On Sunday, about 60 members, friends and others interested in the new Golden Years Club building, which is also the new home for the Helping Hands Food Ministry preparation and distribution center, a food pantry sponsored by the Brownstown Ministerial Alliance, gathered for the dedication of the new building.
In the Beginning
Pastor Don Thomas, who is the club’s president, welcomed all present and thanked them for sharing this special day of thanksgiving with the club.
He told the story of how the seemingly impossible task began as a vision that he shared with the Golden Years members.
He described how, in the vision, he was shown a new club building, complete with the floor plan, which he drew up himself, to present to the members.
Although the members were in awe, and little hesitant, to take on what seemed to be an impossible undertaking for the dreamed of, but much-needed, safe and easily accessible building
A Vote was Taken
“Ayes” were said, hands were raised in assent and the Golden Years members stepped out on faith to build a new club building.
As the plans became known to others, words of encouragement, actions and donations – both monetary and for such things as materials, spreading rock, new appliances for the new kitchen skilled labor – came in. And there were the volunteers, without which the work could not have been accomplished, nor without the prayers.
Thomas read a long list of the many who helped on the building, on every aspect and detail.
Volunteers who also went the extra mile were recognized, one of whom Thomas didn’t mention, himself, and Donnie Smail. Both worked many, many hours without complaint, nor desiring credit.
Generosity in both encouragement and monetary, was consistently given by Mr. and Mrs. Bill Voisen and the Rev. Jim and Erma Budlove.
Bill Voisen grew up in Brownstown and graduated from Brownstown High School. Although he has not lived here for many years, he remembers his boyhood days and the people who still live here, and continues to care about and support community projects. He is a good friend of the Golden Years Club.
The Budloves pledged to donate generously to the new building project very early in the planning, and they have done so faithfully. Although they make their home in California part of the year, they return to the area every spring.
Although they are miles away part of the year, their interest and concern about the Golden Years Club remains close to their hearts and in their prayers.
Another contributor deserving of special mention is Dee Dee Diveley, the club’s vice president and the spark plus that gets things going and finishes what is started. DeeDee started the ball rolling when she brought in donations of thousands of dollars by companies.
She also made batches of her coveted “Tiger Butter” and sold it, bringing in $500 to hand to Thomas.
Thomas also commented on the many who contributed anonymously and regularly.
The club treasurer, Smail, spoke on the building process and expressed thanks to all who helped in any way, including all volunteers and the laborers who met all of the required needs and are much appreciated.
Among the many local volunteers who helped in one way or another were Jeff Kelly, Warren Williams and Mannie Orr.
Diveley explained the donation container placed by the door. With the donations, the club is going to purchase two attractive outdoor benches in memory of Lucille Fisher and Shirley Klitzing, long-time members of the Golden Years Club. Benches of that type are very durable and can be seen about the area, at such places as Brookstone Estates Assisted Living in Vandalia and United Methodist Church in Brownstown.
Special Recognition …
… was given to David Arnold, who has worked professionally as a carpenter and cabinet builder.
Arnold worked many hours, sometimes into the late evening, refusing any compensation.
He told Thomas to just tell him what needed to be done and he would do it, which he did … and then some.
Thomas said that he thought Dave had worn out some of his tools, so he bought him a new set … of plastic toy drill, hammer, etc., complete with a plastic tool box in which to keep them.
As generous as he is humble, Dave was seen later sharing his gift with a small boy sitting at the table.
A special word of appreciation should be said for Dave’s wife, Nancy, for spending all those hours working on the building.
“The Building That Faith Built”
… is the title of a poem that Arnold (Brownstown’s resident Poet) wrote, describing the process of the project, from Thomas’s vision to the last nail being driven and the closing of the door as the labors finished their work.
Inspirational songs were sung by the Morrison family (Barb Morrison, Annette Morrison, Cindy White and Brittney White), Norma Walters and Jackie Wehrle.
Tim Smith showed a video of the food pantry in action, which is now on Faceebook.
And Special Mention for …
… the man who had a vision and the courage to share it will all – Pastor Don Thomas.
When there was some hesitation about taking on such a huge job, with only his vision and faith to go on, he infused that faith into the club and never stopped believing God would provide the way.
Thomas never gave up when things looked almost impossible. He spurred the club on, working hard to accomplish all that he and Smail could do, probably sometimes to the point of exhaustion.
Thomas always seemed to find the way to overcome any obstacles, by having faith, not in his own plan, but in God’s plan and in the helpers God provided for him.
It is more than a club room, but also a building to help feed people through the Helping Hands Food Ministry.
Much appreciation was expressed for all who helped in any way, but the bottom line is, to God be the glory for providing all things and all who helped.