There was laughter, song, congratulations, and a few tears shed on Chaddock’s campus on Sunday
June 6, as the Gene Simon Family Cottage was formally dedicated.
The dedication was held in conjunction with Chaddock’s annual Rose Tea, which over the years has become a favorite early summer event, bringing together Chaddock supporters from the local community and the surrounding area. This year’s event brought over 350 guests from all over the nation as Rev. Gene Simon was honored for his 30 years of leadership and dedication to the children of Chaddock.
Under the shade of a circus-sized white tent, the Chaddock choir sang, refreshments were served, and Debbie Reed, President/CEO of Chaddock, presented Gene with the “Harry and Carlene Geisler Friend of Children Award”. In her presentation, Debbie commented on Gene’s role in establishing Chaddock’s core values of Spirituality, Relationships, Responsibility, Learning, and Caring:
“These values, Gene, your values, remain alive and well in the organization you did so much to shape. And through those values, your legacy continues to impact the lives of literally thousands of children and families each and every year.”
Tours of the new cottage were offered, and Gene was greeted by a steady stream of friends and family until late in the afternoon.
The Gene Simon Family Cottage is a unique combination of therapeutic, environmental, and aesthetic elements. The design of the home is warm and welcoming, with deep porches, an open floor plan, and beautiful landscaping. Inside, the cottage houses 9 students, along with play areas, therapy rooms, and offices for staff. It is environmentally friendly, featuring rain gardens, energy-efficient windows and roofing, specially designed flooring and walls, and a geothermal climate control system.
It is, as Debbie Reed noted in her remarks, the first new construction on Chaddock’s campus in 20 years, and truly represents Gene’s legacy:
“For so many years, Gene, you had faith that this day would come. We are taught that faith the size of a mustard seed can grow into an amazing thing . . . and if I do say so myself, this cottage is pretty amazing, and it truly reflects your spirit ….Today, this cottage is being dedicated, not only to you, but to your entire family. They have been there with you throughout this amazing journey, and so they, too, will always be a part of Chaddock as we continue to offer hope and healing to children and families for generations to come.”
Today the first generation of those children is currently calling the Gene Simon Family Cottage home, and is enjoying the continued impact and legacy of a man who dedicated his life to their service.