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YWCA recognizes Cathy Benner in 45th Salute to Women Celebration

Cathy Benner is being recognized as an honoree in the YWCA's 45th Salute to Women celebration for her contributions to the Greater Lafayette community.

Posted: Mar 1, 2019 2:15 PM
Updated: Mar 1, 2019 9:43 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)-The role of a caregiver is not for everyone, but for Cathy Benner it was a calling.

"If you'd have told me even five years ago that we'd be doing this I'd tell you, 'nope.'"

Benner said it was a clear calling of God, but she didn't pick up right away.

"That call from God got ignored a couple two or three times. We were busy."

'We' being Cathy and her husband. The couple was busy being caregivers for her mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and a friend who was diagnosed with ALS. However, they weren't too busy to eventually pick up that call.

"I told my husband I said this corner here is calling for an adult-day {care}. It needs to be here."

So the Benner's started the process of opening Joyful Journey in West Lafayette, what would eventually be the region's first not-for-profit adult daycare center. The mission officially opened in June of 2015.

"So you just learn about it, there's no book," Benner said. "We just decided to dive in and see what the community's response would be for something like that and it was a great response from the community."

Along with co-founding the center, Benner is an extremely committed volunteer. So committed, the Greater Lafayette YWCA recognized her outstanding efforts.

Benner said she is humbled and honored to be one of the 2019 Salute to Women Honorees.

"I appreciate it because what it does is it says caregivers are important," Benner said. "The community will now start to recognize the caregiver role and support that accordingly."

While Benner never imagined being in this role, it's safe to say she'll never regret answering that call.

"What is life but just a journey if we don't share it with others? Love them well in the process and turn life's difficulties into blessings."

Benner said Joyful Journeys calls everyone who they care for its 'friends.' Since opening, the mission has cared for 70 friends.

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