Below are Cindy's reflections as she stood before the board and delivered a timely message as they were grappling with how to "end well" with the potential for closing The Home and begin a new chapter in the life of KDO.
On behalf of Friendship Circle, I would like to express my appreciation to the Long Range Planning Committee, our President Donna Jean Gibney, the Executive Committee and our Board of Directors for having the courage to address both short-term and long-term decisions that have been challenging our organization for several years now.
Having served as a PAST PRESIDENT of this great organization of King’s Daughters, working closely these past several months with the Long Range Planning and Executive AND seeing the warmth, care and comfort of this Home from the eyes of a sister-in-law and two church members … I believe I can confidently stand before you and express my deep and cherished love for this Home. I am NOT without emotion when it comes to discussing the future of a current mission like this one. I have walked these halls at all hours of the day and night, I have held the hands of most of the ladies living here since the mid 80’s and I have grown to appreciate the character and charm of a relaxed moment in the front parlor and the library.
However, I have also worked closely with the Executive Committee and administration for several years and know full well that sooner or later (and we all hoped much later), we would be faced with making decisions that would forever impact our volunteerism, our passion and our heart.
Therefore, our circle feels that the best way to honor an organization that carried out a single mission well is to let it go with integrity, dignity, and respect. We have a distinction within the State of Illinois and this great city of Springfield, having been recognized by the Illinois State Historical Society Centennial Project as both a business (insomuch as we operated a retirement Home) and as an organization.
Our plea as a circle and my plea, personally, as a PAST PRESIDENT and current Executive Committee member, is that we allow Springfield to see a Board of Directors declare one mission “WELL DONE AND COMPLETED” and prepare to announce a new, revised mission with vision and relevant contribution to our community.
I cannot imagine that the Board of Directors over 100 years ago did not have similar mixed emotions and anxiety as they attempted to bring all the circles together, ask them to close their current individual missions and band together to purchase a Home and work under the umbrella of a single cause.
From all accounts, they did it, they did it well and they had enough confidence in us that we would carry on. We have accomplished that and we are prepared to carry on with a new mission. THE ONLY THING that can mar the beauty, the charm, the grace and the history of the King’s Daughters Home, is negative talk, inappropriate attitudes, gossip, and dissension. But then again, the Bible warns us that those types of behaviors are things God hates so why would we be tempted anyway? May this Board by above that. May we be examples of women of integrity who lead with dignity for a mission with new and CONTEMPORARY purpose.
Cindy Lash, Current Friendship Circle Leader
PAST PRESIDENT 1999-2001