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The Children’s Home in Winston-Salem plans Founders Day for Sunday

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The Children's Home off Reynolda Road was first opened in 1909. (David Rolfe/Journal)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Children’s Home will celebrate Founder’s Day to commemorate its 105th anniversary with several events on its campus in Winston-Salem on Sunday, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

The Children’s Home, founded by the Western North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Church, opened in 1909 and sits on 212 acres off Reynolda Road. The agency, which was an orphanage between 1909 and the 1980s, has offered such services as residential programs for children and their families, foster care, community counseling and substance-abuse services.

“The founders had a simple mission of saving orphans and homeless children and providing them with shelter and food and a family,” said Maurice Ware, the agency’s president and chief executive officer. “Founders’ Day will celebrate 105 years of uninterrupted service to the children of North Carolina.”

More than 200 people are expected the events at the Children’s Home, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., said Tonya Atkins, the agency’s vice president of philanthropy and organizational development.

The events are free to the public and include a Walk for Children Walkathon, an Old School Auto Cruise In, a chapel service and lunch. Other activities include hay rides, a face painting contest and a children’s concert.

The Rev. Edwin Plowman, who lived at the Children’s Home from 1959 to 1963, will deliver a sermon titled, “The Dynamics of Faith” at the service in Woolsey Chapel. A graduate of Reynolds High School, Plowman is a professor of sociology at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla.

About 175 people are expected to attend a private benefit dinner at 6 p.m. outdoors close the auditorium. The keynote speaker will be Nido Qubein, the president of High Point University.

The goal of the benefit dinner is to raise $55,000, Atkins said. The money will be used to support the agency programs, Ware said.

The Children’s Home celebrates Founder’s Day amid recent financial hardship. The agency decided in late January to give away its farm animals. The move came a month after the agency ended three residential programs and laid off 79 employees.

The agency stopped adopting out its animals in March, giving farm volunteers time to create a plan to sustain the farm and the remaining animals on it.

Last October, the agency announced that it planned to cut services and lay off some of its employees.

The agency had a $1.75 million deficit during fiscal year 2011-12. After the layoffs, the agency has 73 employees and serves more than 230 children.

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