In the middle of a pandemic when everyone is locked down to remain safely distanced from a menacing virus, what do you do to keep a large group of people with special needs busy when they can’t go anywhere beyond their safe campus environment? That was the question posed to Deana Fisher, COO of St. Louis Center during her ZOOM presentation to the Chelsea Rotary Club in early August. The answer came from Rotarian Lorna Tackwell of JDW & Associates, a local Chelsea business insurance broker, who is a good friend of Susan P. Rothamel, owner of USArtQuest, Inc. Rothamel’s business happens to be two miles down the road from St. Louis Center at 18650 Old US-12 in Sylvan Twp.
On the morning of Monday, August 24, 2020, Rothamel, Tackwell and Bridget Favre of D&B Marketing in Chelsea rode to the rescue by delivering a van load of art supplies worth $25,000 to help keep St. Louis Center’s residents busy for months. Ms. Rothamel as it turns out, deals in imported hand-made art paper, and is also involved in project development and is a known inventor. When she learned that the residents of St. Louis Center were looking for projects to help keep them busy, she jumped at the chance to help. She explained that, “I participate in the Alternative Arts and Business Learning Environment Program (AABLE), and love to help mentor young people in the community using my art and teaching skills.” Tackwell also donated $500 worth of art supplies for the residents, and loves to roll up her sleeves to help other people in the Chelsea Community. “When I learned of the needs out at St. Louis Center, I knew that Sue and I could do something special to help out, so I was happy to help facilitate this project for the residents.”