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Car rental company donates to local Fisher House programming

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Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 12:45 am | Updated: 6:03 pm, Thu Jun 20, 2013.

A future haven for military families in Gainesville has received more financial help.

On Friday, Gainesville Fisher House, a nonprofit organization still in the construction phase, which is aimed at providing lodging for military hospital patients and their families, was given a $4,000 donation.

The donor was Enterprise Holdings Foundation, the parent corporation of Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

When finished, the building will stand two stories high and occupy 16,000 square feet adjacent to the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center, across from UF Health Shands Hospital.

The money will help fund programming at the facility, said Patti Fabiani, Fisher House’s executive director.

It will directly help guests because it will be used to purchase toiletries and food, she said.

Jason Shank, the Enterprise area rental manager who presented the check, said Fisher House supports the values of the foundation. Enterprise’s founder served in World War II aboard an aircraft carrier named Enterprise, he said.

“I chose the Fisher House because I think that we all have an obligation to give back to the men and women who fight for our freedom,” Shank said. “It should be the community’s responsibility.”

When the house opens, Fabiani said, it will meet a need in Gainesville.

“People are traveling from a long distance,” she said. “A lot of times what happens is they bring their loved ones to a hospital, and they leave them because they can’t afford to stay.”

Fisher House is set to open in the fall, Fabiani said, and it will have 20 suites intended to serve 750 families per year.

“The minute we get OK’d to occupy it, we’re expecting to be 100 percent full,” she said.

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