U.S. Seniors Golf Association Highlights Linden Lodge Foundation

USSGA Senior’s Spouse –
Marianne Kernan

By Paul Galvani
Kernans with RumsfeldMany Seniors and their spouses are deeply involved in charitable endeavors. One such person is Marianne Kernan, wife of our esteemed retired four star general, Buck Kernan. Both spouses in this family spend their lives serving others. In Marianne’s case, after years of involvement with military service organizations, she founded in 2010 Linden Lodge Foundation, an all volunteer organization, in the Pinehurst, N.C. area. The Foundation’s sole mission is to operate and sustain a 24/7, 365 day residential home for those with mental illness. This home offers a unique residential and rehabilitation program to assist adults that are diagnosed with a serious mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, major depression, or PTSD. An assembled team helps individuals successfully maintain psychiatric stability, pursue educational opportunities, and find meaningful employment where possible. The home provides volunteer opportunities in the local community, and takes advantage of onsite recreational, art, and music therapies, in addition to physical fitness and wellness programs.

The philosophy of the Foundation is that individuals learn to live life by actually living it! Unique to Linden Lodge is the belief that challenging and supportive work in a healthy environment can help residents understand their illnesses and learn to manage their symptoms and re-establish self-esteem, while reintegrating into the community. Residents participate in a variety of opportunities: gardening, agriculture, grounds keeping, and the pursuit of art and musical instrument opportunities. They also participate in educational programs through local institutions if they meet the educational prerequisites. A focus at Linden Lodge is on current and relevant community and world events and the opportunity to have social interaction and relationships by volunteering in the local communities. Marianne serves as the Foundation’s Executive Director.

It is the goal of the Linden Lodge Foundation to serve those individuals with brain illnesses that are currently receiving Social Security Benefits, Social Security Disability, and Medicaid/Medicare benefits. It is this population that is in greatest need of appropriate housing and services, as their income is well below the poverty level. The Linden Lodge is self-sustaining through fundraising and the Feherty & Kernancollection of personal and institutional donations and grants.

Three years ago while at the Masters with Buck as guests of Senior Larry Parker, Marianne met David Feherty. She learned that David suffers from bipolar disorder and understands well the needs of the mental health system. He offered to attend an annual fundraiser of Linden Lodge, and now has done so for three years. He spins yarns about golf and addresses mental health requirements. We all know David as a humorist and interviewer, and his communication skills have been a boon to Linden Lodge.
Marianne has received the North Carolina Governor’s Exemplary Volunteer Award, a Presidential citation for Public Service, and other honors for her outstanding work in dealing with mental illness.

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