Many visitors stopped by the United Presbyterian Home last weekend as the Washington High School classes of 1969 and 1974 held class reunions in the area. Janet Ray of Jackson Heights, New York, visited her sister, Carol Ray, along with many longtime Washington friends while in town for the reunion. Audra Williams welcomed visits from both of her sons, Mike Williams of Camdenton, Missouri, and Joe Williams from Mendenhall, Mississippi. Tom and Mary Orris of Lonedell, Missouri stayed overnight with his parents Mike and Donna Orris and Kirk and Cheryl Schmidt spent time with parents Jim and Gerry Schmidt. It was wonderful to see everyone.
The Other Side of Heaven was the Saturday night movie starring Christopher Gorham and Anne Hathaway and is based on a true story in which 19-year-old John Groberg is sent on a three-year mission to Tonga but has no idea what he is getting into. He faces cultural, social and environmental problems as he reaches out to the people of Tongo. This movie is filled with adventure and gorgeous scenery to enjoy.
The United Presbyterian Home held their annual Independence Day celebration along with the 30th anniversary party for Up with Kids Day Care Tuesday, July 2, on the green space south of Kerr Hall. Members of the Washington Municipal Band played while residents feasted on a picnic of hot dogs, baked beans, coleslaw, potato chips, anniversary cake and keg root beer under the shade of a big tent. Activities included a children’s bounce house, face painting and pony rides. Gary Murphy amazed the audience with his quick creation of balloon animals. Heading inside for the afternoon, Mary Escher and Donna Moeller entertained residents with their accordion music. Mary and Donna, also known as the Friese Sisters, grew up playing the accordion from an early age. The audience loved the good old tunes and tapped their toes to the rhythm.
Up with Kids Day Care opened on Aug. 7, 1989, as a convenient benefit to UPH employees with young children. Current Up with Kids Day Care Director, Lisa Clark, and former staff member, Jeri Crile, watched eight kids in the beginning including Brad, Brent and Brock Yotty; Spencer Sorrell, Rachel Enfield, Andy Crile, Justin Farrier and Brittany Lloyd. It has been the daytime home to many children over the years and part-time work to many high school and college students. As a youngster, Taylor Sorrell attended day care at the United Presbyterian Home and later worked there while in high school and college. Lisa Clark remembers working her college internship at the UPH with Carol Enfield in the activities department. Upon graduating from Northeast Missouri State University she became the first director of the United Presbyterian Home day care known as Up with Kids Day Care.