Crisis nursery planning fundraiser for facility improvements
By Tamara Browning
The State Journal-Register
Posted Feb 27, 2019 at 4:58 PM
Updated Feb 28, 2019 at 11:44 AM
A crisis nursery with a mission to prevent child abuse and neglect by providing free emergency care for children will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a fundraiser to pay for improvements to its facility.
The Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery will host its 30th Birthday Gala Celebration May 4 in the Dove Conference Center at the Prairie Heart Institute at HSHS St. John’s Hospital, 619 E. Mason St. A reception will be held at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m. and program with awards and live auction at 7:30 p.m.
The goal is to raise $250,000. Drs. Regina Kovach and David Steward have donated $100,000 to kick off the campaign for the nursery that provides free, 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year emergency care for children who may be at risk or whose parents are experiencing a medical, parental or home crisis.
″(The $100,000 gift) was kind of our impetus to see, well, we are doing something right here,” said Donna Davlantis, vice president of the board and chairperson of the gala committee. ”... Two doctors in the community believed us and said, ‘Here’s $100,000. We want a safe facility for the kids and the staff.’ ”
Marinda “Mini” O’Beirne, along with local public officials and community leaders, started the crisis nursery. Before it opened in 1989, O’Beirne died of cancer, and the nursery was named in her honor.
The nursery first opened at 423 N. Seventh St. before moving to its current home at 1011 N. Seventh St. In 2001, the crisis nursery underwent renovations and expansions that it is now outgrowing.
A board task force is working with an architect to determine if the crisis nursery should expand the current location, move to a new location or build a new nursery.
In the past year, the nursery provided more than 7,100 hours of urgent or emergency childcare to nearly 1,700 children who were at risk of abuse or neglect.
The crisis nursery has seen a greater need in the community, Davlantis said.
“We’re only licensed to serve 10 children at a time, and so we balance between a crisis,” said Davlantis, who added that the nursery has 15 staff members as well as several volunteers.
“We don’t want to say one crisis is worse than another crisis, but medical crises in the family take precedence, anyone with drug or alcohol issues they’re seeking assistance for that, incarceration, homelessness, those kinds of (crises). Individuals in those situations get priority of our services.”
Davlantis said the nursery also helps families who are nearing a crisis situation or need a break.
Tickets for the birthday gala are $100 each. For more information, visit the nursery’s Facebook page.
People wanting to donate items for the silent and live auctions or who want more information, may contact the nursery at 525-6800 weekdays or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The annual budget for the Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery is approximately $450,000, which is funded by donations, grants and fundraisers, the largest of which is the annual Children’s Holiday Store.
Contact Tamara Browning: email@example.com, 788-1534, twitter.com/tambrowningSJR.