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Officials dedicate Winfrey Enrichment Center

Officials dedicate Winfrey Enrichment Center

Wednesday, April 27, 2016  •  By Kelly Morgan

This article was originally published on the

About 40 people made their way to the Conn C. Winfrey Memorial Acres Tuesday to celebrate the opening of a new facility.

Great Circle Community Counseling held an open house and dedication ceremony for the Winfrey Enrichment Center Tuesday at the property. The center will take up residence in the house on the Conn C. Winfrey Memorial Acres, which has been rented to Great Circle.

Great Circle CEO Vince Hillyer explained in his remarks that Great Circle is a combination of several agencies, including Boys and Girls Town of Missouri, and its purpose, he said, is to be a resource for children and families who are experiencing “difficult circumstances.”

Kristie Gray, a Foster Care Case Manager Supervisor for Great Circle, described the agency as a behavioral health organization and said that the Winfrey Enrichment Center will be used for parenting classes, anger management classes, substance abuse classes and foster parent licensing.

“When we do visitations with our families, we like it in a home environment,” Grey stated. “Otherwise, we’re going to be at McDonald’s, or we’re going to be out at the park, where the kids don’t have a place to use the restroom. This allows us to give the parents the opportunity to learn how to cook with their kids, sit down at a family meal with their children, things like that.”

The event began at 11 a.m. with an open house, which allowed attendees to tour the facility. The building includes living room, kitchen and dining area intended to add a homelike atmosphere to family visitations, and it also has offices and a work room for employees. The house’s garage has been converted into a play area.

The dedication began around 11:20 a.m. and included remarks from Hillyer and Lebanon Parks Director John Shelton as well as a dedication prayer by Laclede County Presiding Commissioner Danny Rhoades, a proclamation by Lebanon Mayor Josh Ray and a ceremonial tree watering.