SpectraCare Foundation to celebrate opening of Lindenwold vets center

May 11 ribbon cutting will be outdoors and open to the public

Special to The Sun/The Sun: SpectraCare Foundation hosts Equine Therapy at Forgotten Angels in Medford, NJ with veterans on May 3, 2020. They will be continuing to provide services like equine therapy in addition to running the new Carlton R. Rouh Veteran’s Center in Lindenwold that opens May 11, 2021.

SpectraCare Foundation will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 11 for the new Carlton R. Rouh Veterans Center in Lindenwold.

The foundation was founded in late 2015 by Kathleen Van Stine and her husband, Michael, who have served veterans in need of assistance to find resources or process benefits. The foundation’s other services range from delivering food to vets; connecting them to people who can help answer their questions; social services; and equine horse therapy, available through a partnership with Forgotten Angels Equine Rescue in Medford.

“They’ve (veterans) already sacrificed their lives for our freedom,” said Kathleen. “They’ve been through a lot. People can say, ‘Oh, I understand.’ No, you don’t. You do not walk in their shoes.”

The new center is named for Capt. Carlton Robert Rouh, a former Marine from Camden who served during World War II and received a Medal of Honor for risking his life to save two other Marines in 1944.

The new veterans center will provide a space where local veterans can come and “congregate, socialize, learn, share, teach, inspire and mentor,” according to its website. The space will feature a computer work station; a lounge; kitchen; and learning space where veterans will be able to take classes that range from vocational instruction to financial planning.

Everything in the space, from paint to carpets to chairs, has been donated. The hope is that with the space, the foundation will be able to serve the veteran community’s needs.

“Take Lindenwold for example,” Kathleen explained. “There are about 500 to 700 vets, and a lot of them can’t afford a computer or pay for internet. At the center, we’ll have five to seven work stations they can use.”

Veterans have a special place in Kathleen’s heart: Her father served in the Korean War and her husband’s father is a veteran of World War II.

“I’m a social worker. I’ve been doing community work; Michael and I are nothing but community people,” she noted. “We love cultural diversity, we love helping people; this is our passion, to give back. It’s greater than ourselves to give back.”

The new veterans center is at 777 Blackwood Clementon Road in Lindenwold, Hours for the outdoor ribbon cutting will be 4 to 7 p.m. To contribute to the SpectraCare Foundation, visit https://www.spectracarefoundation.org.