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CAP employees and volunteers who helped in the renovation gather for the ribbon cutting at the Foley Mission Center.
CAP celebrates new Foley Mission Center
A dream came true for CAP in February when the Louis T. Foley Mission Center was dedicated in Floyd County. This state-of-the art facility can house 120 volunteers for short-term service experiences, such as WorkFest and YouthFest. And this is just one of its many uses. Harold Underwood, CAP Volunteer Life and Group Manager for the Sandy Valley Region, is especially pleased to see the fruition of this two-year project that had been envisioned even before that. “It is giving us a very safe, comfortable, accommodating place to house many short-term volunteers,” he says. “We were so limited before with how many volunteers we can take.” It’s the “comfortable” that Volunteer Program Director Kathleen Leavell is especially excited about. She recalls that in CAP’s earlier days, volunteers would sometimes ask Father Beiting why they should sleep in such a nice bed when the people they served didn’t have that luxury. Kathleen remembers Father Beiting saying, “I don’t want you worrying about meeting your own needs here. I want you focused on serving others.” “I think it’s wonderful to be able to give these volunteers what Father wanted to allow them to really serve,” she says. Volunteers benefit CAP in more ways than the service they provide. “The more volunteers who come and get to know the families and what they’re truly like, the more we will hopefully dispel any stereotypes that are still out there,” she says, acknowledging the still national lack of understanding of the Appalachian region. “Volunteers often come thinking they are bringing a strong and healing Christ to those who are hurting and they are shocked and humbled at the strength and faith of the people they meet.” Sharing their stories at home make volunteers ambassadors not only for CAP, but for the entire Appalachian region. The center will provide a meeting place for CAP and community organization gatherings. Harold says the facility will also be a location for larger CAP gatherings as well as for use by community and nonprofit groups. In addition, the natural disasters of the past few years have pointed to the need for a larger facility that might temporarily serve as a shelter, if required.
Long-term volunteer Jim Osterlund is also forward-thinking when it comes to uses of the center. Jim has been the primary person coordinating the renovation of the new mission center, formerly the Mountain Christian Academy. “I think we really need to stretch ourselves and see how it can be used,” he says. “It needs to be a true community center to support a variety of activities.” He sees that leading to more people in eastern Kentucky knowing about CAP’s work. Besides providing those uses, the building also serves as an example of how a building can be “repurposed” to serve a local need. Although CAP did hire a few contractors, Jim coordinated the renovation primarily using volunteers. He also put to use donated materials, such as boxes of tile. He says his biggest reward has been seeing the entire project come together. WorkFest volunteers were the first to use the center. Then Harold prepared for the arrival of a church and school group that planned to bring 120 volunteers for YouthFest. Much of the thanks for the center goes to the two largest donors for the project, The James Graham Brown Foundation and Louis T. Foley, a regular CAP donor who remembered CAP generously in his estate. The dream is a reality that many have taken part in and will continue to use as CAP’s mission moves forward.
The Volunteer Office has moved to the former Healing Rain building, which some alumni remember as the Mt. Vernon House. Stop by and say hello if you’re in town.
WorkFest crews served in two new locations this year: Laurel Lake Baptist Camp in Whitley County, from where volunteers completed eight projects in McCreary County, and the Foley Mission Center in Floyd County, from where crews worked on projects in Johnson, Floyd, Lawrence and Knott Counties. Thirty-six colleges and 62 alumni participated.
YouthFest was held at the Foley Mission Center with 10 high school groups and 27 alumni participating.
The Volunteer Program has a new volunteer recruiter, second-year volunteer Daniel Landesman. Daniel, who previously served in the Housing program, began his service in the Volunteer Office in January. He’ll be visiting colleges and speaking with prospective volunteers through December, 2013. Daniel joins four other long-term volunteers who “serve those who serve” as volunteer group hosts and in administrative roles in the Volunteer Program. You can expect to hear from Daniel this spring and fall if you have volunteered to attend recruiting events on behalf of CAP.
Summer Camp 2013 will be held at Camp Shawnee from June 3 to July 26 and at Camp Andrew Jackson from June 17 to August 2. Summer camp counselors, lifeguards, and RNs and LPNs are still needed, so spread the word to candidates through Facebook, a Tweet, or with a bulletin announcement. See website for details.
In January, the Family Life Abuse Center (FLAC) and Sandy Valley Abuse Center (SVAC) participated in the annual Shop & Share initiative through Kroger, Food City stores or both. The initiative took place in 11 of the 13 counties CAP serves. The shelters received more than $10,000 in supplies (paper towels, shampoo, soap, food items, etc.) and nearly $3,000 in gift cards and cash. The Shop & Share program was initiated by Kentucky First Lady, Jane Beshear, in partnership with the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, to promote community support for domestic violence shelters across the Commonwealth.
Where They are Now: Steve and Kathy Peterson
When Steve Peterson, ’91-’93, reflects back on his service with CAP, he says, “That was a very defining moment that really changed the trajectory in my life.” One of the reasons for that was the experience of living and working in a strong spiritual community. Steve served in Outreach Services for Lincoln and Casey Counties and worked alongside CAP employee Wanda Penman. “Those were insanely fun times. She had such a great rapport with the people,” he says. While Steve’s base was Lincoln County, Kathy Tomsho Peterson, ’91 – ’93, lived in Rockcastle County and Lincoln County and served with the School on Wheels program. After completing their volunteer time, Steve and Kathy married and lived and worked in Harlan for four years before moving to Elkhart, Ind., Steve’s hometown. He’s now the Assistant Director of Bands for Concord High School, his alma mater. The couple has two children, 11-year-old Adam and 8-year-old Jacob. Kathy is working with an organization that Steve describes as very “CAPesque.” She’s Mentor Coordinator/Trainer, Career Counselor & Getting Ahead Facilitator for Church Community Services in Elkhart which has multiple programs, like CAP. Kathy works specifically with Soup of Success (SOS). It’s a job skills program for women that helps them gain the skills and work experience they need to move out of poverty.
Steve and Kathy continue to give back and serve in ways that are rooted in their volunteer experience. Steve says, “That was such a unique collection of people.” Today, he still calls them his best friends. At least once a year, Steve likes to share with his students the story of his volunteer days. Recently, one student, Johnathan Hylkema, was so impressed with the story that he asked for more information about CAP. Today, Johnathan is a home repair volunteer with CAP. If you would like to suggest future interviewees for this feature, please send their names to Amy Schill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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John Keane, ’92-’93, married Angela (Dobbs) in January in Louisville’s Cathedral of the Assumption. Many CAP friends joined them for the celebration, including: (Front row) Erin Lennon, ’97-’99, Scott and Sharon Gould ’94-’95, Trish Salchert, ’92-’93, AnnMarie Stuber, ’92-’93 and Anna Brannen, ’98-’00; (second row) Gerry Faust, ’92-’93, Ken Stuber, ’90-’92, Mary McNamara, ’94-’96, Bridget Cohee-Nevin, ’92-’94, Beth Healander, ’93-’94, Dan Lennon, ’97-’99, and Joe Brannen, ’99-’00; (third row) Matt Rossman, ’96, Casey Sterr, ’86-’87, Jeff Healander, ’93-’94, Ursula Rossman, ’96-’97, Chris Almond, ’92-’93, John Lennon, ’92-’94, Mike, ’92-’93 and Kate McNamara; and in the last row, Joe Salchert. Many CAP children also joined their families. Sister Marguerite Blackburn, SSJ, ’96-’97 was recently recognized by Green Mountain Foster Grandparent Program for her 15 years of service working as a library assistant at Christ the King School in Rutland, Vermont. She has been working with Vermont children for 61 years. Becky (Bordner) Perotti ’97-’00 and her husband, Matt, celebrated Christmas with their daughter Julianna Grace, born March 31, 2012. They live in Butler, Pa., where they are resident managers in a transitional housing facility for homeless families. Becky is a part-time, self-employed contractor for the facility, using the home repair skills she first learned from Lloyd Rice in her time at CAP. 2000s CAP friends Caitlin Elsik, ’09-’11, Mark Anderson, ’09-’10, Bridget Gaffney, ’08-’09, Kristen Kniepkamp, Camp Shawnee ’07-’09, and Shannon Hoffman, ’08-’09 got together for a weekend reunion in St. Louis in November. The group enjoyed reminiscing about good times at Camp Shawnee and couldn’t resist some trampoline dodge ball.
CAP Connection is published three times a year by the CAP Volunteer Program. If you have news to share or story ideas to suggest, please send them to one of the following:
Beth Dotson Brown, ’90 – ’91 Contributing Editor
Amy Schill, '03-’05 Manager of Admissions and Recruitment
Kathy Kluesener, ’73 – ’80 Admissions Coordinator
Kathleen Leavell, ’76 – '78 Director of Volunteers/Christian Partners