Channel Marker Cuts Ribbon on Regional Wellness Center

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Channel Marker, Inc. has completed the final phase of its renovations of its 19,000-square foot Regional Wellness Center on Glebe Park Drive in Easton. The organization’s ribbon cutting celebrates the completion of a $2 million Capital Campaign to provide integrated services to people with severe and persistent mental illness in Talbot, Caroline and Dorchester counties.

Senator Addie Eckardt; Tolbert Rowe, Volunteer Executive Director of Channel Marker Foundation; Cathy Cassell, Channel Marker Program Director; Len Foxwell, Chief of Staff for Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot; and Danielle Williams, Clinical Coordinator, in the Channel Marker’s new fitness gym

The new building consolidates the administration and client programs, previously situated in rented properties and houses a dedicated medical wing for a Registered Nurse, Nurse Practitioner Consultant, and Psychiatrist. The program section of the new building offers two lounges for social activities – one for transition age youth (ages 18-25) and one for adults, a computer lab with work stations, a large teaching kitchen and pantry, a dining area, two large group activity rooms, and a fitness gym with exercise equipment. As visitors enter the building, they are greeted with a view of a lush courtyard, complete with a pond and garden, around which the building was constructed.

Johnny Mautz, Senator Addie Eckardt, John McQuaid, President of the Channel Marker Board of Directors; Debbye Jackson, Executive Director of Channel Marker, and Ryan Snow from Governor Larry Hogan’s office.

Chad Hill, Liz Freedlander, Development Director; and Scott Warner of Rural Maryland Council.

Debbye Jackson, Executive Director of Channel Marker, commented, “Our plans are to offer a wide variety of group activities in the new facility for all of our clients. Many Caroline and Dorchester county clients now receive services from their psychiatrist and therapist at the Regional Wellness Center. The organization also recently rebranded its public image, with a new focus on wellness for our clients.”

According to Jackson, who has been with Channel Marker for 34 years, Channel Marker, Inc. opened its doors in 1982, operating out of donated space in churches. Over time, the organization embarked on a campaign to build facilities to have a permanent place in communities in Talbot, Caroline and Dorchester counties. Channel Marker serves approximately 400 people annually, almost 50% of whom are under the age of 21. Channel Marker’s services increase social and problem-solving skills, job readiness, illness management, and substance abuse recovery. Services are provided in day and residential settings in all three counties of the Mid Shore by a dedicated staff of nearly 60 people who have a personal and caring relationships with the individuals who live with organic brain disease through no fault of their own.

During the activities to put the final touches on the client program spaces, in preparation for the building’s ribbon cutting, one client asked a staff member, “When the party is over, will this all be taken away from us?” Hearing that everything was for the permanent use of the clients, he replied, “Then this must be my birthday!”

Ceci Nobel, Debbye Jackson, Executive Director of Channel Marker; and Marti Reed in the new fitness gym.

Funding for Channel Marker’s work in the community primarily comes from Medicaid and the State of Maryland.  Support from generous members of the community and private foundations underwrites uncompensated costs for programs that are vital to clients’ well-being. A community of donors including government, private foundations and individuals participated in the completion of the recent Capital Campaign.

Donor Nancy Klein of Oxford commented, “Our foundation was pleased to contribute to Channel Marker’s Capital Campaign. Its mission to serve very vulnerable members of our community matches our philanthropic interests.”

Among the other donors to the Campaign are The Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation, The Michael and Nancy Klein Foundation, Bruce and Sandra Hammonds, Maxine Whalen Millar, The Whalen Company and Craig A. Wanner in memory of Ronald J. Wanner, Dr. David Hill and the Hill Family, The George B. Todd Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, The Reynolds/Cristiano and Ferree Funds of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, Wayne and Terri Cole and Win Transport, Amy’s Army, Tom and Cathy Hill, The Schulman Foundation, The Robert and Ruth St. John Foundation, John and Debra McQuaid, Phoebe Reynolds, C. Tolbert and Jeanne Rowe, The Van Strum Foundation, and anonymous friends.

According to Tolbert Rowe, Volunteer Executive Director of Channel Marker Foundation, completion of Channel Marker’s Capital Campaign, “Opening New Doors to Wellness,” has enabled the organization to repay the Foundation’s loan to purchase and renovate the building. He added, “The Foundation is excited about our next project to improve services to youth in Caroline County, having just purchased the former Hospice House in Denton for this purpose.”

For further information or to tour the new Channel Marker facility in Easton, contact Debbye Jackson, Executive Director of Channel Marker, at 410-822-4619 or visit channelmarker.org.

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