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All-Star Student Veterans Center Opens at BW

With words of gratitude and the snip of a ribbon, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Cleveland Indians unveiled the new All-Star Student Veterans Center at Baldwin Wallace University.

The transformation of the once-vacant house into the new veterans center was a 2019 All-Star Legacy Project and part of approximately $5 million in community enrichment projects tied to MLB's Midsummer Classic hosted by the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, Tuesday, July 9.

Community collaboration

Volunteers from Lowes helped with landscaping and created an inviting rear patio area.At the July 5 dedication (coverage here on Fox 8 TV and on cleveland.com) BW President Bob Helmer said the gathering not only celebrated the nearly 100 student veterans enrolled at BW, but also "the way a community comes together - the Indians, Major League Baseball and others in this area - all coming together to assist BW in supporting our student veterans."

Businesses and community organizations, including Bank of America and Lowe's, joined forces to bring the project to fruition through financial support, in-kind donations and employee volunteer hours.

All-Star Unveiling

The completed rear patio includes a pergola, gas fire table, grill and raised garden beds.The BW project transformed a vacant, two-story, university-owned, single-family home at 105 E. Grand Street, across from the Strosacker Hall student union, into a gleaming, multifunctional space to support student veterans of U.S. Military branches studying at BW.

The handicapped accessible facility includes quiet rooms for studying and counseling, lounges, a full kitchen, bathrooms and a gaming area. Outside, there's an inviting patio with pergola and garden beds planted with tomatoes, peppers and more.

Smoothing the military transition

Calling BW student veterans "a family," Britnee Davis, president of BW's Student Veteran Organization (SVO), expressed extreme gratitude for the gift of the new center that she believes will elevate support for "our brothers and sisters in transition."

"I can't imagine where I would be today had I not received the support and commitment from our veterans support program here at Baldwin Wallace," she said. "Through the countless hours I spent decompressing years of military service and the struggles to readapt."

Lasting Legacy

The interior includes a full kitchen.The 2019 All-Star Legacy effort also features improvements to youth baseball/softball playing fields and facilities, and a local Boys & Girls Club.

In addition to MLB, the Indians, BW, Bank of America and Lowe's, the BW project received support from Cabinets To Go, City of Berea, Crain Family Foundation, GE Lighting, Institute for Learning in Retirement, M-Five Construction Group, National Restaurant Supply, Ohio Desk, Rotary International, Smith & Oby, and Stouffer's.

Donor wall in the All-Star Student Veterans Center at BW.

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