I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
– Douglas Adams
On September 23, 2017, Merrick program participants, volunteers, staff, donors, community partners, and others came together to celebrate the exciting move. Guests learned about Merrick’s work in the East Side community, explored the facility, and took part in a coinciding block party hosted by our friends and neighbors at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church.
The dedication ceremony included remarks from Merrick’s leaders and project partners, and culminated in a tree planting by individuals who represent Merrick’s past, present, and future. Guests were encouraged to explore the entirety of the new community center by participating in guided tours as well as an activity-based scavenger hunt. Highlights included assembling basic needs bags with Merrick’s Family Services staff, sampling recipes prepared with fresh ingredients found at Merrick’s Food Shelf, decorating cards for Meals on Wheels recipients with Merrick’s Senior Services department, building Lego robots with the Youth Services team, and learning about the tools utilized by Merrick’s Employment Services construction training program.
Nearly 110 years after its founding and almost 10 years after the launch of the capital campaign, this was a momentous move for Merrick. As John Bredesen, Chair of the Board of Directors, pointed out, a quotation from Douglas Adams fittingly captures the essence of Merrick’s journey to 1669 Arcade Street North. Though there were a few twists and turns in its path, Merrick has ended up where it needed to be.