Thank You for Helping CARE Grow
“One hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” (Excerpt from “Within My Power” by Forest Witcraft)
The Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center enables CARE to continue its legacy of helping children reach their potential.
“Lena’s Garden” at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center
Lena’s Garden, in memory of Lena Graham Griffin, was dedicated during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center. The new memorial garden features a walkway, plantings, and seating. The garden is located on the Russell Boulevard level of the building near the preschool entrance.
Bill Graham, Lena’s great nephew honored his aunt at the dedication with the keynote address and Graham along with his two sons, Ben and Fred Graham and his cousin and Lena’s great niece, Candy Tingley, cut the ribbon to officially dedicate the garden at the center.
Mrs. Griffin began her tenure at CARE (formerly the McKean County Society for Crippled Children) in 1949 as an orthopedic nurse and in 1950 was named executive secretary/director. During her leadership at the Society, Mrs. Griffin witnessed many changes in the treatment of children with disabilities; as the era of polio, heavy braces, iron lungs, segregation and hopelessness, gave way to new preventives, new treatments, new attitudes, and new hope for children with disabilities.
Mrs. Griffin retired January 1st, 1970, with over twenty years of service to the Society. After her retirement, she continued to volunteer her nursing skills on clinic days working with children of the community.
“Tonight we had a wonderful opportunity to further recognize Lena Graham Griffin and her incredible commitment to children in need,” said Greg Booth, vice president of the CARE board of directors. “As a result of the continued support of the Graham family and their generosity we dedicated ‘Lena’s Garden’, giving us a permanent memorial to Lena’s leadership, professionalism and compassion. Her love for ‘our kids’ ultimately led to CARE for Children and the amazing work we do here in Bradford at the Ashley Booth Griffin Care for Children Center,” said Booth.
Mrs. Griffin’s family, friends, and supporters were instrumental in planning, funding, and installation of the memorial garden. “On behalf of the CARE board of directors, I would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to the Graham family and friends for taking the lead on funding this project,” said Karen Gelston, CARE board president, “and also to Graham’s Greenhouse and Landscaping for the beautiful garden they created at CARE.”
Lena’s Garden is the final project of CARE’s “Building Campaign for the Future of Children of All Abilities.”
Top Photo: Members of the Graham Family, Candy Tingley, Ben Graham, Fred Graham and Bill Graham perform the ribbon cutting ceremony at the dedication ceremony of “Lena’s Garden” at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center.
Middle Photo: Part of “Lena’s Garden” dedicated in memory of former executive director, Lena Graham Griffin.
Bottom Photo: Ms. Kimberly Engstrom’s preschool class reads The Leaves are Falling in “Lena’s Garden” adjacent to the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center.