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Louie Castriota Receives The Rite Aid Foundation’s Kidchamp Award
Founder of Leg Up Farm Honored for Revolutionizing Treatment Programs for Children with Special Needs
CAMP HILL, Pa. (April 24, 2019) - The Rite Aid Foundation announced today that Louie Castriota, founder and chairman of the board of Leg Up Farm, in York, Pennsylvania, has been awarded its KIDCHAMPSM Award for his innovative vision and unwavering commitment to provide children with special needs a comprehensive, convenient and centralized location to receive specialized therapy. In recognition of his service, Mr. Castriota received a $10,000 donation to Leg Up Farm from The Rite Aid Foundation and $500 in Rite Aid gift cards during a special ceremony at Leg Up Farm.
Leg Up Farm is a nonprofit therapy center for infants, children, adolescents and young adults up to the age of 21 with special needs. The center combines a state-of-the-art medical setting with a child-friendly environment that caters to both children and their families. Leg Up Farm provides comprehensive therapies all under one roof by bringing therapists of different specialties together to create customized programs with a team approach.
The Rite Aid Foundation created the KIDCHAMPSM Award in 2017 to recognize individuals in communities served by Rite Aid. Winners have made a meaningful difference in the lives of youth by advocating for their health and wellbeing, championing education and academic growth plus creating safe environments for children and teens to live and grow. Mr. Castriota is the fifth recipient to receive the award.
"Louie embodies what it means to be a champion for kids with special needs. He not only recognized gaps in the availability and affordability of services in the community, but also identified a solution and worked nonstop to make it a reality," said Bryan Everett, chief operating officer of Rite Aid Corporation and a member of The Rite Aid Foundation Board. "Thanks to Louie's drive and ambition, he has created a therapy center that is unlike any other in the country, resulting in thousands of children having a chance for better lives and brighter futures."
Mr. Castriota and his wife, Laurie, first had the idea to open Leg Up Farm as a therapeutic riding center in 1997, merging their love of animals and children. Six months after their vision came to fruition, their daughter Brooke, was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, which causes both cognitive and motor function delays.
As they searched for the best treatment options for Brooke, the Castriotas found services spread-out and lacking in integration and convenience. That prompted them to significantly widen their vision for Leg Up Farm and create a facility that was unlike any in the nation.
Mr. Castriota, officially opened Leg Up Farm in 2010, raising more than $10 million in funding through a combination of private contributions, public fundraising events, and federal, state and foundation grants. Leg Up Farm is the only facility in the country to provide physical, occupational, speech, and aquatic therapy, counseling, therapeutic horseback riding, nutritional, education and recreational programming all under one roof. Since opening its doors, Leg Up Farm has increased capacity. To date, the facility has served more than 2,700 children with special needs and their families.
"I am truly honored to receive the KIDCHAMPSM Award and I'd like to thank The Rite Aid Foundation and KidCents for supporting our efforts to provide life-changing services to children impacted by special needs and their families," said Mr. Castriota. "Providing a comprehensive array of services in a convenient, affordable and easily accessible location is critical to improving the overall health and wellbeing of the children we serve. At Leg Up Farm, we give kids the courage to dream. We can't thank The Rite Aid Foundation enough for helping us make those dreams come true."
Through the KidCents program, members of Rite Aid's loyalty program, wellness+ rewards, can round up their in-store or online purchases to the nearest dollar and donate their change to KidCents. Members can also choose to direct their change to a specific KidCents charity by visiting www.kidcents.com. Through KidCents' Step Up Fund, The Rite Aid Foundation provides a matching donation of $500 for every $500 a charity raises in contributions through the wellness+ rewards program, up to a maximum of $5,000. For more information, visit www.kidcents.com.
Since its inception in 2001, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded more than $52 million to nonprofit organizations. Additionally, Rite Aid, through the efforts of its customers, supplier partners and associates, has also raised more than $92 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals across the country since 1994.
About Rite Aid Corporation
Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is one of the nation's leading drugstore chains with fiscal 2019 annual revenues of $21.6 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company's website at www.riteaid.com.
About Leg Up Farm
The mission of Leg Up Farm is to enrich the lives of individuals with special needs and their families through support and customized programs. This is achieved by operating the only pediatric therapy center in the country to provide physical, occupational and speech therapy; counseling services; therapeutic horseback riding; nutrition services; and, educational and recreational programming, beneath one roof. Since 2010, Leg Up Farm and its related programs have impacted the lives of over 2,700 children, teens, and adults with special needs. For more information visit www.legupfarm.org.
Media: Christopher Savarese 717-975-5718