NORMAL – The Baby Fold used its annual Founders Day banquet as an opportunity to honor retiring CEO Dale Strassheim for his dedication and contributions to the ministry April 10.
“For more than a decade, Dale has led the team at The Baby Fold in the effort to reach and impact families in need throughout the community,” Vice President of Public Relations Julie Payne said. “He has encouraged our growth and supported new programs and treatments that have made a life-changing difference for children. He has enhanced The Baby Fold’s spiritual focus, increased the professional support and The Baby Fold has become stronger through his leadership.”
As part of this event, The Baby Fold showcased the use of new therapy techniques that take a more holistic approach designed to help children suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-related issues. The techniques incorporate sensory exercises that promote healthy brain development and help kids connect with others. In conjunction with other therapeutic interventions, these techniques have been proven by research to help children overcome emotional and behavioral obstacles. Donors and volunteers were introduced to these techniques, and encouraged to try and experience the sensory stations as part of the evening’s activities. Donors were also encouraged to help contribute to the effort in Strassheim’s name through the purchase of items and equipment needed to help more staff adopt these new therapy techniques.
In addition to the special recognition of Dale Strassheim, select volunteers and donors were honored for their contributions to The Baby Fold.
“Without these special individuals, businesses and organizations who give their time, talents and financial support to The Baby Fold, we would not be able to make such a valuable impact in the lives of so many children. We are extremely thankful for their unwavering support,” Payne said.
Willow Hill UMC was also recognized as Community Partner of the Year. For seven years, the church has supported The Baby Fold in bringing a special week of worship, study, prayer, crafts, snacks and games to the 28 children living in Baby Fold’s Residential Treatment Center. Each summer, after orchestrating their own Vacation Bible School, Gina Hulett and her team at Willow Hill UMC begin preparing the VBS materials they ordered for The Baby Fold. Their generosity in providing these expensive curricula makes our children’s VBS a more impactful and memorable experience.