After several years of planning and fundraising, the St. Louis Center finally celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony for St. Louis Guanella Village with about 275 of their closest friends on Thursday, September 29, 2016. The “Village” is considered an “intentional community,” with the construction of four new children’s homes immediately for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The “Village” will also include other segments of homes and townhomes for people with I/DD and their families. In spite of the rain soaked evening, supporters came from far and wide to enjoy a fine selection of hors d’oeuvres provided by Food Art, Inc. and speeches from key supporters and local dignitaries. Development Director Peggy Cole was moved that the time had finally arrived to sink shovels into the ground. “We owe this moment to our many supporters who see St. Louis Center as a bright light that is leading the way for others. We have many hard working committee members who share our dream of the St. Louis Guanella Village, and have worked to make this happen.”
Speakers included Howdy Holmes, Norm & Kathi Neuman, Judy Dow Rumelhart, Will Johnson, Judy Greenbaum, John Thorhauer, and Congressman Tim Walberg (R-7th Dist.). Fr. Joseph Rinaldo provided the ceremonial blessing of the ground on stage, and Fr. Enzo Addari introduced the next generation of Servants of Charity priests who had just arrived from India. “Our theme for tonight was Building and Moving Forward. This represents the continuation of Fr. Guanella’s dream now and into the future for our religious community. Our goal remains to be the best provider of compassionate care for residents with I/DD in Michigan, and to St. Louis Guanella Village will allow us to accomplish that dream.” For more information about St. Louis Center, please visit www.stlouiscenter.org or find us on Facebook.