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David V. Hunter Remarks on the occasion of receiving the Heritage Award in honor of Mary Wade’s 150 years of service
April 13, 2017
Greetings! We’re thrilled to be receiving this Corporate Heritage Award, and wish to thank Tony, Larry Bingaman and the Board Members for recognizing Mary Wade is this fashion. I am here with Mary Wade’s Leadership which includes Trustees and Senior Staff.
Leo Connors offered an excellent and succinct history of Mary Wade, but when you get to be our age, you like to elaborate on those old stories. On September 8, 1866, a group of ladies met at the home of Mrs. Eli Whitney, just on the other side of the Green on the corner of Elm and Orange Streets, for the purpose of starting a home for homeless girls. They formed a board, raised $6,000, purchased a house and property at 118 Clinton Avenue in Fair Haven,often called Dragon Village because of the seals that sunned on the banks of the Quinnipiac River. On December 2 of that same year, in less than three months since their first meeting, they opened the doors and the first president was Mrs. Joseph Sheffield.
This group of prominent women named our organization, The Home for the Friendless, and from 1866 to 1900, the Home served many young women, single mothers and children. However, in the early 1900’s the board explored a new mission and policies that changed the Home's direction. The Annual Report for 1924 stated, “The discussions have been along the lines of how we could do the most good for the greatest number.” It was here that the board authorized the use of the name The Mary Wade Home, and the mission turned to providing a home to elderly women.
The Home survived tumultuous and boisterous events throughout the years, the end of the Civil War, two World Wars, major Depressions, Dramatic events. The women of New Haven managed the Home for almost 100 years. Then, in 1976, the board was inspired to elect the first man, the first male resident was admitted in 1982, and in 1990 Frank Hepler became the first male board chair.
Today, Mary Wade continues at the original location which has been its home for 150 years. As we continue to strive to do the most good for the greatest number, our services have grown both within our walls and outside too.
Our culture exemplifies a Mission of Service, Excellence and Innovation both within our walls and in the community at large.
Mary Wade is a proud and active member of Fair Haven and participates in the Chatham Square Neighborhood Association and Fair Haven Community Management Team, and we provide affordable housing to workforce families.
We are expanding our campus this year with the construction of a new state-of- the-art assisted living building that will include a memory care center.
Finally, we offer you the opportunity to celebrate our 150th year by attending our 12th Annual Wine Dinner to be held on April 29th here in this beautiful ball room. Ticket information can be found on our website, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram --- or you can come over to our Table Number 12 and we’ll provide you with an invitation. All proceeds of this event will support increased staff training to be more effective in providing care to those suffering with Alzheimer’s disease.
Many Thanks for this great honor, and we also wish to congratulate esteemed guests on the dais, to newly elected board members and incoming President DelMonico.