Saline Area Social Service Celebrates Grand Opening With Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Saline Area Social Service celebrated the grand opening of their new facility with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 25. The event, which was open to the public, featured free food, tours of the facility, and visits with local dignitaries.
The new facility, located at Industrial Road, has vastly increased in size from its former 1600-square-foot building on Michigan Avenue. The new 7,800-square-foot facility allows for plenty of space for open pantry shelving, offices, conference rooms, a full kitchen, and more.
Anne Cummings, director of SASS, said that this has been a huge project since March 2022. She was thankful for the volunteers, businesses, and churches who helped in this move.
“I am so grateful and humbled to say that we have a space that our community can use, that our community feels comfortable going in, both from a volunteer standpoint and from a client standpoint. Since we’ve moved in, not only has our client base grown 22 percent, but the number of volunteers that help us has also grown tremendously as well,” Cummings said.
“We are just so grateful that we are all together here and supporting a cause bigger than us,” she added.
Molly Luempert-Coy, vice chair of the Saline Chamber of Commerce, was accompanied by board member Alice Rea to provide the ribbon and scissors for the ceremony.
“We’re so pleased to be here supporting them,” Coy said. “It really gives them the room for the food pantry, a walk-in freezer, and client services that can be conducted inside in the conference room. It’s just a beautiful facility.”
Miss Saline, Sophia Bauman, was also on hand to speak with visitors and represent the community.
Mayor Brian Marl spoke at the ceremony, reflecting on the progress of SASS during his tenure.
“I was reflecting as I was driving in today on the trajectory that this group has been on, beginning in 2012 and ending today in 2022, and what a ten years it has been. From a small suite uptown/ downtown Saline, to a new location at Mills and Michigan Avenue, and now this facility which will serve this organization and the community so well in the years ahead.”
“A lot of people think that Saline Area Social Services is an important entity in the community. I think it is absolutely essential. I think that it’s vital for the wellbeing of the Saline community and the people who live here,” Marl said.
The community came out on a rainy day to show their support for SASS and enjoy the free ice cream provided by Saline Lions and free hot dogs and popcorn provided by the Kiwanis. Visitors touring the interiors admired photography of historic Saline landmarks that decorated the walls. A tree art installation also moved from the smaller space on Michigan Avenue to a larger conference room, where it displays the names of volunteers and donors who help make SASS possible.
“We’re thrilled with the turnout,” director Cummings said. “ Given the rain, we still had an amazing number of community members and volunteers and supporters who came out to support us in this endeavor. We feel very fortunate to be able to celebrate with the community.”