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Rowan Helping Ministries reflects on 25 years of service

Rowan Helping Ministries kicked off celebrations for its 25th anniversary at its Annual Membership meeting on Sept. 20 at Trinity Oaks Retirement Center. Resource Development Chair Harold Earnhardt reviewed the financial report for the previous fiscal year. Earnhardt thanked all the contributors that help make this a successful year. He noted that the demand is still high for services due to economic conditions, but Rowan Helping Ministries continues to meet the needs in the community. He recognized the staff of Rowan Helping Ministries for the effective job they are doing in controlling expenses. ě91.6 percent of our income went directly towards program services,î Earnhardt said.
Rowan Helping Ministries helped guests recall the past 25 years through a montage of pictures and an overview of the history of Rowan Helping Ministries with pictures and stories. Kyna Foster, executive director, summarized how services have changed over the years to meet the changing needs in the community. Foster highlighted the programs that have been developed to help people become self-sufficient and talked about the challenges facing the ministry today. ěEvery night we are providing overnight shelter to families with children. In 1989, we opened as a shelter for homeless men. Now, 30 percent of our guests are women and children. Each night our lobby becomes a family sleeping area.î
Past board members, Gail Kimball, Paul Fisher and former Executive Director Dianne Scott shared reflections on their experiences with the organization. ěRowan Helping Ministries is always a symbol of hope for those who, for whatever reason, have fallen on hard times. Their lights are always on, their staff and volunteers ready to serve and their mission is to give comfort for the night and as the sun rises the next morning ó an opportunity to begin to build a new life,î Fisher said.
Steve Drinkard recognized the retiring board members, each having served six years: Tippie Miller, Nick Langdon and David Lee. Steve Drinkard presented a gift to Miller and read a resolution honoring her for her leadership and service as board chairwoman. Drinkard presented the slate of board member nominees and the membership re-elected: Deborah Johnson and Jack Errante and elected new members Chris Bradshaw, Bill Dover, Sue Fisher, Darrin Jordan and Tomasina Paige.
Carolinas Medical Center Northeast and Trinity Oaks were recognized for sponsoring the annual meeting and celebration.
A short board meeting followed with the election of board officers: Steve Drinkard, chairman; Diane Hundley, vice chairman; Maria Lowder, treasurer. Eunice Steimke will continue as secretary. Other board members are: J.R. Dunkley, Harold Earnhardt, Dr. Joel Goodwin, Rosalind Lindsay, Mike Lippard, Dr. James Mitchell, Owen Norvell, Nathan Prater, Mayor Mary S. Ponds, Tom Staats, Capt. Melonie Thompson, Linda White and Jean Wurster.

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