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Illinois retirement home gets surprise $2.4M donation

July 31, 2018

PONTIAC, Ill. (AP) — Officials of an Illinois retirement home that received a surprise $2.4 million donation said the funds will be used enhance the home’s facilities, programs and services.

The faith-based, nonprofit Evenglow Lodge in Pontiac received the donation from the estate of E. Ruth Harris, who died last year at the age of 103. The gift was presented to the Evenglow’s board of trustees in June.

Staff member Kathy Alexander said Harris had been giving regular donations of about $100 to the facility each year, despite never having lived there. Alexander said the donations began to wane closer to her death.

Evenglow CEO Mark Hovren said the gift will be “the catalyst for making Evenglow a great place to live and a great place for future residents.”

The board is in the process of creating a strategic plan and will use the endowment to identify necessary projects, according to Carol Flessner, chairwoman of the home’s board of trustees.

“Our buildings are aging. That requires ongoing maintenance which can be very costly,” Flessner said. “This will help assure that the facilities and programs will be maintained for years to come.”

The retirement home has about 160 residents and ties to the United Methodist Church. But staff and residents come from all faiths and backgrounds, Hovren said.

The home provides independent and assisted-living apartments, as well as a skilled nursing facility and memory care center.

The home opened in 1958 through a donation, according to Evenglow’s website.

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