Observer staff

The Veterans Restorative Care Center, a first-of-its-kind center that will provide counseling, education and other services to veterans at the repurposed Hot Lake Springs Resort near La Grande, is one step closer to making its plans a reality.

The USDA Rural Development recently awarded the center a $30,000 grant. The Warrior Bonfire Program, one of the four partners of the project, will use the grant to develop a strategic business plan.

That’s the baseline to begin going after more funding partners, according to Brian Cole, of Baker City, a grant writer for the project.

“What the business plan will do is really outline all the prospective funders — those who wish to donate and the more conventional financiers and government-supported programs,” Cole said.

The grant writing is just a part of the funding mechanism, though, Cole said.

“The Warrior Bonfire Program is thankful to USDA for believing in this project. While the project is in the early planning and design phases, the VRCC’s ultimate vision is to offer a complete solution for veterans and their families to heal, while also bringing a significant number of jobs to the local community,” Mike Foss, the president of the Warrior Bonfire program, said.

For the complete story, see the Sept. 6 edition of The Observer.