ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JOE SMUCKER
For one year, children have been playing, singing, painting, learning and making noise at the old Goessel Medical Center building.
Members of the community gathered March 3 to dedicate the building and celebrate the first anniversary of Joyful Noise Child Care Center and to thank those who have made it happen.
On that Sunday afternoon, children sang songs, Pastor Jim Dunn gave a prayer of dedication, visitors chatted, enjoyed refreshments and looked at art hanging on the walls.
JNCCC Board president Laura Dailey hesitated to try and name all the volunteers who have gotten the church-supported institution going, for fear of leaving people out.
“I guess the critical ones we want to thank are the four major sponsors,” she said, referring to plumber Rod Loucks, electrician Fred Schmidt, architect Wallis Schultz and physican Stephen Cranston who donated the building to the non-profit group.
“Their volunteer work and gifts made it possible to have this facility ready for children.”
Dailey also acknowledged a major grant from the Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services, which provided funds for the remodeling, equipment and other expenses during this critical first year.
Joyful Noise grew out of work by the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church Outreach Committee, which saw a need for child care in Goessel. Alexanderwohl is still a financial supporter of the Center.
Volunteers from throughout the community have torn out carpeting, moved walls, reshingled the roof, built fencing and done many other tasks to make the old medical center kid-friendly.
Director Sandy Thompson echoed Dailey’s gratitude, saying that her dreams for the coming year are for the number of children enrolled to continue to grow, and to have more volunteers from the community come help at the Center.
“We especially have room for more toddlers, the 1- to 21/2-year-olds,” she said. “We could use volunteers to come in and cook, help teachers, read to kids or do activities with them.”
The board of directors of Joyful Noise are Laura Dailey, Dwight J. Flaming, Barb Goering, Tim Goertzen, Deena Schmidt, Sharon Unruh and Verda Wedel.
Currently, 21 children receive care at the center, which is managed by three full- or part-time staff, including Thompson.