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zx Buckner breaks ground on $6 million new campus for Family Place, Family Hope Center

LONGVIEW, Texas – Buckner International executives and community leaders broke ground on April 27 to begin construction on the $6 million project for the new Buck- ner Family Place and Buckner Family Hope Center in Longview on property the faith- based organization purchased last year. Supporters gathered for a brief ceremo- ny prior to the groundbreaking on the new four-acre property located at 1102 S. High St., across from Ware Elementary School. Last fall, officials unveiled details of the plans, which include building 17 new apartments for Family Place, a transitional housing program for single parents and their children. The new Family Hope Center

replaces the current program in Longview, located across from First Baptist Church. The projects have been named in rec- ognition of two Longview couples who have been longstanding supporters and advocates of Buckner. The Mac and Tom Stone Buckner Family Place is named after former Buckner Board of Trustees chairman and trustee emeritus, Tom and his wife, Margaret “Mac” Stone. The Linda and Ken Hall Buckner Family Hope Center is named after retired Buckner president and CEO, Kenneth and his wife, Linda Hall. Hall is also the former pastor of First Baptist Church in Longview. “We are able to break ground at this time because of the incredible financial support of our community,” said David Um- mel, executive director of Buckner Children and Family Services of East Texas. “The Longview community has supported this project every step of the way because of their passion for serving the less fortunate and the proven track record Buckner has established for helping vulnerable children

and families. While we haven’t reached 100 percent of our goal, we could not be more encouraged by the progress we have made thanks to this community.” Buckner Children and Family Services began serving the Longview community in 1992. In 1996, Buckner Westminster Place, a continuing care retirement com- munity, opened in Longview.

“This community means a lot to Buck-

ner,” Ummel said. “It is the base for our volunteers and our adoptive and foster care parents. This is where our clients live. It is our home. We’ve been here for a long time, and we’re here for the long run.” Information about the expansion plans and the “Shining Hope Longview Cam- paign” is available online at shiningho- Longview resident Kim Wright is serving as campaign coordina- tor for the fundraising effort and can be reached at or by phone at 903-757-9383.

–Lauri Ann Hanson

SUMMER 2015 ISSUE • Buckner Today 9

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