Elbrooke residents give thanks to Pavilion founders

March 27, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

MINFORD — Residents of Elbrooke Pavilion retirement center in Minford surprised owners Henry and Jeanetta Collins with a special ceremony Wednesday to thank the couple for all they have done for them and the community.

The Collins’ purchased an old farmhouse sitting on 10 acres of real estate on State Route 335 in 1981 and converted the building into a residential care facility, while they and their two children (Hank and Tina) lived together in just one bedroom of the facility. Mr. and Mrs. Collins each maintained a full-time job outside of the center, which they named Elbrooke Pavilion after Henry’s parents Elbie and Brookie Collins.

They opened a second building on the property in 1982 to care for veterans and another brick building in 1986, before purchasing even more property in 1990 to create additional living spaces for residents.

“We just grew, I think, as the need arose for this area. Plus a lot of state funding enabled us to increase in size. Without the state funding a lot of people couldn’t afford this. We kind of depended on what the state was doing and at that time they were evolving,” Henry Collins said.

On Wednesday, the Collins’ were invited to the center where they were surprised to find residents gathered in the main lobby to celebrate their commitment to the community and to Elbrooke Pavilion.

“So many of the peoples’ families have said, ‘We can go about our daily tasks and know that our mom and dad are being taken care of, and we don’t have to worry about their medical issues; we don’t have to worry about their food, because Henry and Jeanetta make it a practice to accommodate for every single person’s special need. You can’t find that anywhere else,” said Myra Bowling.

Bowling and her husband Estill have been residents at Elbrooke Pavilion since August.

“They (the Collins’) are humble people, and they don’t pretend. They’re just down to earth, Godly and loving people. They try to treat all of us residents like we’re their family. I feel like their my family, and my husband does too. You can’t express it. There are no words in the English language that can express thank you,” she said.

Bowling said so many residents have told her that they wish they could tell the Collins’ how wonderful they have been, so Bowling helped organize this special ceremony on Wednesday. After listening to heartfelt testimonies from residents and their families and a piano performance by Lance Flower, Mr. and Mrs. Collins was presented a special scrapbook from the residents and a certificate of their appreciation.

“Words can’t express how much we appreciate the people that have come here and trusted us to take care of them,” Henry Collins said. “It’s a real compliment to us when they come here. We love to see our neighbors here.”

Now retired from their full-time jobs outside the center, the Collins each maintain a regular presence with the center. Henry Collins is CEO and Jeanetta is the RN manager at the facility.

Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.