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Future 4-H facility, respite home receives first guests

MOOERS - As a volunteer for Hospice of the North Country, Ken Lushia understands the need for a respite house in the area.

With that in mind, Lushia purchased a home on Route 11 from the estate of Leeward and Margaret Monette about a year ago, and hopes to have it up and running soon as the Leeward and Margaret Monette Respite House.

"My goal is to have a place where people can drop somebody off and have them taken care of and then pick them back up after whatever they're going to do," Lushia explained.

The home also has a carriage house, which Lushia plans to utilize as the meeting place for the Tangled Reins 4-H Club, of which his granddaughter is a member.

"I've purchased enough property to have horses here," he said. "We're going to be able to do horseback riding lessons and different things."

Having horses around is something Lushia sees as a benefit for those utilizing the respite house.

"Especially people with disabilities, they like the fact that there's animals around," he explained.

To find out how well the house flows with people in it, Lushia recently welcomed the Lange family to use the home for a reunion and birthday party.

Eight of the nine surviving siblings of the Lange family were able to make it to the 90th birthday celebration of their father Norbert Lange.

"We haven't seen each other in two years," explained daughter Paula Schares, who said the last get together was for her sister Mary Lafleur.

The siblings all live across the country, in states such as Missouri, Florida, North Dakota, Indiana and Minnesota. Since Norbert now lives in Plattsburgh with Schares, however, 35 members of the Lange family came out to the North Country to celebrate.

Daughter Pat Foster called the area "beautiful" and said some family members used the visit as a chance to climb nearby Lyon Mountain.

Others opted to simply hang around the house, she said.

"We've been able, because of this house, to get into groups and do different things, (like) cards and conversation," Foster said. "Because this house is such a wonderful facility, it's just been perfect for a family get together and getting reunited."

Lushia said having the family using the house was "such a thrill."

"Having them here and being a part of this whole thing, it's been wonderful," he said. "It's a test run to see how this all flows, and it really does."

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