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Reductions in state funding have Crumley House gearing up for fight

Guynn Edwards, executive director of The Crumley House Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center in Limestone, is readying himself for a fight.
“We have lost some state funding on cutbacks, which have killed us,” Edwards said. “It’s becoming almost apparent the state of Tennessee is trying to eliminate funding for the brain injured. We’re going to have a big fight ahead of us.”
On a daily basis, The Crumley House serves an estimated 30 people suffering from some level of brain injury, including more than a dozen residents living at the center and several outpatients coming for activities.
“The waiting list keeps growing and we just don’t have enough room to bring them in,” Edwards said. “There’s still over 7,000 brain injuries a year in the state that require at least one day of hospitalization. There’s another 26,000 that are treated in emergency rooms and released.”
While the need for facilities like The Crumley House seems to be on an increase, it appears state and federal funding is steadily declining.
“There is just no funding,” Edwards said. “They are making the qualifications to get funding harder, too.”
According to Edwards, brain injured individuals have been granted funding in the past related to adult daycare, which includes services for those with all types physical disabilities as well as the elderly.
But the state may soon cease to consider a cognitive brain injury as a physical disability, meaning the brain injured would no longer be eligible for a significant portion of funding.
Meanwhile, the center itself has seen significant cuts of late, including a slash in funding for a five-person residence built on the facility grounds opened just last year.
“We went from receiving $217 per day for folks to live there to $129 in March, with no notification, no nothing,” said Edwards, who even helped state legislators write the rules and regulations pertaining to such types of facility. “We’re still the first and only adult care home in the state.”
With funds dwindling, Edwards said the organization’s upcoming Polynesian Beach Party fundraiser is more important than ever.
“Our fundraisers play such an important role,” Edwards said. “Right now, we’ve raised about $325,000 for our new wing, which is going to cost $800,000. And we are truly, truly in need of that.”
The facility’s annual beach fundraiser, held on the grounds, will take place on Saturday, Aug. 4 starting at 6 p.m. It includes a Polynesian-style dinner, silent and live auctions and plenty of entertainment.
“It will be casual. There will be a lot of Hawaiian shirts and flower leis,” Edwards said. “It turns out to be a really nice party. So many people have told us how much they have enjoyed it in the past.”
Part-time Telford resident George Shinn, former owner of an NBA basketball team and cancer survivor turned philanthropist, will serve as the guest speaker at the event.
“We do usually sell out,” Edwards said. “We brought in about $40,000 last year and have a goal of $50,000 this year.”
Approximately 300 tickets are available for the party. Tickets are $100 per person. For more information, to purchase tickets or to inquire about sponsorships for the Polynesian Beach Party at The Crumley House, visit www.crumleyhouse.com or call 257.-3644.