Ch­ester­wye re­opens Rhodes house

Record Observer - - COMMUNITY - By DOUG BISHOP dbishop@kibay­

GRASONVILLE — In Fe­bru­ary 2016, the former Rhodes house, a res­i­den­tial home for adults with de­vel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties at Ch­ester­wye, in Grasonville, caught fire and burned down. The fire was dis­cov­ered around 4 a.m. by res­i­dent coun­selor Shonee Moore, who woke the four res­i­dents of the home and su­per­vised their suc­cess­ful es­cape from the burn­ing build­ing. She also placed a call to the Grasonville Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment, which ar­rived in min­utes to fight the fire.

Within four hours, Amer­i­can Red Cross vol­un­teers were on the scene find­ing pro­vi­sions and a place to stay for the four res­i­dents of the home. The fire came as a bliz­zard ar­rived in the area later that same day.

A lit­tle more than one year later, Thurs­day, March 30, the rib­bon cut­ting took place with the four pre­vi­ous res­i­dents, Brian Matthews, Ed­die Mur­phy, John Sim­mons and Richard Sim­mons, open­ing the new Dr. Harry and Creighton Rhodes House. The Rhodes house is a state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity for peo­ple with de­vel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties and pos­si­ble phys­i­cal hand­i­caps.

Ch­ester­wye Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor De­bra Langseth said, “We built this new house with the fu­ture in mind, think­ing of those who not only oc­cupy it now, but those who may oc­cupy it in years to come, who may have dif­fer­ent dis­abil­i­ties.”

Langseth re­ferred to the ex­tra wide door­ways (both in­te­rior and ex­te­rior), widened hall­ways, spa­cious kitchen and bath­rooms for those who may be con­fined to wheel­chairs.

Also present for the rib­bon cut­ting were Ch­ester­wye Foun­da­tion Chair­man Wheeler Baker, County Com­mis­sion­ers Steve Wil­son, Mark An­der­son, Jim Mo­ran and Jack Wil­son, home builder Char­lie Thomas, as well as mem­bers of the GVFD who were present to fight the fire in Fe­bru­ary 2016.

The late Dr. Harry and Creighton Rhodes had been very in­volved in the devel­op­ment of Ch­ester­wye. Dr. Rhodes had pre­vi­ously had been Queen Anne’s County Su­per­in­ten­dent of Schools (1951 — 1967) and was keenly aware of fa­cil­i­ties needed to care for adults with dis­abil­i­ties, many of those who had no fam­i­lies to care for them. He and Creighton in­vested much of their time and ef­forts to see­ing that Ch­ester­wye was de­vel­oped. One of nine res­i­den­tial homes at Ch­ester­wye was named for the Rhode­ses be­fore they died. This home is lo­cated at the main cam­pus of Ch­ester­wye in Grasonville.

On Thurs­day, March 30, the rib­bon was cut for the new Dr. Harry & Creighton Rhodes House at Ch­ester­wye in Grasonville. As­sem­bled are those who had a role in the house’s rebuilding. From the left, Ch­ester­wye’s Kathy Adams, County Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Steve Wil­son, Ch­ester­wye coun­selors Shonee Moore and Dorothea Espil, house res­i­dent Brian Matthews, Com­mis­sioner Jack Wil­son, res­i­dents Ed­die Mur­phy, John Sim­mons, Richard Zaleski, Com­mis­sion­ers Mark An­der­son and Jim Mo­ran, home builder Char­lie Thomas, Ch­ester­wye Foun­da­tion Chair­man Wheeler Baker, and Ch­ester­wye Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor De­bra Langseth. In the back­ground, Grasonville Fire Depart­ment mem­bers, Cap­tain Troy Til­gh­man, fire­fighter Rod­ney Adams, As­sis­tant Chief Rob­bie Marsh, As­sis­tant Chief Steve McCombs, and fire­fighter Alex Cole.


The Dr. Harry and Creighton Rhodes House is state-of-the-art with spa­cious kitchen, wheel-chair ac­cess door­ways through­out the house, and ex­tra wide hall­ways and bath­rooms.

Rhodes House res­i­dent Brian Matthews, 66, in his spe­cially dec­o­rated bed­room with his per­sonal ad­vo­cate Jan DeBrew. An ad­vo­cate is some­one who sees that the per­son is taken care of when he has no per­sonal fam­ily, as in Brian’s case.

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