New Armstrong County nonprofit spreads upbeat outlook
KITTANNING – Scott Davis and Pastor Fred Neal III are spreading a message of hope.
As founders of a newly formed nonprofit organization, they are offering hope to families caring for children with long-term disabilities and have planned a fundraising event on Friday and Saturday at a local church to help families pay for medical expenses not covered by insurance.
The organization, called Reagan's Journey Inc., was inspired by Neal's 4-year-old daughter, Reagan.
Reagan, who was born on April 3, 2008, suffered a hypoxic brain injury and a brain bleed at birth. As a result, she faces significant developmental challenges and has the neurological function of a normal 5-month-old.
Neal, who lives in Kittanning, is campus pastor of Harvest Community Church in Petrolia Valley, Butler County. He said he and his wife, Kim, have seen their daughter progress significantly because of therapy. Although she is unable to speak, she is able to read and can communicate by pointing to letters and pictures on a page.
Neal said Reagan likes to hang out with her 12-year-old brother, Chase Anthony, and her 6-year-old sister, Reese.
“And she loves Ariel, The Little Mermaid,” Neal said. “We're collecting Ariel stuff these days,” he said, smiling.
Neal said his family received a lot of support from friends through the years and Reagan's struggle to overcome physical and mental challenges has brought the Neals in close proximity with other children going through similar struggles.
“Now we have a vision to help other families,” Neal said.
The organization is highlighting three other area children during its Mystery Dinner Theater fundraising event. Davis provided information about the children:
• McKenah and Josiah Keys, children of Joe and Shelly Keys, both have a very rare genetic condition called Multiple Pterygium Syndrome. Their condition means they will face a life time of therapies and surgeries.
• Nevaeh Green, daughter of Stephanie and Robert Green, weighed a little over 1 pound at birth and suffered bleeding on the brain which left permanent damage. She was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
Davis, who attends Harvest Community Church in West Kittanning, has been friends with Neal for a long time. He said his love of children and friendship with Neal sparked a desire in him to help co-found the nonprofit to offer support to families burdened by financial worries associated with the long term care of their special needs children.
Insurance plans don't always cover the cost of therapy, Davis said. Parents also worry about the future support system for their children if their children outlive them.
“Where do these children end up?” Davis asked.
He said that is just one of the worries he would like to alleviate one day through Reagan's Journey.
“We hope to set up trust funds, we want to take the burden off the parents,” said Davis.
Contributors to Reagan's Journey can choose the child they wish to support and 100 percent of the donations will go to the sponsored child.
Donations can be made to Reagan's Journey Inc., 249 Vine St., Kittanning, PA 16201 or 110 Mateer Drive, Kittanning, PA, 16201.
For more information call Scott Davis at 724 664-1478 or Cheryl Crabtree at 724-545-7134.
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.