Families convert gym to social hall for new parish

LINDENDWOLD — Rather than allowing the Our Lady of Grace complex in Somerdale to lie dormant, why not turn the old gym into a social hall for the parishioners of the new Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic community and for the surrounding community as well?

“Our initial thought was to give something back to the former parishioners of Our Lady of Grace,” said Daniel “Bud” Farr, a former parishioner of St. Lawrence, now home to the new parish which also incorporates St. Luke of Stratford.

Farr said the gym at Our Lady of Grace had already been used for social functions in the past and was called Immaculata Hall.

“I couldn’t see letting that old gym just lie there unused,” Farr said. “So back in September it hit me; since the gym had already seen many functions over the years, why not continue for both the parish and the community?”

Much of the conversion of the space from a gym to a social hall was done primarily by three families, said Farr.

“Members of the Quaile family, the Tomasettis, and the LaGrossa family took down the baskets and the backboards,” Farr said. “The three families did 99 percent of the work converting the gym. With some additional help from my family we cleaned and painted the gym and turned it into a social hall the parishioners of Our Lady of Guadalupe would be proud of.”

The first social function, Farr said, will be a luncheon of a Girl Scouts troop from Somerdale in January followed by a St. Valentine’s Day dance in February.

“The dance was held for years at Our Lady of Grace,” Farr explained. “We’re just continuing the tradition.”

The hall does have a kitchen, he said, and those who would rent the room would have to clean up afterwards and put everything back the way they found it.

Farr noted that something exciting was now in the works. The Somerdale Little League, he said, “might want to rent the hall for practice. There would be no hard ball used or regular play equipment. Instead, the players would practice with Nerf-style equipment.” Farr said he would be at the practices to supervise.

As for the cost to rent, Farr said, “We’re charging a minimum amount of money, just to cover expenses for the use of the hall and a fee for insurance because of diocesan requirements. We’re not looking to make a great deal of money but just enough for the Our Lady of Grace and St. Luke’s and St. Lawrence communities now under the Guadalupe name.”

For more information call the parish at 856-627-2222.

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