The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF) announced today that with the help of American TV icon Bob Barker, it has reached its goal of $60 million to complete its current project, the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), an advanced facility dedicated to research, diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) suffered by U.S. military personnel.
The announcement comes after Mr. Barker, the long-time host of TV’s “The Price is Right” and a Naval aviator who served during World War II, pledged to personally contribute the final $3 million needed for the construction aspect of the project. Additional funds will be raised for research and other related items.
“I am very happy to do whatever I can to support the brave men and women who have given so much in service to our nation,” said Barker. “They have given so much for us; all Americans owe them a debt of gratitude for their tremendous service and sacrifice.”
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund has been fundraising for this project since late 2007, and in recent months, the Fund has pulled to within $3 million of the goal. While it has reached the $60 million goal, the Fund is still working to raise additional funds for research and other related efforts for wounded troops.
“This amazing gift puts us over the top,” said Bill White, President of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. “Thousands of Americans have given to this important effort, and Bob Barker has today stepped up to the task. We are immensely grateful for his wonderful generosity and his support for our nation’s servicemen and women.”
“We have much more work to do to help our brave young men and women in uniform,” said Richard T. Santulli, Chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. “But reaching our goal for NICoE is a great step forward in our mission.”
NICoE, located in Bethesda, Maryland, adjacent to the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, will be the Department of Defense’s premiere facility for the study of TBI, which according to some estimates afflicts more than 300,000 veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Set to open next year, NICoE will be a 72,000 square foot, two-story facility. The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is building the Center and equipping it with the most advanced medical equipment for TBI research, diagnosis and treatment. Once complete, the Center will be turned over to the Department of Defense for operation.