By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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PORT ANGELES — Betsy Reed Schultz is recovering at home with slight speech and memory loss after suffering a minor stroke on Aug. 16, Joe Borden told the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon audience on Monday.
Schultz, 63, founded the Captain Joseph House Foundation to convert her former bed-and-breakfast inn in Port Angeles into a place of healing for the families of fallen service members.
“Betsy is fine,” said Borden, chairman of the board of the Captain Joseph House Foundation.
“She is going to be fine. She is home,” he told the audience at Monday's chamber luncheon at the Red Lion Hotel.
“She has a slight speech problem, but nothing serious. She's working with some folks that are going to help her take care of that.”
Borden added that Schultz has a “slight memory problem, but nothing serious.”
He said Schultz does not display the outward physical signs of a having had a stroke.
Borden urged the audience of about 50, most of whom are friends of Schultz, a former Chamber of Commerce president, to give her some time to rest and recover.
“She will get back on the trail, trust me,” he said. “She will get back on the horse as quickly as she can.”
Anyone wishing to contact Schultz is asked to route his or her correspondence through Borden.
Borden can be reached by cellphone at 360-461-1619 or by email at email@example.com.
That was the message foundation board member Joe Borden told business leaders gathered at Monday's Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce weekly luncheon.
The Captain Joseph House Foundation is raising funds to convert Betsy Reed Schultz's former Tudor Inn bed-and-breakfast into an all-expenses-paid respite for families of fallen members of the armed services.
It would become the only sanctuary of its kind in the nation.
“The demolition is progressing nicely,” Borden told the audience of about 50 at the Port Angeles Red Lion Hotel.
“Almost every room in the house at the present time is torn apart.”
Schultz, 63, suffered a minor stroke Aug. 16. She was said to be recovering well.
Schultz named the house after her son, Army Capt. Joseph Schultz, a Green Beret who was killed in action in Afghanistan on May 29, 2011.
Demolition of the interior of the 102-year-old house, the former Tudor Inn at 1108 S. Oak St., is about 80 percent complete, project architect Chuck Smith said.
The five bedrooms will be converted into three large, wheelchair-accessible suites.
Contractor Bill Feeley said a $30,000 to $40,000 elevator will be needed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“We can't do an elevator shaft until we have an elevator,” Feeley added. “They come in all shapes and sizes.”
The foundation, which is marketing the Captain Joseph House across the nation, is seeking local volunteers to assist with the demolition and cleanup.
The primary volunteer work days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 8:30 a.m.
“If you desire to work at some other time, we can accommodate that,” Borden said.
Because of insurance and safety concerns, volunteers must be accompanied by a project manager.
“You just have to let one of us know, and somebody will be there,” Borden said.
“At this point, we're tearing apart bathrooms with hard tile. That means a hammer and a chisel.
“It's hard work. It's not easy work, but we also have easy work that you can do. If all you can do is sweep the floor and mop the floor, or do those kinds of things, we can make that happen, too.
He added: “We have jobs for everyone.”
Local contractors, subcontractors and families have “stepped up to the plate” with volunteer labor, Smith said.
“The community has been so supportive of this project,” he added.
The 1911 house will get an expanded kitchen, new library, new plumbing and wiring.
“We do need volunteers, and we also need money,” said Feeley, who is waiting for an architect's plans to apply for a building permit.
Smith said the remodel will cost about $500,000.
Borden estimated that it would cost about $1 million per year to operate.
Families of fallen service members will stay at the Captain Joseph House from Monday through Friday at no cost.
“Any family that's lost a military person since 9/11 is eligible to come to this house,” Smith said.
“That's for the whole United States in all different branches of service. They are coming here free of charge. So it's a wonderful project and it's an area where there's not a lot of support for these families.”
Borden, who is a military retiree, urged the chamber members to learn about the foundation and to spread the word about its efforts.
The foundation will hold a seafood and chowder cook-off fundraiser at the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival from Oct. 11-13.
Anyone wishing to volunteer on the Captain Joseph House can contact Borden at 360-461-1619 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Captain Joseph House and its foundation, click on www.captainjosephhousefoundation.org.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at email@example.com.