Russell “Russ” and Catherine “Kay” Payeur are longtime friends and generous supporters of Saint Louis Center (SLC).

When SLC was the St. Louis School for Boys, Russ and Kay attended a dinner at the school. A young student was having a hard time at the dinner, so one of the priests spoke with him and immediately calmed him. That made an impression on the couple, and they have been supporters ever since.

Russ and Kay are happy and kind people who love nature. They were high school sweethearts, who married and raised three children. They live in Saline Michigan, where they attend St. Andrew’s Catholic Church. Russ is an accomplished builder, carpenter, and woodworker, as is evident by his many hand-built toys displayed at SLC. Kay is an accomplished seamstress, community volunteer, and flower gardener who managed the family business finances while raising their children. They enjoyed building a home in the country with a pond and cabin. In the springtime, they enjoy viewing a field of white trillium blooms. They have four grandchildren.

When you walk into the atrium at SLC, you will find custom-built oak cases. On the shelves are over 60 wooden ‘toy’ vehicles, a collection Russ handcrafted in his workshop. In addition to vehicles, SLC now proudly displays Russ’ collection of eight wooden reindeer pulling a sleigh during the Christmas season.

Once Russ and Kay learned of the legacy campaign, they got financially involved and supported the SLC’s new vision in serving persons with l/DD who are aging. Giving hope to so many families who always question “who will take care of my son/daughter, once I am gone?”

These are a few of the many reasons why we proudly honor Russ and Kay as this year’s recipients of the Bill Wagner Pioneer award for bringing hope to families and SLC into the future.

Does this story inspire you to become SLC supporters like Russ and Kay? Make a donation below!