Please Save the Date: October 14th for our Benefit Dinner at Seattle U!
Congratulations Eddie Hutson and Patty McNary, celebrating 40th Anniversary
L'Arche Seattle's Benefit Dinner
As a kick off to the celebration of their 40th Anniversary Year, Patty McNary and Eddie Hutson were honored at our 5th Annual Benefit Dinner at Seattle University, Saturday evening, November 5th. Eddie was appreciated for the way he has prayed things into life. His petitioning resulted in opening Shuinota House, now home to Carolyn, Elizabeth, Erin, and Andrew. Eddie was also commended for his sense of humor, work ethic, kindness, the way he looks out for people and his ability to always be on time.
Patty was commended for the manner in which she is able to welcome people into our homes. Her eyes light up because she delights in people. As the matriarch of the community, she both encourages and consoles freely.
It was mentioned that one of the best treats in the community to be invited out to coffee with Patty. And while everyone knows they should be ordering smaller drinks, they order larger ones so that they can stay longer chatting and laughing with Patty.
Thank you to Seattle University, Mary Gaudette (Auction Chair), Susan Simpson Fox, Linda Gadola, Henry Gordon and Fran Henderson (Auction Committee), and Michael Fox for being our master of ceremonies for the delightful evening and all our friends and benefactors who so generously supported us.
L'Arche International's "As I Am" Series
Please check out www.larche.org for more As I Am videos!
Robert Ross with one of his many arks. We miss him.
We have a new core member to our Angeline House ranks, the wonderful Andrew Bernhoft!
While originally from the Pacific Northwest, Andrew has spent much of his life in Ojai California living with his mom and dad.
Andrew enjoys musicals, tons of coloring, and walking to the park to play basketball or soccer -- and, of course, quoting from Lord of the Rings!
Andrew's playful nature and lively sense of humor greatly entertains us, and it’s hard to imagine our community without him! We hope you have a chance to meet him soon - when you do, be sure to mention one of his three favorite ‘C’s’: Chinese! Coffee! Cheesecake!
Finally, here's an extract from his Christmas letter (with the help of a ghost writer!)
"... if everything goes according to plan, this will be the last Christmas I spend living at home!
It all started at Easter when Mum and Dad took me to Seattle to visit L'Arche, a community for people with mental disabilities. I really didn't know what to expect, but here's what I found: three houses full of people, some with mental disabilities and some without—it was hard to tell who was which, not that anyone seemed to care particularly—living together as friends. It may sound sappy, but never have I felt so at home, so loved and respected for who I am; I knew instantly that this was where I want to spend the rest of my life. I mean, Mum and Dad are pretty okay and they get some things more or less right—Mom’s motto for our homeschool was to treat each other with “Love and Respect”, so you can tell that she was at least trying—but she does tend to slip into philosophical mode at completely inappropriate moments. You wouldn’t catch Jean Vanier doing that! He’s the French Canadian who founded L'Arche, and he really understands people like me. Just listen: "The great thing about people with intellectual disabilities is that they're not people who discuss philosophy…“(Get that, Mum?) “What they want is fun and laughter, to do things together and fool around, and laughter is at the heart of community." Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is my kind of guy!
I was fully prepared to stay there forever, so you can imagine how disgruntled I was when Mum and Dad showed up (on Easter Sunday, of all days—don’t they realize that Easter is all about joy and new life?) to take me “home” to Ojai. Since then, I've been back to L’Arche twice, and each time I can't tell whether I am happier to see them, or they to see me. Who cares? Either way, we get right down to the serious business of having fun. On our most recent visit we arrived just in time for the last Community Meeting before Christmas. A business meeting, we were told—but what a riot! Everybody was there, from all three houses—such a colorful, varied group, each one confident yet completely tuned in to each other . . . and the singing! I soon picked up the rules: start on any note you fancy, and sing as loud as possible at whatever tempo seems to work best for you. It was glorious! O Come, Oh Come Emmanuel was first; now, there’s a carol that Mum only likes when it’s sung by King’s College, Cambridge, and other really fancy choirs, so I was a bit worried. But when I glanced over to check on her, her face was suffused with happiness and I’ll swear there were tears in her eyes.
There was no doubt about it when we started on Silent Night. Never have I heard it belted out so loud, or with more enthusiasm. Honestly, it sounded more like a cheer at a soccer game . . . it was fantastic! Dad says there are still hoops to jump through (whatever that means), and lots more paperwork to fill out, but it looks definite.