This year’s 5th Annual Parent Dinner was extra special. This event was also the grand opening of Lily’s Gym, Bellcate School’s multi purpose community center. Parents arrived at 12 Corporate Drive and were greeted by staff at the front door of our new facility. Together parents and staff shared excitement about the endless possibilities connected to our new space. “We can hold our prom here,” Stated Parent Jody as she fist bumped the school director. The evening kicked off with a meet and greet, appetizers and our parents exploring the new center. Lily’s Gym hosts a high school gymnasium, a barbershop, an eSports computer lab, a weight room, a large multi-purpose conference room, a commercial kitchen, a laundry room, three offices, a home and away team room, two restrooms and a concessions stand. Jac Treanor, Bellcate Events Director opened up the evening with a heart felt welcome before introducing Director Jesse Bell. Jesse explained to the community that Lily’s Gym is named in memory of Bellcate graduate, Lily Cosgrove, who passed away in 2012. Lily was a young woman with autism who had a contagious smile and a great love for the game of basketball. Jesse introduced Lily’s mother, Mary Cosgrove and her aunt and uncle who had traveled from Washington. We all watched a beautiful video highlighting Lily’s growth and healing as a student at Bellcate. Following this moving celebration, we all ate a family style dinner in our new space. Parents shared stories and made important connections.
After dinner we cleared our plates and moved to the other side of the gym for a dance party. That’s right, We danced. All of us, staff and parents. No kids! Case manager and resident super sounds DJ, Jeff Springer did his thing. It was incredible to see parents laughing, being goofy and really cutting a rug. Even a slow dance for parents who rarely get the opportunity to have a break or a date. It was a time for our parents to Shine. And in true Bellcate form, when the evening wrapped up, everyone helped break down and clean up. The entire evening from start to finish reflected the vision for Lily’s Gym. It was amazing to see the dream come alive.