The Gathering Place 40th Anniversary Open House

Date(s) - April 28, 2016
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The Gathering Place, a drop in mental health recovery center, is celebrating 40 years of support in the Athens community, 1976-2016. We will be having an Open House for the community on Thursday, April 28th, from 4pm-7pm at our newly renovated facility on 7 North Congress Street.

We encourage community members to join us for a tour of our beautiful 3-story Victorian house and to celebrate this milestone with food, live music and a member art show. Additionally, we are pleased to announce the creation of two mental health awards honoring two of our founders, Anne Stempel and Shirley Whan.

In the 1960’s, Anne and Shirley joined a group of concerned community members and former mental health patients to form Athens Mental Health Inc. Their grassroots movement provided support to newly discharged mental health patients, who had little to no support living on their own in the Athens community. In 1976, the group wrote a proposal to our local behavioral health board to open up a transitional center where people could form friendships, support networks, meaningful activity, and receive vital linkage services; and The Gathering Place came into existence.

At 5:30pm, there will be a special awards ceremony to recognize community members selected by the Athens Mental Health Board of Trustees, who display the qualities and dedication to The Gathering Place that Anne Stempel and Shirley Whan embodied. Without their lifetime commitment to the mission, The Gathering Place would not exist.

David Walters is the recipient of the 2016 Shirley Whan Mental Health Service Award for his many years of service to The Gathering Place. The 2016 Anne Stempel Mental Health Partnership Award has two recipients, Scott Winland, for his work with Benefest and The Athens Community Music Festival, both of which benefit our mission annually and integrate our members into the events; and Central Avenue Methodist Church, for their lead gift for our renovations and continuing support of our “Community Illumination” Mental Health awareness event, held annually at Central Venue on Carpenter Street.

For questions please call: 740-594-7337 or email

The Gathering Place