Home for Healing – Community Impact Award

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Photographed by David Yerby Photography | Shot on location at the Home for Healing Serenity Garden

   Gary Dean is a proud Arkansan and devoted family man. “My blended family is my greatest asset,” he proclaims. Gary and his late wife, Robin, married 46 years ago; Gary has three children and she has two. “The five children were raised together becoming close siblings with multiple sets of loving, devoted parents. And to my great joy, they remain like that to this day.” The Dean’s love overflows into the community – creating profound relationships throughout Central Arkansas. Among these is Home for Healing. Gary will be recognized with the Community Impact Award at Monster Bash for his unwavering commitment to the organization’s residents.

   width=At Williams & Dean Architecture & Interior Design, Gary is in the business of building community. His career as an architect provides unique opportunities to work alongside his neighbors + create spaces for people to learn, grow and thrive. He confesses, “Every step of my professional career and the relationships developed along the way have been very rewarding and I have enjoyed, and am still enjoying, the work.” 

   Gary’s portfolio is filled with success. He has worked on many interesting and rewarding projects throughout his career. Among these endeavors, the inception of Home for Healing, originally Family Home, remains one of the most meaningful. Gary remembers, “Robin was a volunteer at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at the time when Sam Perroni recognized the need for cancer patients and their caregivers to have a safe, convenient and affordable place to stay during treatment. He located the site for the home and my firm was selected to get the home designed and constructed.” Home for Healing Executive Director Kristin Trulock adds, “They were instrumental in shaping the impact for this home away from home for so many in need. He put his heart and soul into the design of Home for Healing to assure our guests felt at home. And, not only did they get to know the guests, they became part of their family.”

   Located on Markham Street across from the UAMS campus, Home for Healing offers support to parents of NICU infants, individuals and their caregivers undergoing cancer treatment, and caregivers of individuals who are in intensive care units – providing convenient and free of cost lodging in a peaceful and restorative environment. Kristin expands, “We pride ourselves in helping all guests break any barrier that would interfere with the healing process whether it be hunger, transportation, services or support. They become our family throughout their stay and the rest of their lives. We know all about the guests and their families. We help mind, body and spirit.”

   It was weekend dinners at the home that Gary Dean recalls, but he admits Robin was a natural. “She spent 13 years dedicated to the residents, staff and fellow volunteers.” Due to Robin’s own battle with cancer, she reluctantly retired from what had become her passion – meeting, greeting and serving the patients and their families. Gary confesses, “Our entire family could certainly identify with what the patients and their families were going through. While we were very fortunate to live nearby, have transportation and the means to deal with the enormous burdens of everything required for the treatments, so many do not!”

   Kristin reveals, “We are run 100% on donations, grants and sponsors. It takes more than $300,000 annually just to house our guests.” Proceeds from Monster Bash support these expenses. With more than 500 guests participating in the largest costume contest in Arkansas, Gary is excited to join in FUNdraising for the organization. The evening will feature personal stories, entertainment by Jet420, local eateries as well as live and silent auction – all for Home for Healing!

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