The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday June 27th

Chapel Hill resident gardens to fund dog therapy program at N.C. Children's Hospital

Creighton Moeller, founder of Project Stackhouse, plants flowers outside of his Chapel Hill home to benefit the therapy dog program at UNC Children's Hospital.
Buy Photos Creighton Moeller, founder of Project Stackhouse, plants flowers outside of his Chapel Hill home to benefit the therapy dog program at UNC Children's Hospital.

If you drive by his home at 12 Elmstead Place, you will see more than 7,000 tulips and daffodils covering the 1,300 square foot patch formally known as Moeller’s yard.

“I have spent too much time in the past creating the perfect lawn only to see it turn to dust every summer,” Moeller said in an email to his friends and neighbors.

Moeller said he plans to use his garden to raise money for the N.C. Children’s Hospital, and asks anyone who comes to see the flowers to leave a donation and a note for the children in the box he has set up.

A hundred percent of donations will go to the hospital’s therapy dog program.

The plan has been named Project Stackhouse after the Moeller family’s own dog, whom Moeller refers to as a third child.

Moeller teamed up with Sherry Buckles, who handles donations at the hospital.

“We’re honored to be the beneficiary of Project Stackhouse,” Buckles said.

Buckles said therapy dogs help relieve stress and bring an air of calmness to the patients at the hospital.

“We can all do something to help somebody,” Moeller said. “The goal is to put smiles on kid’s faces.”

In his email to friends and neighbors, Moeller encouraged everyone to enjoy the flowers and vowed to invite anyone who donated $500 to dinner at his home — with his handmade luxury chocolate for dessert.

“Make a marriage proposal. Have a wedding. Do yoga or cartwheels in front. But, please, bring your checkbook,” Moeller said.

Moeller said his efforts have already raised several hundred dollars and hopes to gain national attention to raise even more.

“I’ve handwritten a letter to President and Mrs. Obama inviting them for dinner and a visit to N.C. Children’s Hospital,” he said.

Moeller said he wanted to give the money to N.C. Children’s Hospital because although he had an illness-free childhood, not everyone is that fortunate.

But Moeller had to have two hernia operations in two years, one partially related to his gardening effort, during which he has to lift heavy bags of soil.

“I’m 65, and I’ve never had to stay overnight in the hospital,” he said. “I’m so lucky.”

Project Stackhouse was kept secret until recently. Moeller said even his wife was in the dark as to what was going on in the yard.

Moeller’s neighbor Greg Andeck said the neighborhood was very curious as they saw plants being placed in more than a thousand biodegradable fabric pots.

“Every day more and more people stop by to see the flowers and make donations,” Andeck said. “Hopefully it’ll become an annual tradition.”

city@dailytarheel.com



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