Free Daily Headlines

News

Set your text size: A A A

IAM breaks ground on $2.6M headquarters

IAM supporters and leaders breaking ground for new building were state Rep. Chuck McGrady, Sherri Metzger, David Cook, Grace Poli, Jay Thorndike and Ken Perkins. IAM supporters and leaders breaking ground for new building were state Rep. Chuck McGrady, Sherri Metzger, David Cook, Grace Poli, Jay Thorndike and Ken Perkins.

With the turn of six shovels, leaders of the Interfaith Assistance Ministry celebrated the groundbreaking for a new $2.6 million home for the 32-year-old agency that feeds and clothes the poor and intervenes in crisis to rescue families in times of need.


Started in 1983 in a cottage donated by First United Methodist Church, IAM moved next to a house on Oakland Street and then, in 1994, to its current headquarters on Ehringhaus Street.
“We were so happy to have it,” said IAM board president and longtime volunteer Sherri Metzger. “Those of you who volunteer and who work there know it has its challenges.”
It’s made up of separate unattached buildings.It’s cut up into odd-shaped rooms. The roof leaks.
“I don’t know how you folks have put up with that rabbit warren out there,” said state Rep. Chuck McGrady, a longtime financial supporter of IAM.
Capital Campaign Chairman Jay Thorndike thanked the crowd for helping reach the total amount raised to $2.1 million and then exhorted supporters to push to the finish line with $500,000 more. “Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you,” he said. “And just remember we still have more work to do."
“There’s a bit of a surprise,” McGrady said minutes later. “I understand you have about a half million dollars to go. I’ll make a commitment to meet 10 percent of that.”
The gathering of supporters and volunteers burst into applause.
McGrady said he considers the philanthropic donations his family makes investments. “My family’s and my investment in IAM has been among the best investments I’ve made,” he said. “It knows what it’s about and it gets to doing it.”
Noting the presence of County Commissioner Grady Hawkins and Mayor Pro Tem Ron Stephens, McGrady said, “If Grady Hawkins and Ron Stephens had to fund all the things nonprofit do in this county, you would not want to pay that tax bill.”
IAM Executive Director David Cook said the hard work and vision of the board and the 176,000 hours of work donated by volunteers are responsible for the success of IAM. In its new 17,000-square-foot building, it should be able to do that work even more effectively.