTR is a 501(c)(3) of Christ Central Ministries and is in partnership with the Department of Veterans Administration.

“This has been such a rewarding experience for the entire LLC class of 2019. The involvement of our community has certainly added to the success of the project. Taking care of our veterans should always be a priority,” said current Class Chair, Roy Mefford.

Since 2008, more than 1,770 veterans have been admitted to CMTR with more than 1,030 successes. Of those successes, 59% completed and left with jobs and housing and 4% completed and departed to higher education. The others completed and moved to assistance housing, after care and other unknown destinations.

The 35-member class volunteered in several ways that have directly assisted Central Midlands Transitional Retreat including: clothing and donations drives, site-work prep and various beautification projects. In addition, the Lexington County Blowfish partnered with the class and featured a local veteran at every Saturday game this season.

Leadership Lexington County, or LLC, is a non-profit educational organization that offers a stimulating program to develop leaders in our community. The program incorporates hands on learning opportunities that inform participants of the resources and challenges in our region and promotes community action. LLC builds a network of local leaders, helps them realize their leadership skills and facilitates involvement in many areas of the county. This is the 25th class.

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