By Brian Hansen, Executive Director
As 2019 comes to a close, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who makes Spring Lake Ranch such a special place. From the staff to the residents, members, donors, blog subscribers, and well-wishers, we’re fortunate to have so many individuals willing to give their time, energy, and resources to embrace and support this community.
This year, as most, has been filled with many changes on both our Rutland and Cuttingsville campuses. We have seen the addition of a clearspan barn to protect our cows, a new lake house, and a new (and much needed) remodel to our Royce Street kitchen. All these physical changes allow for us to run more comprehensive, inclusive, and sustainable programming and we thank the donors who funded it and made it happen.
Another notable 2019 accomplishment comes in the form of our donation-funded financial aid. In this past calendar year, over 40% of residents/clients received scholarships; out of just those in the Cuttingsville program, 55% were recipients. This generosity from our donor base created the space for residents to experience their illnesses, be supported by a community that believes in them and has expectations of them, and helped build the skills needed to effect positive change in their lives. With your support, we look forward to providing more opportunities in 2020 for those who couldn’t otherwise afford their time here.
Amidst all of these larger changes and goals, the Ranch still continues with its treasured traditions and activities and, like every other year, these were carried out with much joy and laughter from all who participated. Earlier this week we celebrated Yule, an annual favorite holiday which features homemade lasagna, caroling, an open mic, and a gigantic Yule log cake. It’s beloved by our immediate community, and many of our wider community attend as well. It’s a time for reflection and celebration of the year that has just passed, and a chance to express gratitude as we look towards this wintry season becoming more filled with light as the days grow longer.
This is my first winter season back at the Ranch in many years and I want to again express my deepest gratitude for life here. Every day, I consider myself fortunate to be able to work and live in a community that embraces its values so closely and strives to realize its goals with such positivity. As we turn to the New Year, SLR looks to 2020 and beyond with excitement about what’s to come. As you also look to the next year and reflect on the past, we hope you have had a successful 2019 and that 2020 brings you good health and contentment.