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A new Day at San Mar

Official sees opportunity for growth a girls' home

Official sees opportunity for growth a girls' home

July 27, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

BOONSBORO - Daniel C. Day said his decision to take the newly created position of director of development at San Mar Children's Home was easy once he met Bruce Anderson.

"Bruce has such an extraordinary vision for San Mar," Day said of the chief operating officer of the home for adolescent girls at 8504 Mapleville Road.

Now that he's on board, Day said he has lots of plans for San Mar, which has been serving children since 1883. Growth is and will be a big part of that planning.

"Currently, we have 42 girls on campus and 26 more in foster care," Day said. "We also do adoptions."

In the past 10 years, two new shelters have been built - the Jack E. Barr therapeutic group home in 1997 and the Dr. Henry F. and Florence Hill Graff Shelter just one year ago.

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"Since the Graff Shelter opened in 2006, we have had 100 girls through that program," Day said. Girls can stay up to 90 days in that shelter while a more permanent living situation is found.

Day said the Barr home provides therapy and treatment for up to eight girls with serious emotional disturbances.

Celebration

On Wednesday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m. the anniversaries of those two programs will be marked with tours of the facilities, an opportunity to meet the San Mar staff and then light refreshments.

A native of Pennsylvania, Day was in journalism and public relations prior to discovering how much he enjoyed fundraising.

"Before I came here, I was with Volunteers of America in Pennsylvania," Day said, noting that organization is also dedicated to youth.

After graduating from Williamsport (Pa.) High School, Day earned his degree in English and journalism from Mansfield (Pa.) State University.

Day's wife, Norma Jean, has been a nurse at Washington County Hospital for more than 16 years. He has two children, Matthew and Kendra Day, both teachers, and two stepsons, Joshua and Josiah Furry, both students.

In addition to his other reasons for coming to San Mar, Day was also looking to cut his 70-minute daily interstate commute to Harrisburg, Pa., from his home in Orrtanna, Pa., near Gettysburg, Pa.

But mostly it is the vision. "This is a very good cause to work for," Day said. The girls at San Mar often seem normal on the outside but they have suffered such trauma in their young lives, he said.

Day credited the staff and volunteers from Anderson on down for having such empathy for these girls.

"Right now we are raising money to send nine girls and three staff members to Colorado this summer," Day said. "We already have $12,000 toward the $18,000 we need."

Last year, 10 girls and three staff members spent eight days at an adventure camp in the Rockies that Anderson learned of when he was on a bicycle trip there the year before.

"One girl who went last year said she hurt, she stunk and didn't think she could make it," Day said. But that girl did make it and she said she learned she could do anything from that experience.

It's just that kind of spirit that makes Day confident he made the right decision to come to San Mar.

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