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Huntington 'village' again steps up for group home

Nov. 03, 2012 @ 12:18 AM

In the nearly 30 years since it came into being, the Golden Girl Group Home in Ceredo has come a long way as it works to serve dependent, neglected and predelinquent girls who are unable to make a successful adjustment in their natural homes or foster care homes.

During that time, it has positively touched the lives of hundreds of girls and young women.

Much of the credit, of course, goes to the good hearts and perseverance of its founder, Judy Gilkerson, her daughter, current executive director Renee Harrison, and the dedicated staff. It's also a testament to the Huntington area community, which has bought into the important mission of the home and supported it strongly.

The latest evidence of that is the group home's Project Sunshine. The project is a housing expansion on the Golden Girl campus that will serve as a transitional independent living facility for four young women moving from life at Golden Girl into college or vocational school.

The expansion adds yet another important component to Golden Girl's goal of giving girls from troubled situations a structured, safe environment that will help prepare them for adulthood.

Nikki Thomas, the group home's development director and herself a key driving force behind the project, noted at a dedication ceremony last week that the new two-story house would not have been possible without the 30 local businesses and organizations that volunteered time and financial resources.

Harrison, too, expressed her gratitude, citing the well-known adage that "It takes a village to raise a child."

The Golden Girl Group Home has proven that it and the children it serves are worthy of the community's support, and the community has once again stepped up to make the facility even stronger.

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