Giving to Spring Lake Ranch

What People Are Saying...

  • The things that I learned from the Ranch and the people there, on how to maintain a healthy life are tools that I use daily. They taught me to care for myself first and my family and friends next. It's difficult to do this sometimes, but I know that I can now--thanks to Spring Lake Ranch.


  • Having had a couple of years away from the Ranch working as a provider in various settings, I am more than ever convinced that Spring Lake Ranch occupies an important niche in the world of mental health care institutions.

    Former Staff

  • Spring Lake Ranch was the first place where positive thoughts began to come back into my life... I began to believe I could make it after all.


  • I look back on my years spent at Spring Lake Ranch as a time when hope was beginning to come back into my life. Working hard focused my mind on something other than my problems, and the respectful treatment I received from the staff was very healing.


  • I want to thank you and all your staff at Spring Lake Ranch for your efforts with my son. You have the best program I've seen, and I've seen a lot.


  • Spring Lake Ranch has been a real stabilizing factor in my life. The residents as well as the staff provide the kind of support needed to gain self-esteem and self-confidence. It is the kind of atmosphere where true healing can take place.


  • While clearing saplings, I took time to look around at all of the other crew members, from all walks of life, struggling to various degrees with their illnesses. And yet they were still pushing on to do their jobs together, and helping each other. It was great to see, and gave me inspiration that even on my worst days, there are others feeling bad but are able to push on. It helped me pick it up a notch.


  • I recall receiving a Worker of the Month award. The crew leader said she initially wondered if I would even show up for crew, but in the end the crew leader was able to leave me in charge of the crew. I felt very good about this, and took pride in the hard work.


  • The routine and work made sense. It helped to begin to sort out what was real and what was not real. This was the first place I ever got dirt under my nails.


  • I valued opportunities to talk to other residents about their experiences with their illnesses, and how they coped. This helped during my recovery: to know others are going through similar things.


  • When I arrived I quickly felt that I was safe, and that people cared about me. I was immediately welcomed into the community. There is a family feeling, teamwork, and togetherness at the Ranch.


  • Feeling a part of a team and community, remembering special events; that made me feel very special, and part of a family.


  • I value the community at the Ranch, the feeling of complete freedom that comes with the ability to express oneself in a way which is both personal and comfortable.


  • Different staff members were helpful, helped me grow, let me show that I can be a productive member of society. They treated me on the same level as them.


  • The Ranch does a good job of getting people up and out of bed and motivated to participate when you don’t think you are up for it. The staff is sincere and wants to help you.


  • I felt that I was treated like an equal, and not looked down upon because of my illness.


  • Long term staff went beyond the call of duty to help me when I was struggling. They would take time out to talk to me and help me resume my activities. I felt the best when I felt listened to and taken seriously by the staff. I felt that the staff treated me as a person and equal, and not a patient. I have been to other programs but at the Ranch the staff is not just staff.


  • I had to learn to take responsibility for myself. I struggled with working on the woods crew. I didn’t want to do it. With the help of my advisors, I learned it was not just about doing what you want to do, but learning to do what is needed of you.


  • We have fun together as a community: playing pool, the gym, tennis, softball, pottery, etc. Staff can motivate, inspire, and be role models. Plus they know how to have a good time.


  • The steadiness of working with your body on the land, that's what feeds you, gives you an internal locus of control, gets you up in the morning.


  • A deep, heartfelt extension of gratitude for all of the caring, warmth, and community you have given to my son. The joy of witnessing him coming back to his true nature is immeasurable. The beauty here is incredible, in more ways than one.


According to the National Institute of Health a full quarter of the U.S. population 18 and older suffer from a diagnosable mental illness each year. Approximately 6% of Americans have very serious forms of mental illness that have devastating affects on their lives. In addition, incidence of drug and alcohol abuse is extremely high among people trying to cope with mental illness. The effects of these illnesses on individuals and their families is debilitating and often long-term. This is why we need your help.

Ways of Giving to Spring Lake Ranch

Since 1932, Spring Lake Ranch has been a place of refuge and recovery for men and women with severe mental illness and addictions. Our mission is to offer opportunities for recovery and to improve wellbeing through shared work and community life in a safe and accepting environment, both in Cuttingsville and Rutland, Vermont.

As a private non-profit organization we derive our income from fees, contributions from donors, proceeds from the sale of Ranch-made products, and a small amount of insurance reimbursement. Spring Lake Ranch relies on the generous financial support of our friends, former residents and families to maintain and improve our programs and infrastructure and to provide financial help to residents whose families have limited means. Here are some of the ways you can help.


Annual Fund

Each year we appeal to friends and families to make a financial contribution to Spring Lake Ranch. These gifts are primarily allocated to the Wayne & Elizabeth Sarcka Scholarship Fund, named for our founders, which provides financial aid to those who need the services of the Ranch but do not have the resources to pay the full fee. If you wish to mail a donation, your check should be made payable to Spring Lake Ranch and mailed to: 1169 Spring Lake Rd., Cuttingsville, VT 05738. Gifts to our Annual Fund may also be made through a secure online donation, or by making a donation of stock. We welcome gifts made in honor or in remembrance of a friend or family member. A card will be sent out to notify the honoree or family of your donation in their name.

The Wells Endowment Fund


Our endowment fund was established in 1992 to honor Michael & Phyllis Wells, who have made such a long and outstanding contribution to the Ranch, Michael as director for 35 years and Phyllis as financial manager and advisor to many residents. The endowment has grown substantially since then. Our hope is to continue to build the endowment through bequests, major gifts and planned giving. A portion of the income from the endowment will be used to support operations and financial aid each year.


Enni's Legacy Circle

Enni's Legacy Circle was named for Enni Ahonen, a former cook and long-time friend of Spring Lake Ranch who surprised all of us when she left a bequest of $46,000 to us in 1993. She was a person of simple means who loved the Ranch. By naming this group after Enni, we hope to show that anyone can make a bequest, no matter how large or small.

This honorary group was established to acknowledge friends who have made a provision for Spring Lake in their wills or established a planned gift for the future. Over the years we have had many friends leave bequests to the Ranch. We are so grateful for the foresight and the confidence in the Ranch that those donors had. Our only regret is that we were unable to thank them for their wonderful support, because we did not know about the gift until it was too late. This Legacy Circle gives us an opportunity to show our appreciation now for those who have made a plan to give to Spring Lake Ranch in the future. If you have already made a provision for Spring Lake Ranch in your will, we would love to have you become a member of Enni's Legacy Circle.


The simplest way for you to make a lifetime gift to Spring Lake Ranch is in your will. Bequests are exempt from estate taxation and allow for a much larger gift than might be possible during the donor's lifetime. A bequest can be a fixed dollar amount, a percentage of the estate, or a remainder after other recipients are named. Bequests can be authorized when drawing up a new will or added as a codicil to an existing will. All unrestricted bequests and planned gifts are incorporated into the Wells Endowment Fund for Spring Lake Ranch.

Planned Gifts

We would be happy to assist you with any questions you might have regarding planned giving. For more information please contact Lynn Pilcher at 802-492-3322, or email

Spring Lake Ranch Annuity

With an Annuity gift donors support Spring Lake Ranch by making a gift of cash or marketable securities. In exchange, Spring Lake Ranch guarantees to pay a fixed income for life based on the suggested annuity rates set forth by the American Council on Gift Annuities. A portion of the income paid out will be tax free. Upon the death of the annuitant, the Ranch retains the remaining principle. An annuity agreement may include payments for a second life, such as a spouse. The older the annuitant, the higher the level of income.


Gifts of Life Insurance or Retirement Funds

Another way to give a lasting gift is by leaving retirement accounts or life insurance policies to the Ranch. The simplest way to leave a retirement account to us after your lifetime is to list Spring Lake Ranch on the beneficiary form provided by your plan administrator. If you prefer to make your spouse the primary beneficiary of the retirement account, you can name the Ranch as the secondary beneficiary. Never make a beneficiary change, however, before discussing your desires with your professional advisor.

Trust Arrangements

A Charitable Remainder Gift makes Spring Lake the final beneficiary of a trust set up for the maintenance of an individual or a group of individuals. In the right circumstances, this plan can increase your income, reduce your taxes, unlock appreciated investments, rid you of investment worries and ultimately provide very important support. A variety of other forms of trust are available which address specific estate needs. A lawyer or financial advisor can help you find the most suitable gift arrangement.

The information on this site is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or your tax professional.