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Contributions Make Open Circle of Hopkins Improvements Possible

Coretta Scott King once said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”

That is especially true at Open Circle of Hopkins, where staff provide daytime social interaction, health and personal care and/or cognitive support to adults of all ages. This program provides much needed respite for caregivers.

“This community sees firsthand the magic we create and the compassion, respect, love and care staff demonstrates and how members positively respond,” says Terri Joski-Lang, center director at Open Circle of Hopkins. “That is how all facets of our community become believers in Open Circle and become donors.”

So many people came together to make improvements at the center possible.

Contributions included $100,000 from Mizpah Church, a generous gift on behalf of member Suzanne Pearl, labor at cost and a financial contribution from Bauer Design Build, pro bono interior design work by Amy Bursey of Monogram Design Consultants, a matching grant from the City of Hopkins for façade improvements and an Eagle Scout project completed by Sylvia Vannorman.

Exterior improvements included block repair work; new awnings and signage; and painting of the building, trim, window boxes and raised garden beds. Interior improvements include painting, flooring, reupholstered and new chairs. When Open Circle needed someone to design the interior and a contractor to complete the renovations, Amy and Bauer Design Build rose to the occasion to make the project happen on a limited budget.

“Having a building that is well maintained and looks as good as the magic Open Circle team provides for our members on a daily basis will be a nice reflection of who we are and how much we care,” Terri says. “All who enter Open Circle can feel and witness the love and care that is evident throughout the building. Having a new and updated look will only enhance the overall experience provided on a daily basis.”

Jodie Dvorkin has seen the benefits of Open Circle firsthand. Her mother Suzanne moved to the area from Miami about three years ago. Suzanne was hesitant to visit Open Circle at first, but that quickly changed.

“The first day she came back and said, ‘This is my place,’” Jodie says. “It makes my mom so happy. Staff go out of their way to make her feel comfortable and do a lot of activities so it’s always interesting. The other people, mom has forged some great relationships with. All in all, it is the best thing my mom has done in moving here.”

Suzanne’s family is proud to donate to Open Circle.

“We really wanted to do that as a thank-you for all the fantastic care she’s gotten and a way to help the center provide such great care and make the enhancements they want to do,” Jodie says. “ … She’s gotten so much benefit that we felt the money would be used well based on her experiences there.”

As Mizpah Church closed and the final chapters in its history were written, its members wanted to help write new chapters for about 45 other organizations, including Open Circle.

“As much as we hated to sell the church building, we had the happy job of giving away money,” says Mark Ruhland, who served as the congregation’s moderator, similar to a council president.

Mizpah Church has a longstanding relationship with Cassia, due to being neighbors with Chapel View, the Cassia community in Hopkins. That made it an easy decision to support Open Circle when multiple members recommended it.

“We were happy to support Open Circle because they were part of the Cassia family and a few of our members had family members who spent time there,” Mark says.

“We are incredibly grateful and indebted to our donors and the support they provide in making these improvements possible,” Terri says. “Without our donors, we’d have a wish list that might allow us to do a bit at a time. Getting a facelift all at once is fabulous!”

Terri says she believes in the mission of Open Circle and is appreciative that others do, as well.

“When I started as the center director two years ago, I knew immediately Open Circle was a special place,” Terri says. “I feel gratitude every day to be part of this community.  We have an incredible team who believe in serving each member to the best of their ability with a goal of making each day a great day. We appreciate that donors believe in us because Open Circle walks the talk.”