It had been over 18 months since a fire destroyed the Unlimited Opportunities facility (UOI) located at 1620 Ashley Road and while an old chapter closed, a new one begun as planning started on a new facility. On Wednesday morning, over 100 people showed up to support the groundbreaking of the new permanent UOI facility, which will be completed by next year.
Since consumed by fire, the UOI offices were distributed around Boonville, and now after long months of planning and patience, UOI will once again be in one central location.
"Our community. Where would we be without you. I have always known the impact our organization makes but on February 2, 2012 we all knew what vital role we do play here. Thank you all so much," Unlimited Opportunities Executive Director, Jennifer Waibel said.
UOI board member Ned Beach spoke about his experiences since the fire.
"Just 552 days ago we were standing over here trying to talk in between tears. It was a huge event for this organization, its clients and the town," Beach said.
Beach said none of the organizations he has served on rank in comparison to what UOI does or accomplishes.
"What we do here is important and wonderful," Beach said. "That is why you will see a new building being constructed here, because we believe in it."
Waibel thanked the UOI board and everyone in attendance during the special occasion.
"Their time and commitment have been proven over the past 18 months. When you come on, you know there will be one meeting a month. They have insured they are making the best decisions for UOI and its clients," Waibel said.
Waibel ended with a promise of good things to come.
"We have clearly proven we can make it through anything. Everyone made things happen and this is what is to come," she said. "Most importantly I would like to the thank the individuals who we support because without our clients we would not have any jobs."
Waibel along with a handful of individuals took shovels put on hard hats and broke ground to establish the new construction of the new UOI facility.
"Although we are just breaking ground today, we are far from over with this project. We were fortunate enough to have insurance, but some of the cost will still need to be financed," she said.
To help raise additional funds for the project, special bricks can be purchased, which will be placed in the foyer of the new facility. To find more information on this fundraiser, contact UOI at 660-882-5576 or http://www.uoi.org.