We recently had the pleasure of introducing the community to our new headquarters in New Rochelle at 71 North Avenue. We threw ourselves a little party and were so thrilled that so many showed up. New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson attended, along with New Rochelle City Councilman Ivar Hyde and a wonderful group of local politicians and dignitaries. Attendees had the chance to tour our new building, the interior of which was designed by Patrick Fagan, and constructed by Jeremy Faulds. Together, they created a unique and inviting environment for our clients, one that we hope will instill confidence and hope as soon as they walk through our door. And after the ribbon cutting ceremony, we all enjoyed a wonderful dinner and celebratory dessert!
Words from the Evening
Our Executive Director Guy Fessenden addressed the crowd and below are a few excerpts from his speech.
“…What’s important about this building isn’t that it’s cool and it looks neat and there’s some interesting rooms… it’s an impression that you create with your clients when they come in for the first time. They’ve been through other agencies with their grey carpet and their grey walls and their grey people, and they’ve gotten no results. And then they come someplace where there are trees on the steps and a lovely façade that is different, and a room that looks like a backyard, and you start to think different. And when you think different, that is when we can do the most to help. So, Patrick Fagan… thank you… not just for what you did, but for the attitude that we are able to convey to our clients… and the enthusiasm… and the hope that we can give them through that work…
… We don’t have clients. We don’t have members, and we don’t have patients. We have neighbors. We help our neighbors and it feels good to help your neighbor, just like it feels good whenever you have someone you know and care about and you do what you can to help them. That’s our honor and a privilege and what we get to do each and every day. That’s what makes this the coolest job, and probably the coolest agency to be with.
But we had a problem. We didn’t own our house. We’re 25 years old and we didn’t own our house. And just like any 25-year-old, we wanted to own a house, but we couldn’t figure out how to pay for it. There was no mom and dad to ask for help. So we did what anybody else would do and we went to work. And we worked long and we worked hard and there were times when we looked at the clock and said, it’s midnight and maybe we should go home because we have to be back at 7… and we said… no… we got things to do. And as a result, we’ve been able to cobble together our pennies and we finally have our house. And this is our house and this is our commitment to New Rochelle, and the commitment to the people we serve and to our neighbors. And we are remarkably proud of that. So when you drive up the street and you see CHOICE on the building, don’t think of this as a building, think of this as a testimony. This is the testimony to hard work… to commitment… to effort… and to passion. And this is CHOICE and we are remarkably proud of this and we thank you for being here.”
A New Home
Our new building is our new home and we’re looking forward to serving the population of New Rochelle and the rest of Westchester for many, many years to come! Thanks to all of those who helped make this possible.