Donors, supporters and friends, including the Coach Lou Henson and Kendall Gill families, gathered at Cunningham Children's Home on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 for the dedication and ribbon cutting for the Rosann Gelvin Noel Education Center (NEC) and the Coach Lou and Mary Henson Gymnasium (Henson Gym). The special events took place in the 50,100 square foot facility.
You give $100, we get $200…you give $500, we get $1,000…you give $1,000, we get $2,000. YOU GET THE IDEA.
Johnco, Inc., Construction Supervisor Scott Saunders didn’t quite get the reaction he was expecting when he gave the Cunningham kitchen staff a tour of the space that will soon be the kitchen and cafeteria in the Education and Recreation Center (ERC).
“Some of them actually cried,” he said.
All those years of serving meals to Cunningham kids from an outdated and tired kitchen are coming to a close. But the tears weren’t about that; the tears were about having a facility where they can better help our kids grow and be healthy and live better lives.
Coach Lou Henson and Illini great Kendall Gill remain two of our greatest advocates. They understand the importance of our work—to provide a safe place where youth who have suffered abuse, neglect or extreme trauma can heal, learn and grow.
"Wake up, Shawna," Allison prompted. "Why don't you come play this game with us?" Shawna struggled to open her eyes as her head slumped down on the table in Cunningham's Recreation Center. Just a bit earlier, she'd been running around her classroom, jumping on top of chairs; but now the summer heat had stopped her in her tracks.