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Everyone here has a purpose

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As you sat down with a cup of coffee and your morning paper (or tablet) on Sunday, June 26th, you were treated to some very good news, indeed. On the front page of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was the hopeful headline, “Everybody has a purpose,” followed by a story explaining how St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care, our clients, staff and donors live out that statement on a daily basis.

Journalist Crocker Stephenson, who covers Milwaukee urban affairs and city government for the Journal Sentinel, sat down with St. Ann Center President Sister Edna Lonergan at the Bucyrus Campus last week. The interview focused on her vocation, her vision and how it has resulted in two unique-in-the-nation intergenerational day cares. It also pointed out that $3.5 million remains to be raised to complete the Bucyrus Campus, including an Alzheimer’s and dementia care unit, respite center, indoor swimming pool and outdoor band shell.

“No matter the frailty or dementia, everyone here has a purpose, everybody needs a sense of purpose. Everybody. It doesn’t matter what degree of dementia they have. It doesn’t matter what age they are. What disability they have. Everyone needs a sense of purpose. Everybody.” – Sr. Edna Lonergan

Stephenson returned the next morning with photographer Michael Sears to capture the daycare children, adult clients, volunteers and staff in action. The Bucyrus Campus was a beehive of activities. Under the direction of Intergenerational Activity Director Wanda Gray, the kids from the Lion classroom circled up with the adults for a friendly game of kick ball. In the adult day program room, the generations shared an uplifting exercise, bouncing beach balls off a colorful parachute. Down the hall, in the chapel, a flock of 2-year-old “Meerkats” clambered into chairs beside the adults to listen to stories. The story Miss Geneva, on the sunny side of 70 years old, read was a fairy tale that ended with the secret to happiness…that’s no secret at St. Ann Center.

Read the story on jsonline.com

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