Cornwall Manor celebrates 60 years of ministry with seniors

It was the spring of 1950 that the story of the Golden Cross Society (known today as the Cornwall Manor Society) begins, six months after the establishment of The Methodist Church Home in Cornwall. The Rev. Dr. Levi Zerr, Founder and Director of the Home, approached Mrs. Mildred Barnes, Conference President of the Women’s Society of Christian Service, to discuss the feasibility of organizing a society to support the Home, both financially and spiritually. Mrs. Barnes met with a core group of women who agreed to contact as many churches and individuals as possible to invite them to a meeting on October 7, 1950 at the Home. From this meeting, the Golden Cross Society of the Methodist Church Home in Cornwall was born.

The Society has established many programs and events over their sixty year tenure that still remains active today. Birthday and Christmas cards and gifts were given by local churches, and in 1953 monthly birthday parties were established.  A Gift Cart was created in 1981, known today as “Shoppe on Wheels,” that has twice-weekly service rounds in the Health Center. Fruit, candy, cards and sundries were available for purchase. Currently, many more projects like Second Sunday services in Zerr Chapel, Intergenerational Programs, the Star Project, Horizons Unlimited, Arm Chair Travel continue and many others continue to develop and grow.

The bazaars are the Society’s best-known activity and involved most of the churches in the Conference. The first informal bazaar was held on the porch of the Mansion in October 1950, at which the Cornwall Church provided food, and the members present brought items to be sold. Bazaars were held in the spring and fall until 1987 when only the October bazaar was held. The bazaar is now called the ‘Fall Festival’ and churches continue to include sale tables of baked goods, candy, produce, craft items and more. Collectibles, a part of the Fall Festival, is open year round for bargain shoppers looking for housewares, books, and furniture. The Fall Festival continues to have many features and is accompanied by an open house to allow visitors to tour the grounds and buildings.

The Gift Shop, whose origins stem from card tables set up in the Mansion, was formally organized in 1953. The Gift Shop, which opened in its current space in the Community Center in 1984 is known today as the Manor Shoppe and continues to provide cards, candy, gifts and a convenience store. A new feature in the Gift Shop was the “thrift department,” which offered new-to-you clothing items. Over the years, this very popular department became its own store and today the “Curiosity Shoppe” is located in the Wellness Center. The Curiosity Shoppe always has a nice selection of jewelry, men’s and women’s clothing, household items and now a kitchen section.

In 1972 the Cornwall Manor Society originated the “Love Gift” that ran as an annual giving campaign for 17 years. In honor of the Society’s 60th Anniversary, the Love Gift was reinstated to help support their pledge of $60,000 to sponsor a covered porch at the new health center.

It is easy to see how sixty years later; the Cornwall Manor Society continues to be faithful to their purpose of:

  • To promote the widest possible interest in Cornwall Manor in cooperation with the Cornwall Manor Administration and Staff, among churches of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and the churches and families of the residents
  • To develop relationships between residents and nonresidents to help meet the needs of all residents of Cornwall Manor, especially those in Personal Care and the Health Center
  • To raise funds for Personal Care and the Health Center.”

Society President Dr. James Work said, “The Cornwall Manor Society has remained a vital and dynamic organization for 60 years because the leadership has remained faithful to the Society’s mission.” Cornwall Manor is privileged to have an auxiliary that works very hard to provide all that they do for Cornwall Manor residents.

As the Society is celebrating their anniversary, they are also busy planning for their 60th Annual Fall Festival and Open House on Saturday, October 2, and A World of Chocolate event on Friday, November 12, both at Cornwall Manor. The chocolate event will feature a chocolate fountain, chocolate items to sample and entertainment by the Lebanon Big Swing Band.

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