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Publisher's Notebook: What the Cardinal Classic is All About

Washington DC Other

We love the Cardinal Classic tennis and golf tournament (this year, June 2 and 9 at the Fairfax Country Club) but knew only a little about the cause it benefits—Inova’s Kellar Center. Bank president Kevin Reynolds took us out to see the 30k SF facility Wednesday, off 66 and Route 50 at Waples Mill in Fairfax.

Right behind the lobby desk, its philosophy is clear: helping kids struggling with major emotional issues—depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, suicidal thoughts and behavior, “school-avoidant” behavior, trauma resulting from sexual or physical abuse, bullying, significant family conflict, and conditions such as autism disorders and Asperger syndrome.

Rick Leichtweis has been director of the Center for the 23 years since Inova Health System launched it. The late Art and Betty Kellar, who had concerns about mental health and substance abuse treatment in their community, have (together with their continuing family foundation) funded it with donations of more than $15M. The Center’s 60 employees (including physicians, clinical psychologists and social workers, therapists, and teachers) reach 2,000 children and family members per year and provide a full continuum of outpatient services ranging from therapy and medication management to after school programs and partial hospitalization.

And a special education day school for 35 to 40 students, with classes of no more than eight kids each, often with a wide range of ages and educational needs.

We looked in on a monthly leadership team meeting discussing the Center’s quality assurance and performance programs. What a put-together group!

The Cardinal Classic has raised more than $4M to fund many elements of the Center from the gym above to new staff positions. It all started when Kevin, a member of the Inova Health System Foundation board, heard a presentation of Rick’s about the center. Bisnow Media has been participating for several years in the Classic—fielding a tennis team that has won and lost but always had a good time. Now, come to find out, it’s also been serving an amazing cause. You can, too. Join us in playing tennis or golf, and in making a difference. Info on the Cardinal Classic.