Local organization celebrates 51 years of helping Elmira families

Community

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Glove House in Elmira is celebrating its 51 anniversary this weekend, honoring decades of service to Elmira’s kids and families. It has been at the forefront of child and family care since its founding in 1970. This year’s celebration is extra special because they could not celebrate the 50-anniversary last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Being able to help children, is what’s really important,” Manager of Donor and Community Engagement Sherry Mandell said.

Glove House is a non-profit that has served Elmira, providing crisis stabilization, counseling, advocacy, and positive environments for children and their families. Mandell began in the organization as a foster parent.

“I am passionate about Glove House, its history, where it’s been and where it’s going in the future,” Mandell added. “Its services have expanded throughout the Southern Tier region and the Finger Lakes.”

The organization was founded by Chuck Jennings, a former boxer who wanted to make a difference in the community. Glove House Board Member Jeffrey Aaron was coached by Chuck and competed several times in the ring himself. Now, he wants to pay it forward.

“I kind of did it as a payback positively for the relationship that my family has with Chuck and his family. Because when I was a lot shorter than I am now, I didn’t always do things the right way, but I had strong family, strong family values. They kept me from going too far to the left. I feel I’m pretty fortunate to be able to try to do that same service,” Aaron said.

The organization has grown immensely over the years due to Chuck’s lasting legacy in the Twin Tiers.

“He [Chuck] would be flabbergasted. Chuck was not want to take a lot of accolades. He wanted to work with the kids. That was his dream. He showed kids that there was a place for them,” Mandell continued.

Even though he is on the board and is removed from working directly with the kids, Aaron is hoping to make a personal connection.

“One of my big desires is to link up with a couple of the kids because I’ve got a lot of work to do around my house in the summertime. I like to try to get them involved,” he said with a laugh.

The goal for the future is simple: preserve the legacy of Chuck Jennings.

“I just want to keep that memory alive,” Mandell concluded.

Glove House will be celebrating their anniversary this year and they will announce more details soon.

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