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Published on 06/01/05 in the Fostoria Focus
Good Shepherd honors its helpers at annual Auxiliary and Volunteer Lunch

By LEONARD SKONECKI Focus Correspondent

“You are the people who raise up the spirits of our residents.”

Volunteers are a big part of the motor that makes the Good Shepherd Home go. GSH Administrator Chris Widman expressed the home’s appreciation to those volunteers at the annual Auxiliary and Volunteer Luncheon May 25.

Over 100 persons attended the event which is GSH’s thank you to everyone who donates time and energy to the residents.

Approximately 150 volunteers regularly serve Good Shepherd’s residents by playing music, helping on outings, assisting with activities, just visiting and many other ways. The Auxiliary raises money that goes to fund projects that directly benefit residents.

Auxiliary funds have paid all or part of the cost of such things as beauty shop supplies, bird aviaries, chapel renovation, activity department supplies and more. The annual GSH Auxiliary Bazaar is its primary fund-raiser. Last year it earned $7,000.

Following the pork chop and chicken lunch and entertainment by the New Riegel High show choir, Chris reported on the progress of the renovation that has been going on at the home for the past year and a half.

The renovation has occasioned a lot of adjustment for many months now. The business office, some nurses and other functions have been moved to the lower level.

“We realize all the inconvenience that everyone has had to endure,” said Chris. “But when it’s finished, we will have a great facility for our people to live in.”

The renovation has increased Good Shepherd’s size from 60,000 to 90,000 square feet. Most of that increase will be utilized for offices, activity space and an increased number of private rooms.

Good Shepherd has added five additional beds, these being purchased from Autumnwood in Tiffin.
“The additional space will help us to better accommodate the people we serve,” Chris said.

Some of the renovation’s features include an indoor area designed to simulate sitting out on the front porch except that it can be used year-round and a “Main Street.”

The Main Street will include a media room, library, new beauty shop, deli-bakery and a general store. The new main entrance has wide, automatic doors as well as Good Shepherd’s logo in the floor.

Changes won’t stop when the renovation does. In September, GSH intends to begin an “Island Project.” This will redesign the area in front of the home to include a canopied picnic and sitting area and wheelchair-friendly walkways so families can take in the nice weather.

In other doings, GSH recently passed a state inspection and so did the home’s van. However, the van is 10 years old and needs replacing.

Activity Director Cindy Swartz heads up fund-raising for the new van.

“We need a new van that has the latest safety features and that will make it easier to transport our residents on outings. We feel it’s important to get them out into the community as often as we can,” she said.

Following the luncheon, the auxiliary held its annual business meeting. The main item brought before the membership by President Helen Leonard was a recommendation to donate $5,000 to the van fund which was approved. The fund now has $11,583. The cost of a new van is estimated at approximately $40,000.

In addition, the auxiliary voted to restock the general store (formerly the gift shop) and the beauty shop.
When the renovation is complete, roughly 60 residents will change rooms. Once all the work is finished, Good Shepherd will host an open house so the public can come and see why all that construction out on Columbus Avenue was worth all the time and effort.


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