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L.I.F.E. Center breaks ground

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new L.I.F.E. Center for Independent Living branch office in Bismarck was held Friday under clear blue skies on land adjacent to the city’s senior center.

Among those in attendance were Bismarck city employees; the VFW 6947 Honor Guard; L.I.F.E. Center employees; state representatives Mike Henderson and Kevin Engler; County Clerk Mark Hedrick; architect David Kromm of Kromm, Rikimaru & Johansen, Inc.; Margaret Yates of Southeast Regional Planning and Zoning; and members of the community.

The ceremony was emceed by Bismarck Mayor Seth Radford who led the crowd in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the playing of the National Anthem.

“We’ve seen a great need in this community,” Radford said. “We have not been able to accommodate many of our extremely important citizens — those who are disabled and our senior adults. As you can see, we don’t have very many sidewalks that have been accommodating to these special and great people.

“That’s what we’re working on. We’ve got a project going on up the street here that is addressing that situation to give them more access to the facilities in town. We could never have even considered constructing this new L.I.F.E. Center without the city, our state representatives and senators helping us out.

“What we’re saying with this groundbreaking ceremony is that we don’t want our people with disabilities and senior adults to be confined in their homes. We want you to be able to get out in public so you can live a great and active life instead of being cooped up in a facility where you end up withering away. That’s what this new L.I.F.E. Center is all about.”

L.I.F.E. Center Executive Director Tim Azinger addressed the crowd, saying, “I’d like to thank Mayor Radford for his support of us through this process. It takes city leaders and a council that’s willing to partner with us. They saw fit to have a meeting with us. We kind of cross-referenced what we wanted to do, and he had a vision of what he’d like to see. We told him what we do, and it just made a perfect marriage.

“We’re one of 22 Centers for Independent Living in the state of Missouri. We help seniors and people with disabilities live as independently as possible in the community, and we provide a variety of supports and services to do so. For people with disabilities we provide medical equipment, recycling, a transportation program and Medicaid services designed to keep people in their own homes rather than go to nursing homes. We also have some funds to help people get out of nursing homes and get back into their homes.

“We try to be a go-to place — a one-stop shop, if you will. If we don’t do it, it’s our job to find out who does. We’re really excited about this location. It will be a branch office and everything that’s going on in Farmington — we want that to go on here. That was in our conversation early on in planning. We wanted to make sure that the citizens of this area were not forgotten or inconvenienced.

“As a non-profit, it is always our goal to be as accessible as possible to everyone we’re pleased to serve. That makes us a great fit and we’re just really excited. I’d like to thank everybody who has been a part of this in the making and we appreciate you coming out today.”

Bismarck’s L.I.F.E. Center for Independent Living is expected to be completed sometime this fall.

“What we’re saying with this groundbreaking ceremony is that we don’t want our people with disabilities and senior adults to be confined in their homes.” — Mayor Seth Radford

Bismarck Mayor Seth Radford, left, and L.I.F.E. Center for Independent Living Executive Director Tim Azinger share a shovel at a groundbreaking ceremony for a branch office that will soon begin construction. Standing with the pair are a variety of people who helped to make the project possible.</p><p class=

View additional photos online at dailyjournalonline.com” width=”800″ /> Bismarck Mayor Seth Radford, left, and L.I.F.E. Center for Independent Living Executive Director Tim Azinger share a shovel at a groundbreaking ceremony for a branch office that will soon begin construction. Standing with the pair are a variety of people who helped to make the project possible.

View additional photos online at dailyjournalonline.com

L.I.F.E. Center Executive Director Tim Azinger speaks to the crowd at Friday afternoon's groundbreaking ceremony that was held adjacent to the Bismarck Senior Center.

L.I.F.E. Center Executive Director Tim Azinger speaks to the crowd at Friday afternoon’s groundbreaking ceremony that was held adjacent to the Bismarck Senior Center.

Bismarck Mayor Seth Radford emcees a groundbreaking ceremony for the new branch office of the L.I.F.E. Center for Independent Living being built in the town. 

Bismarck Mayor Seth Radford emcees a groundbreaking ceremony for the new branch office of the L.I.F.E. Center for Independent Living being built in the town. 

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com

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