Lafayette Corps Officer,  Major Jim Irvine accepted a $5,000 donation yesterday from Ernest Health, Inc. at a ground breaking ceremony for a new rehabilitation hospital in Lafayette, Indiana.

In receiving the gift, Major Irvine said, “I stand tall on the shoulder of [SalvationArmy] officers of yesteryear like Major Ernest Toplis who blazed the trail of selfless service to others before me.    Because of Major Toplis’ quiet servanthood, people in need here in Tippecanoe County will benefit from the generosity of Ernest Health.”

Several local representatives, including Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski and State Rep. Sheila Klinker were among those who attended and enjoyed an unusually warm first day of spring for the outdoor ground breaking on the 16-acre property – the first facility located in the midwest for Ernest Health. Known for promoting “a healing and nurturing environment”, Ernest Health “has a charitable intent to support the Salvation Army in the markets where it has an operational presence, in that the Company is name in honor Major Ernest Robert Toplis, who spent his lifetime helping those in need as an officer in The Salvation Army (”

The ground breaking ceremony began with a word of prayer followed by Ernest Health CEO Darby Brockette, who shared, “If you hadn’t noticed, it’s ok to pray in our facilities. We believe in the healing power of God.”

Scheduled to open Winter 2013, Lafayette Regional Rehabilitation Hospital will provide specialized rehabilitative services for patients with functional deficits as a result of debilitating illnesses or injuries.