By Papalinka Paradise, Communications Director, SLLF
From elegant summer home, to well-appointed bed and breakfast to SLLF headquarters, the historic building known as Fernbrook has served many purposes. Now it will serve as a vacation home to children battling cancer.
The story of how SLLF came to occupy this historic home begins back in 2016. At that time, SLLF purchased Fernbrook and remodeled it into our new headquarters–complete with private offices, and a variety of small and large meeting spaces. The idea behind the transformation was that instead of always traveling to different locations to host our conferences, we would begin to hold some smaller educational programs on-site. Over the next few years we did just that, we brought legislative leaders to Cape Cod for our Civility Conference and two Women’s Leadership Seminars among others. We were proud to be able to share our beautiful space with leaders from across the country.
Then 2020 arrived along with COVID and we began working from home. While our offices sat vacant, we remained productive. We were able to successfully plan and hold numerous Zoom meetings and webinars for legislative and business leaders right from our homes. After a year, we realized we were enjoying the benefits of working remotely and our productivity hadn’t suffered. In fact, our 2021 programs were all well attended and received rave reviews. It seemed that we, like many others across the globe, had gotten good at working from home!
We did eventually begin to go back to the office on occasion but it was different. No one went to work in their respective offices, we all sat together around a conference table. It seemed that we didn’t miss our individual offices at all, we missed in-person collaboration. The question became how did we want to work in the future, did we actually need a big building? It was obvious the answer was no. Maybe all we really needed was a smaller space where we could all meet together in a less formal setting.
The decision was made to put the property on the market. It wasn’t easy because it truly was a beautiful building with lots of charm and history. We couldn’t help but wonder if we were making the right decision. Our doubts quickly vanished when the first potential buyer came to tour the space. His name was Tim O’Connell, founder of Tommy’s Place, a vacation home for children battling cancer. Due to a growing need, he was looking to open a second location, and as luck would have it, he felt that the property would be a perfect fit. We are proud to announce that Fernbrook will now be used to host families of children who are fighting for their lives. It will be a magical home where they will go to relax, have fun and make memories. We couldn’t be happier.
To learn more about Tommy’s Place visit their website at tommysplace.org. If you need to get in touch with us, you will find us at our much cozier and more collaborative new headquarters. Our phone remains the same, 508-771-3821, our new mailing address is PO Box 153, Marstons Mills, MA 02648.