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Gift lets Huntington’s Comfort House remain open

 Herald-Dispatch file photo by Mark Webb the Jeffrey George Comfort House in Huntington.
Herald-Dispatch file photo by Mark Webb
The Jeffrey George Comfort House in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — The Jeffrey George Comfort House will remain open after an anonymous local donor offered to assume its $545,000 mortgage, said Jo Fannin, executive director.

The board of directors met Tuesday evening with the donor and his attorney and voted in favor of accepting his offer.

“The gentleman, who wants to remain anonymous, told the bank he would assume the loan himself, and the house would pay it back as it could,” Fannin said. “He said he had total faith in the folks running the house, and his only desire and goal was to have the good the house has done in 14 years to continue.”

The house, located behind St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, provides temporary lodging for families of adult patients recovering from serious illnesses or injuries at several of the region’s hospitals including St. Mary’s as well as Cabell Huntington Hospital, Cornerstone Hospital, HealthSouth, River Park Hospital, Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital and the Veterans Administration. It was named after one of its founders, Dr. Jeffrey George, a local cardiologist who died in a car crash in December 2008.

Since it first opened in February 2000, the Comfort House has provided temporary lodging for 25,000 guests who have lived farther than 50 miles from the Huntington area.

It has had the capacity to house 12 families at any one time in a comfortable, family-style atmosphere.

It operates on an approximate annual budget of $250,000 and is staffed by volunteers. Donations and a $50,000 grant from the state has helped cover operational expenses over the years, such as the mortgage, insurance and utilities…

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