The long anticipation was over.
We would open CooperRiis Healing Community on June 15th, 2003, after spending three years fundraising, building, and planning for that day. It would be an exciting day for us to see our dream become a reality. It was also an anxiety-ridden day as so many final details still needed to be managed and considered.
We celebrated with our staff on the evening before opening, June 14th, 2003. Four residents were admitted the next day, and the CooperRiis journey began. We would host an official Grand Opening in November of 2003.
Virgil and Lis Stucker were our founding executive director team. Ines and Markus Wullimann oversaw the farm and buildings and still work for us today. Mary Kreider was the nutritionist and executive chef and still consults for us. Sharon Young, Ph.D., was the clinical director and brought us the Seven Domains of Recovery, which is still our guiding principle.
Twenty years later, we have seen over 2,000 residents enter CooperRiis. Our program has expanded from the Therapeutic Farm Program in Mill Spring, NC to include the Intensive Clinical Program, CooperRiis at Asheville. In addition, the Asheville Community Program allows for residents’ community integration, and in July 2023, a Partial Hospitalization Program will open in downtown Asheville.
CooperRiis is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
We could not be prouder.
Don and Lisbeth Cooper