On January 29, Friendship Home will be holding “The Groundbreaking Gala,” a fundraising event open to the public in hopes of being the final push to raising enough money to break ground on the Friendship Home facility.

Friendship Home will be located in Norwell, Mass. and aims to provide a safe environment for individuals with developmental disabilities to receive respite care and educational programming. Current programming includes recreational, social, and educational opportunities for adults with disabilities, but with the completion of the new facility, Friendship Home will be able to provide not only day and evening activities, but also overnight accommodations. Once completed, Friendship Home will be a two story, 12,600 square foot facility able to accommodate adults with disabilities for up to two weeks, giving them a safe and stimulating environment while providing respite for their caregivers.

The significance in a facility like Friendship Home is that most services for people with developmental disabilities drop off around the age of 22, since school programs provide a lot of help up until that age. Friendship Home, however, focuses on adults.

“It actually was started by two women, Wilma Goodhew and Joan Mullare, who are both parents of adult children with developmental disabilities. They spent a lot of time being very involved in advisory committees and parent support groups and through conversations with other families facing the same challenges, they decided to build a facility for programs and respite so if families had other things to attend to, their kids could have a safe, fun place to go” explained Lauren Payne, the Executive Director of Friendship Home, Inc., concerning the history of the group. Originally called The Friendship Club, Goodhew and Mullare’s community of friends would meet together for about four hours at a time, cooking meals, doing crafts, and participating in community service projects.

The fundraising event January 29 will be from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Indian Pond Country Club in Kingston. To purchase tickets for the event, which will be $100 a piece, visit www.friendshiphome.net.

Donated prizes for the event include a ride in the Goodyear Blimp, 4 Red Sox tickets and dinner with Time Rice, tickets to the U.S. Open, a trip to a vacation home in Nantucket, a signed guitar, and many others. Doris Buffet will also make an appearance, since part of the reason for the event was based on a challenge she set for Friendship Home.

“If we raise $450,000 by February 1st, she’ll give us an additional $250,000, which will allow us to finally break ground” Payne said.

About The Author

Liz McClendon is a two-time graduate of Virginia Tech and now spends her time traversing the internet, where she writes and continues her seemingly everlasting quest to be gainfully employed.

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