To the Editor,

Wow – 10 Years of The Gathering Place serving families who have loved ones dealing with Memory Loss and what a privilege it has been to have this program available to Sheboygan County and beyond. So many participants (over 165 served) and families, creates a ripple effect throughout so many people’s lives of love and compassion given freely by volunteers, staff, St. Paul Lutheran Church (Sheboygan Falls) and so many friends to our program.

Starting with a request to Pastor Mark Janzen of where a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church could get respite from caring for her husband with dementia back in 2006 and then Pastor Mark investigating why we didn’t have these services offered in Sheboygan County, The Gathering Place idea was conceived. After over a year of planning with many wonderful people from the church, The Gathering Place opened their doors on Tuesday, April 8, 2008. At first the idea was to give respite to people caregiving for someone with memory loss, but then realized that their focus would be on the person or “participant” with memory loss and to make this an engaging, activity packed day, that became so much more than respite for families.

The participants and volunteers love the program because of all the activities, art, music, games, socializing, community service, entertainment and outings that are offered and sense of family that you get from being part of our program.

All of this wouldn’t be possible without our 100+ volunteers, with many still volunteering each week since the first day we opened in 2008. Because of their dedication we are now open 4 days a week, including our satellite location (Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1614 S 23rd St., Sheboygan) on Wednesdays.

We would love to have you stop in and see how this unique program in our county has grown on Tuesday, April 10th for an open house from 9:30 – 3:00 at 730 County Road PPP, Sheboygan Falls. You can also help our program continue to grow by donating to our “$10 on the 10th” campaign, by stopping in and dropping off a donation, or by mail, FB page or our website

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