Foundation donates to cemetery reclamation projectWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lilly Foundation will donate $2,500 to the Toledo State Hospital Cemetery Reclamation Project in honor of Larry Wanucha.
Wanucha, who has schizophrenia, received second place in the Artistic Contribution from the foundation Oct.16.
“I’m honored and grateful for the award. I’ve worked on recovery for 30 some years and working on my artistic skills has helped with that recovery,” Wanucha said.
The Lilly Reintegration Awards have honored the achievements of those with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder since 1997. Individuals who improve their lives and the lives of their peers are awarded in areas of artistic contributions, mentorship and achievement.
Wanucha received a $2,500 grant for the charity of his choice as a result of the award. In addition, Wanucha received a trophy at the ceremony in Indianapolis.
Peg Morrison, Wanucha’s co-worker and communications and fundraising manager for Neighborhood Properties, nominated Wanucha for the award.
“I heard about the awards and read the description and it had Larry written all over,” Morrison said. “Living with the disease, have used a talent to further their own recover and help other people in recovery — that’s just Larry to a ‘T.’”
Wanucha is a social worker and artist who successfully manages his schizophrenia with medication and treatment. Wanucha is employed as a housing support specialist at Neighborhood Properties Inc, a nonprofit focused on ending homelessness for individuals with mental illness and addiction.
The prize money will help build a granite monument for the Toledo State Hospital Cemetery Reclamation Project, Wanucha said.
Wanucha started the local movement to honor those buried in the numbered graves of the Toledo State Hospital.
“I heard about other projects around the country and wanted to honor and restore dignity for those people who were buried at Toledo State Hospital and forgotten about,” Wanucha said. “I have a strong bond with the people of the cemetery because we share the mental illness, but I was lucky enough to be born in a time of medication. I was able to realize my hopes and dreams because there was treatment available to me that wasn’t available to those individuals.”
The reclamation project has been working alongside UT to provide a long-term memorial site for the two Toledo State Hospital cemeteries. The old cemetery, with burials from 1888 to 1922, is located behind Bowsher. The new cemetery, with burials from 1923 to 1973, is located on the UT Medical Science campus.
The project has been working to restore the 2,000 cement markers that are buried under ground and make sure they are visible from above ground. The makers have numbers that correspond with a log at the hospital that lists demographics and other information for the individual buried there, Wanucha said.
Tags: Toledo State Hospital