Mrs. Lynn Barr (pictured on the right with her Elks Club 79 friend Judy) has helped make Christmas a little more merry and bright for Gateway youth for the past four years. Mrs. Barr continues this tradition this year in honor of her late husband Mr. Billy Frank Barr who passed away July 17, 2013. Mr. Barr was a U.S. Navy Seal and an active member of the Elks Lodge for 13 years. Mr. Barr grew up with and went to school with many of the youth at Gateway when Gateway was still known as the Mercy Home. Mrs. Barr said that her husband had fond memories of Gateway and going to campus with the youth to play basketball and football with the youth after school. Four years ago, Mr. Barr and his wife Lynn started organizing an annual Christmas party where they provide our residential youth with delicious Christmas treats and a special gift. Each year, Mrs. Barr carefully picks out and wraps a special gift for each and every youth in our residential program. She says her favorite Christmas party memory was how her husband used to get one big gift for all of the youth and then make them guess what it could be before unwrapping it. She says there was always such great excitement from the youth about guessing what their big gift could possibly be and that everyone had so much fun! In addition, Mr. Barr would provide a DJ for the youth and let them all pick out the music and then everyone would have a wonderful time dancing. The youth look forward to their Christmas party each year and everyone at Gateway is so thankful for special “Christmas Angels” like Lynn Barr who take time to make sure our youth have the best Christmas ever and help show them that there are people in the world who care for them and think they are extra special. At this year’s Christmas party, one young man cried with joy after he unwrapped the blue polo shirt Mrs. Barr had so carefully picked out just for him. He kept saying how he could not believe how he had received such a nice shirt from Macy’s! It truly brought a tear to everyone’s eyes. One young woman was so happy that she got up and sang You are Beautiful by Christina Aguilera. At the end of the party, each and every one of the youth came and gave a either a hug or a handshake to Mrs. Barr. This year we wish you all Happy Holidays in honor of Lynn Barr and in memory of her husband Billy Frank Barr who are true Gateway “Christmas Angels”.
Posted on Tue, December 10, 2013
by Karin Park