By Leah Sander
WINONA LAKE — The K21 Health Foundation finally has a permanent place for its office.
On Thursday, Oct. 1, the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce had a ribbon cutting for the new office, located at 1101 Park Ave., Winona Lake.
K21 President and CEO Rich Haddad shared how grateful the organization was to have its own office for the first time in its 21 years of existence. The foundation previously rented space downtown and near Harrison Elementary School.
“I think having your own place is important and it represents what we want to convey to the community, which is we’re here for you,” said Haddad. “Here’s where we are. I think the permanence of bricks and mortar kind of conveys that we’re going to be here a long time.”
He noted the office’s central location in the county helps the organization better serve the community.
“Winona Lake has made such good culture change of kind of healthy living and a culture of really being active, that it kind of represents a lot of what we want to try to help do,” he said.
The office sits in the former Billy Sunday museum, constructed in 1999. The building housed several entities afterward before becoming the K21 office.
K21 purchased it from Grace College and Theological Seminary two years ago. Remodeling it into the office took about four months, said Haddad.
Ken Nisly of Winona Lake Restoration was in charge of the restoration. He helped construct the original building 21 years ago.
COVID-19 did slow the project in that it delayed the previous tenant leaving the building, said Haddad. It also caused some supply delays.
Three K21 staffers are working from the building. There’s also space for nonprofits to use for conducting meetings.
“We’re very grateful to be a part of an organization that really is here for the community,” said Haddad. “We’re going to continue to focus on creating opportunities and trying to remove barriers for people to live their healthiest life.”