Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

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Keefer Creek Baptist Church Adopts Byron Health Center Residents For Holiday

The residents and staff of Byron Health Center will celebrate Thanksgiving a little early again this year thanks to the generosity of the Keefer Creek Baptist Church congregation. Keefer Creek Baptist Church congregation members will serve a Holiday meal to residents and staff of Byron Health Center on Monday, November 23rd and Tuesday, November 24th.

What started out in 2000 as a collaborative effort between several Byron Health Center staff members and Kathy Prentice of Keefer Creek Baptist Church, to celebrate a simple Thanksgiving dinner with a few residents who had no immediate family with which to enjoy the Holiday has now become a two-day, family-style feast encompassing all facility residents and staff along with dozens of congregation members. Many Keefer Creek families travel for over an hour to attend the event. Some from as far away as Spencerville, Bluffton or Cecil, OH. Luckily, they are all quite familiar with the Byron Health Center Eakin Family Room. Not only does the annual Thanksgiving celebration take place in the Eakin Family Room, but each week, for just over twenty years now, Keefer Creek Baptist Church has celebrated Sunday worship in the same space.

Planning efforts of the Keefer Creek Baptist Church congregation members began several weeks in advance of the event. While some congregation families volunteer to purchase and prepare food, other families make plans to ‘host’ a table of residents, which then became their adopted family for the evening. The main meal’s menu consists of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, rolls with butter, deviled eggs and a variety of cheese. Several different homemade pies, cookies and other baked goods are then made available for dessert.

Still other congregation members, mostly the many talented congregational youth, rehearse to entertain the gathering with song and instrument. While Prentice synchronizes the efforts of preparing and distributing the holiday banquet, Anna Stombaugh will coordinate both of the evening’s many singing and musical recitals. Many individuals and groups will display their musical talents throughout the evening with singing, piano playing and even the strumming of guitars.

“We are blessed to be a part of this wonderful event and look forward to this special celebration of Thanksgiving each year,” said Reverend Mike Lederman, pastor at Keefer Creek Baptist Church. “We are thankful for being together.”

Byron Health Center provides compassionate long-term care for adults with complex needs including physical, mental, emotional and neurological services which meet the needs of both young and older adults. Each resident is recognized as an individual with unique needs who seeks and deserves to reach his or her optimal potential. Byron Health Center and Byron Residential Center continue a tradition of over 160 years of serving the long-term health care needs of Indiana residents. Byron Health Center is licensed to provide intermediate and skilled nursing care while Byron Residential Center provides assisted living services to individuals who are more independent and are able to live in a residential setting.