Flock welcomed at recent Norma’s Nest open house

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hopefully you availed yourself of the opportunity to attend the Saturday celebration at Norma’s Nest on Sept. 23, 2011.

However, if you were unable to attend, here are the details of the morning.

The building’s namesake, Norma McLelland, with her family - Meagan, John and Robert McLelland.

Beautifully manicured lawn and flowerbeds reflected laborious attention. Chairs faced the porch, which held vibrant ferns on wrought iron stands accenting the porch furniture.

As guests arrived, Leroy Cole, Todd Sasser and Ziba Anderson provided assistance with parking.

The event began with Cole introducing Pennye Anderson, who enthusiastically welcomed guests, stating the idea for such a home was born more than 12 years ago, as an outgrowth of the Covington County Jail Ministry. On the spacious front porch were all six board members along with Kim Cowen, the housemother and Norma McLelland, for whom the home is named.

With Dianne Gray opening the front door, warmth and appreciation emanated as the tour began. Beautiful piano music afforded by three gifted pianist – Jackie Covington, Betty Gay and Zondra Jernigan – created an air of thanksgiving for accomplishment of the refurbished home.

The living and dining rooms held beautiful arrangements created by Martha Griffin and Dianne Curry. Punch and delicious homemade finger foods were served by Cindy Cook, Teresa Ward and Cathy Harry.

The guests were directed by Mavene Nichols to register and to view the beautiful bedrooms, study and bathrooms. Relaxing soft colors were chosen during the redecorating process. Lovely pictures were in place. Lamps and accessories adorned dressers and nightstands.

Guests expressed amazement at the thought behind each piece of furniture, linens and accessories. They were purchased with the knowledge that each resident would welcome these homey, warm provisions.

Beautiful hardwood floors complimented the above. Computers are available to assist in teaching residents skills and providing information regarding job availability.

Kim Cowen, the housemother, welcomed the guests into her spacious bedroom which opens onto an inviting screened porch.

Gracious compliments were indications of the beauty of people from all over the county and beyond, working together for a needed cause.

Comments heard were “My husband helped pour this concrete;” “My Sunday School class contributed to furnishing this room;” and “My husband helped install this appliance.”

The well-equipped laundry room includes a new washer and dryer. The larger upright freezer is already in use.

Other than locals enjoying the tour, there were interested guests from Florida, as well as Opelika, Greenville, Opp, Birmingham, Monroeville and Auburn.

It was said, “I do not have enough legal pads to write the names of all the people who have helped at Norma’s Nest.”

Contributors may never know what changes will be made in the lives of those who have access to this warm, friendly home.

Many who were unfamiliar with this labor of love inquired as to how it is funded. The answer: Norma’s Nest is a non-profit organization funded through private donations.

In summary, an old adage seems appropriate, “Success awaits at Labors’ Gates.”

This has been verified at 902 Snowden Drive.