This Friday, Camp Barnabas near Purdy will mark another milestone with a grand opening celebration for the newly completed Lauren's WellHouse.
The 7,000-square-foot healthcare facility was completed in May and is now home to the medical care personnel and equipment needed to serve the children with special needs and chronic diseases who attend Camp Barnabas each summer.
The grand opening will begin at 5 p.m. with tours of the facility and the camp. A ribbon cutting at Lauren's WellHouse, hosted by the Monett Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Following the ceremony, visitors are invited to join campers and volunteers for a baseball-themed party and dinner in the park.
The $1.2 million project is a joint effort between Camp Barnabas and ACCESS Family Care of Neosho, an organization dedicated to providing quality healthcare to underserved, uninsured and underinsured individuals in southwest Missouri. Thanks to the collaboration, Lauren's WellHouse will be used year round.
"This is an excellent example of a win-win situation," said Cyndy Teas, Barnabas co-founder and health services director. "We are now serving over 1,300 campers each summer and had outgrown our current medical center. At the time we were finalizing our project, ACCESS was looking to expand their healthcare services in our area.
"Their mission of reaching the medically underserved aligns well with our work with people with special needs and chronic diseases," Teas added.
Don McBride, ACCESS executive director and chief executive officer, said Camp Barnabas' mission fits well with the ACCESS vision.
"I've known the Teases for many years and have worked with them in another program," said McBride. "When they contacted us, knowing their heart and mission and how well it fits in with our heart and mission made for a good fit."
The WellHouse is named for Lauren Hauschild, the camper who inspired the Teases to start the Christian-based summer camp program in 1994.
In order to serve the medical needs of the over 1,300 campers who visit Camp Barnabas each summer, the camp relies on a volunteer medical team of two doctors and eight nurses.
Contractor for the project was Morelock-Ross Builders, Inc., of Springfield. The facility was designed by Butler, Rosenbury & Partners, Inc., of Springfield.
For more information about Camp Barnabas, visit www.campbarnabus.org.