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Cornerstone Celebrates 40 Years of Serving the Community

In October, Cornerstone celebrated a remarkable milestone—40 years of being a beacon of hope for those in need. Four decades of unwavering dedication to serving the community and making a difference in countless lives. To commemorate this special occasion, we'll take a closer look at the festivities, the incredible journey of Cornerstone, and the distinguished awards that recognized its founder, Helen Syriac.

Delicous food and beautiful set up by members of the Apostolic Christian Church

A Celebration of Community

The Apostolic Christian Church's Longview Fellowship Center in Ellington opened its doors to host the 40th-anniversary celebration of Cornerstone. The event was a true testament to the power of community and the impact that can be achieved when people come together for a common purpose. Members of the Apostolic Christian Church played a vital role in organizing, setting up, preparing food, and ensuring a smooth cleanup, demonstrating their unwavering support for Cornerstone's mission.

A Journey Through Four Decades

Representative Kevin Brown and Tom Stauffer (Board of Directors)

Cornerstone's journey over the past 40 years has been nothing short of extraordinary. The celebration included a short presentation that highlighted the different missions of Cornerstone and how they have evolved since the organization's inception. The growth and transformation of Cornerstone are a testament to the dedication and hard work of its staff, volunteers, and the support of the community.

Tom Stauffer, Vice President of the Board of Directors, shared the inspirational story of Helen Syriac, the founder of Cornerstone. He recounted her calling to start the organization and her tireless efforts to make a difference in the lives of those in need. Helen's story is a source of inspiration for everyone involved in Cornerstone, and it serves as a reminder of the impact one person's dedication can have on a community.

Mayor Dan Champagne, Sharon Redfern (Executive Director) and Mike Bahler (Programs and Operations Coordinator)
Tom Stauffer presents Dick Carterud and Angela Atwater with Certificates of Appreciation for serving on the Board of Directors for 25 years and 10 years respectively

Distinguished Recognitions

The 40th-anniversary celebration wasn't just about reflection and gratitude; it was also a moment to honor the incredible contributions of Cornerstone and its founder, Helen Syriac. Senator Jeff Gordon presented Cornerstone with a citation, acknowledging the organization's profound impact on the community.

Furthermore, Helen Syriac was honored with a citation from Representative Kevin Brown. Her vision, leadership, and unwavering commitment to making the world a better place have left an indelible mark on the community.

Perhaps the most prestigious recognition of the day was the President's Volunteer Service Award, a civil honor that is bestowed upon individuals who have made a remarkable commitment to serving others. Helen Syriac was selected for the distinguished President's Volunteer Service Award, an accolade that represents the pinnacle of honor conferred by the President of the United States. This award serves as a tribute to a lifetime of dedication and an unwavering commitment to serving others.

Helen Syriac accepts the President's Lifetime Volunteer Appreciation Award

A Lifetime Achievement Award

The President's Volunteer Service Award is more than just a commendation; it is a reflection of Helen Syriac's lifelong dedication to the community. It stands as a testament to her unyielding commitment to making the world a better place and improving the lives of those less fortunate. The Lifetime Achievement Award is a celebration of a life lived with purpose and a commitment to a cause greater than oneself.


Cornerstone's 40th-anniversary celebration was a beautiful reminder of the power of community and the enduring impact that can be achieved through dedication and compassion. As Cornerstone looks ahead to the future, the community can be confident that its mission to serve those in need will continue to shine brightly. Helen Syriac's legacy and the recognition she received are a reminder that each of us has the power to create positive change in the world, and Cornerstone is proof that such change can last a lifetime.

We invite you to follow Cornerstone as we embark on the next chapter of our journey. We'll be sharing more about our history, our current efforts, and our vision for the future. There are exciting times ahead, and we hope you'll be a part of our ongoing mission to make the world a better place. Together, we can continue to touch lives and create a brighter, more compassionate future. Here's to the next 40 years of making a difference, one life at a time.

Cornerstone's Board of Directors: Debbie Stauffer, Angela Atwater, Tom Stauffer, Helen Syriac, Dick Carterud, Alan Sauer and Brian Motola

Alexis Flint

Programs and Operations Director

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