Brethren Retirement Community unveils its new bus

GREENVILLE — The new bus purchased by the Brethren Retirement Community (BRC) was unveiled Monday morning at the facility.

The covered bus, driven by employee Dale Musser, arrived at 10 a.m. as residents, staff and other guests looked on to witness its unveiling.

When the cover was taken off the vehicle, there stood a lime green bus covered with photos and information about BRC.

“This is an exciting day in the history of the Brethren Retirement Community,” said CEO John Warner. “We are dedicating this new bus for the residents and their families hopefully for many years to come. The need of a new bus was shared last year, and it was announced at our gala in September. We appreciate the generosity of the many donors. We have a lot of thank-yous. First, we are grateful to God on His giving grace and passion.”

Warner, noting that the facility was built in 1902, said the mission statement “Help our community age well” is featured on the bus.

He also talked about BRC’s core values and read from Leviticus 19:32.

“This is a wonderful addition to the community,” he said.

Warner thanked Holly Hill for her marketing effort and Jane Woodie, director of mission support, for helping design the bus.

Warner said more than 100 people donated to the project, which cost $69,000. It was noted by Woodie that they are $503 short of the cost.

“We are having our last fundraiser tomorrow,” Hill said.

The bus, he said, came from Wentworth Bus Co., and noted that Yipes Stripes had wrapped it.

“They told us it was a masterpiece,” said Hill, who gleamed when it was unveiled. “This is the first brand new bus BRC has ever had.”

The fund-raiser for the bus started in September 2015 at BRC’s ninth annual gala as indicated by Warner.

“We got $30,000 that evening,” said Woodie. “Since then, donations have been coming in.”

Donations, she and Hill said, came from the community, members of the Church of the Brethren churches, residents, staff and families. A donation board was exhibited near the unveiling site for all to see.

The bus, she said, will be used to take residents to and from appointments, out to eat or shop or just for taking rides.

Monday’s unveiling also included other activities at BRC.

“There will be entertainment all day, snacks for the residents, bus rides around town all day,” said Hill. “The residents are so excited.”

Woodie said it is a 15-passenger bus, including the driver’s seat. The actual passenger seating will depend, too, on the wheelchairs that will be used at the time of usage.

Todd Reish, director of the chaplaincy program at BRC, blessed the bus. He asked everyone to gather around it for the blessing.

“This is like a new member of our family we serve, and a sign of who we are in the community,” he said about the bus before he gave the blessing.

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By Linda Moody

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