(L-R) FMA Foundation’s Capital Campaign Committee Member Ed Rothstein, FMA Foundation President Deon Viergutz, the Geaton and JoAnn DeCesaris Family Foundation’s JoAnn DeCesaris and JoAnn DeCesaris Wellington and FMA Foundation’s Capital Campaign Committee Members Elizabeth Rendón-Sherman, Lisa Decker, Bob Kiffney and Bill Dunahoo.
Dedicated supporters of initiatives benefiting women, children, healthcare, the faith community and the military, the Geaton and JoAnn DeCesaris Family Foundation has pledged $150,000 to the Fort Meade Alliance Foundation’s Ready, Strong and Connected campaign.
“We are very grateful to American service members and their families for all their work and sacrifice,” said JoAnn DeCesaris who created the foundation with her husband in 2002. “Since we are not in the military, we wanted to do something for them.”
The DeCesaris Family Foundation is well known in Anne Arundel County for funding the construction and expansion of the Geaton and JoAnn DeCesaris Cancer Institute, and for generously supporting the region’s only combined pediatric emergency and pediatric inpatient unit. The foundation has supported numerous other initiatives, including programs for wounded warriors.
Foundation leaders were moved to make a major donation to the FMA Foundation’s Ready, Strong and Connected capital campaign because “we felt it was a unique project that has great potential to help many thousands of people. Its impact is going to be widespread and long lasting,” said JoAnn DeCesaris Wellington, one of the founders’ five daughters who now all serve on the foundation’s board.
The philanthropic work of the DeCesaris family inspires “a real appreciation for the impact that one person, one family can have,” said Deon Viergutz, President of the FMA Foundation. “From the youngest age, they are committed to service and charity. They teach across generations the power of caring about and loving something greater than yourself.”
The family’s generous pledge to the Ready, Strong and Connected campaign will help the FMA Foundation convert Kuhn Hall on Fort George G. Meade into a Resiliency and Education Center. That facility will host a full range of resiliency services as well as a variety of college-level courses.
“It will have the ability to positively impact over a 160,000 military service men and women, Department of Defense employees and their families who live and work on and around Fort Meade,” Viergutz said.
To date, the FMA Foundation has raised 45 percent of the needed $3.6 million. FMA volunteers recently launched the design phase of the renovation project and aim to begin construction by summer 2018.