All smiles at the Grand Opening of the House of Hope

Nick Seebruch
All smiles at the Grand Opening of the House of Hope
Dr. Rachel Navaneelan cuts the ribbon with help from Kalem Chabot at the Grand Opening of the Rachel's Kids House of Hope on Wednesday

SOUTH GLENGARRY, Ontario – Dr. Rachel Navaneelan’s House of Hope was opened on the afternoon of Jan. 18 with strong support of the Cornwall Community.

“Having a facility like this fills a void that’s existed in Cornwall and the surrounding area,” said Cornwall Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy.

One area of the new House of Hope is the Smilezone an area for kids who are on the autism spectrum or have other developmental disabilities.

The Smilezone includes a sensory room for kids who might be sensitive to light or sound.

The Smilezone is the result of a partnership between the House of Hope and Smilezone, a not for profit organization dedicated to helping children with medical needs.

Dr. Navaneelan told the crowd gathered at the centre for the Grand Opening that she was excited to welcome the community into the new facility.

“The parents who stick out in my mind are the ones whose children have disabilities,” she said. “My heart feels for them because their journey can be a long one. I heard them tell me that they wanted a place where they could go to meet other parents with children with disabilities who understood what they were going through.

Dr. Navaneelan went on to say that the House of Hope would not have been possible without community support.

“Cornwall might not be the richest town in Ontario, but it has a deep well of community support,” she said.

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