AngelaHuston@zoominternet.net   CRHuston@zoominternet.net

The offices of The Society (formerly called SHC), 4283 Paradise Road, Seville, buzzed with activity and good cheer December 20. There were delightful, original decorations everywhere, plus an enticing buffet of inviting foods for all to share at the organization's annual holiday open house.

Visitors were warmly greeted by Associate Executive Director Shelly Wharton and Director of Human Resources Lynn Emmons. Executive Director Melanie Kasten-Krause constantly moved everywhere throughout the building personally greeting people, thanking them for joining in the holiday celebration.

Office doors were decked out in the most creative ways, from plaid-bordered photos (Director of Development and Community Relations Jennifer Anzalone and Jeni Gray) to fluffy snowmen (Loreen and Gene), to an enormous box of Malley's Chocolates (Julie 'The Chocolate Lady' Malone).

Shelly Wharton's door was a huge, colorfully detailed, description/advertisement for the upcoming 10th Polar Bear Jump at Chippewa Lake. Visitors were invited to vote for their favorites, but there were so many outstanding examples of creativity it was a tough call.

Perhaps one of the most moving, inspirational displays was the "Be Like House" Wall where there were 1,000 cards describing random acts of kindness.

"House" is the fond nickname for Deb Haumesser, Residential Operations Manager, who is known for her kindness to everyone. She, as well as the others who work at The Society, consider everyone on staff and the residents a part of one big family.

Although "House" is going through a tough time right now dealing with liver cancer, she continues to work, to remain upbeat; her lovely smile and admirable traits of kindness, strength and an unwillingness to be defeated are reflected in her co-workers, who want to "Be Like House." House decorated her office door as well as the inside of the office with huge cottony snowflakes to celebrate the holiday season.

The festive mid-afternoon break was a welcome opportunity to connect with friends for a holiday celebration.