The Holiday Open House event at Agape homes and schools for boys and girls featured a gift bazaar, ornament tree and variety of refreshments. Mary Peterson, Fontana, and Cheryl Merkes, Linn, a longtime volunteer at Agape, look at items in the gift bazaar. See more event photos in the Times/Reporter. (Penny Gruetzmacher)

Recent open house offered tours, bazaar and holiday treats

By Heather Ruenz

Staff Writer

The Agape homes and schools for boys and girls in Walworth held a holiday open house recently as a way to offer tours of both homes, as well as allowing guests to shop a gift bazaar, enjoy a Christmas cookie and hear the girls of Agape House sing.

The homes – the Agape girls’ home is at 215 S. Main St., Walworth, and the Agape boys’ home is at 119 Phillips Ave., also in Walworth – were decorated for the holidays.

For more than 20 years, Agape House has offered hope and healing for those who have come from hard places. Pam Patterson founded Agape House with her husband, Ben, came to the initial decision to concentrate on helping girls and women as they began focusing on teenagers and realized they couldn’t put teen boys and girls in the same home.

“At the time, we had more girls than boys in the home. I called around the state and realized that there were more homes available for boys,” Patterson said.

While looking for a location for the new boys’ home, Full Gospel Church donated its building.

The boys home was granted occupancy several weeks ago with the living quarters and school portion open and now having its first resident, a few months later than originally planned.

“We were blessed with the building being donated but we went over budget due to having to meet fire codes and ADA handicapped codes,” Patterson said of the delay.

As a result, Patterson said, there is still a lot of work to do and they’re seeking money, supplies and volunteers to finish the main level, according to Patterson.

Read more about the needs at the Agape House for Boys and how to get involved with the homes for boys and girls in Southern Lakes Newspapers’ publications.                


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