Q-and-A With Peter Wilderotter, president and CEO, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
The Life Rolls On Foundation and Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation announced recently that the two spinal cord injury-focused organizations would merge and the Life Rolls On Foundation, based in Los Angeles, will serve as the West Coast headquarters and division of the Reeve Foundation.
The Reeve Foundation is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to finding cures and treatments for spinal cord injuries and improving the lives of people living with paralysis. Life Rolls On, founded by Jesse and Josh Billauer, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for young people affected by spinal cord injury and uses action sports as a platform to inspire possibilities despite paralysis.
FundRaising Success had a chance to speak with Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Reeve Foundation, about the merger, how it will affect the work both organizations have been doing, and the challenges and benefits of such unions.
FundRaising Success: What prompted this merger? Was it at all influenced by the tough economic times?
Peter Wilderotter: The times certainly had a part in it, but we have been in discussions with them for several years and we realized that they have a younger demographic, a great program of "they will surf again" that we would like to expand to take in all activities and interests as we expand the reach and goals of our Quality of Life Program.
FS: What are some of the goals you hope to accomplish with the merger?
PW: Create a community with a stronger and more effective reach that reflects the largesse of our community: 1,275,000 as recently identified in our prevalence study
FS: To what extent will both organizations merge programs, services and mission? Will they operate as separate entities with two names or join under one name?
PW: We will operate under the Reeve banner and infrastructure — Life Rolls On will become a division under Reeve, keep some board members and recruit new ones, and expand the programs and efficiencies of the Life Rolls On program and brand.