This past Saturday, June 21st, 2014, we celebrated Founder’s Day at Alexian Brothers Bonaventure House. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Bonaventure House, the first of our three sites.
We celebrated the event with food, music, and a handful of speeches. Our executive director, Cheryl Potts, welcomed everyone to the event. Brother Tom Klein offered a prayer over the meal, and our spiritual care coordinator, Bridget Purdome, shared some reflections with all of us on finding the valuable things in life that are often simply overlooked.
We were most thankful that guest Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President, offered a few words reflecting on the decades of work done since the AIDS crisis began, the progress that’s been made, and the vital work around HIV that continues now. Current and former residents also spoke, sharing their struggles and highlighting the difference that Bonaventure House has made for them.
We gave out three awards to honor those who have supported Alexian Brothers Housing and Health Alliance. The Alexian Award of Excellence was given to the Ignatian Spirituality Group, which has offered powerful retreat experiences to our residents, staff, and interns. The President’s Award was given to Monika High of the Heartland Alliance, who has been a dedicated advocate for clients in our Community Housing program. And the Volunteer Service Award was given to Laura Howard, who has worked with our spiritual care team to lead groups, mentor interns, and support residents one-on-one.
On this 25th anniversary, we look back at our past and look forward to our future. We’re proud that the Alexian Brothers stepped up to provide care for those with AIDS when others hesitated. We’re proud that we’ve been able to expand our organization with The Harbor in Waukegan and Betterndorf Place on the south side of Chicago. We’re proud too that our Community Housing program, working with landlords to provide affordable housing throughout the Chicago area, continues to grow rapidly.
Thank you to everyone who came out and made the event this weekend a success, and thank you to everyone who has made Alexian Brothers Housing and Health Alliance a success for the past 25 years. We’re excited about the next 25.