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Garden day scheduled at Bethesda





Bethesda Place will host the inaugural Shelley Stafford Honorary Garden Day on Saturday.

The event, open to the public, will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offer opportunities to stroll through the gardens, sip tea, visit and listen to live music and short educational talks by local gardeners.

Bethesda Place, a local Christian nonprofit organization founded by Tom and Shelley Stafford, is located at 1571 220th Ave., a quarter-mile west of the Ellis County Fairgrounds and a quarter-mile south of Fairground Road.

Schedule of Saturday events:

* 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. -- Burrito picnic lunch.

* 10 a.m. to noon -- Activities and crafts for children.

* 1 p.m. -- Honoring of Shelley Stafford for 35 years of dedication to the men of Bethesda Place.

* 2 p.m. -- Conclusion of silent auction.

Donations will be accepted and used for future development of the property. The event will be canceled in the event of inclement weather.

The Staffords founded Bethesda Place, now the home of six men, in 1976 when the couple began taking in young men with developmental disabilities to live in their country home west of Hays.

"The residents and staff of Bethesda Place lead a meaningful life together as they grow trees for local landscaping development, garden to nourish themselves and others and create an inspirational living community in which 'two is better than one.' " said Amanda Tippy, daughter of the Staffords. "Together, they overcome each of their unique challenges."