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MOUNT VERNON — United Methodist Children’s Home is looking for past residents and clients to form an alumni group.

The first UMCH alumni group gathering will be at noon Sept. 28 at UMCH main campus, 2023 Richview Road, in Mount Vernon. A Friends and Family Centennial Celebration, which is free and open to the public, will be from 1 to 4 p.m. that day.

“There are people in the community who grew up at the children’s home. This was their home, and we want to have a homecoming for everyone to see what we are doing to help kids now,” said Marcus Holland, development coordinator. “The 100-year anniversary has been a great point to reconnect with adults who have been previously influenced and helped by UMCH. Their stories are an important part of the history of UMCH and Mount Vernon.”

Former residents and individuals who have received services from UMCH are encouraged to call Holland at 618-242-1070, ext. 234, or email him at mholland@umchome.org to be added to the alumni mailing list. Information is being collected to send invitations and an alumni newsletter.

Planning is currently under way for the Friends and Family Centennial Celebration, which is part of the year-long 100th anniversary of UMCH. In addition to the alumni reception, there will be a band, concessions, booths, games, tours and family-friendly activities.

In 1913, United Methodist Children’s Home started in Creal Springs as an orphanage. In 1921, the children’s home moved to Mount Vernon after a fire destroyed one of the three buildings. A report shows that by the mid-1950s, only 3 percent of the children at the home were orphans.

From 1961 to 1986, the Rev. Marion Farmer was executive director and started to shift the children’s home toward the therapeutic social service agency it is today. Now, UMCH provides Christ-centered human services to 1,200 youth, individuals and families throughout Southern Illinois.

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