This year Olmsted Manor Retreat Center is celebrating 50 years offering Christian hospitality in a hostile world. On Sunday, July 14, 2019, about 75 donors, board members, staff, leaders and friends of Olmsted Manor gathered to celebrate and to consecrate the addition and renovation of Groves Lodge and The Manor House.
The work was made possible by the Honoring Our Past- Preparing for our Future capital campaign, chaired Jim and Phyllis McGinnis Willats of Table of Grace church in Erie. Their leadership and the efforts of Bill Grant, a board member and development professional who served on the Steering Committee, were recognized at the consecration service. The campaign has raised about $750,000 since it was launched in 2016. Both the Rev. Eric Leonard, pastor of Park UMC in North East, who chaired the Olmsted Board when the campaign was launched, and the Rev. Jeff Sterling, current board chair, spoke at the consecration service.
A new gathering area, a centrally located reception/hospitality office, and a more accessible kitchen storage area were among the major additions to Groves Lodge, where older guest rooms were also renovated. Some of the original leaded windows in the Manor House have been replaced, with more to come, and other refurbishing work continues.
The gathering also provided an opportunity to celebrate the ministry of Jody Larson as he retires after 41 years on the staff, 17 of them as executive director, and officially welcome the Rev. Al Hammer as the new director. It also allowed board members and friends to show appreciation for all of the dedicated staff who continue to provide hospitality and keep the facilities in top shape through the years.