A picture of Representative Patrick T. McHenry
Patrick M.
Republican NC 10

About Rep. Patrick
  • Holy Angels

    by Representative Patrick T. McHenry

    Posted on 2015-12-09

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    McHENRY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize two fine institutions in my home community that I grew up in: Gaston County, North Carolina. I grew up in that community and spent most of my life living in Gaston County, and there is an incredible story.

    Beginning in 1955, a newborn baby named Maria Morrow was brought to the Sisters of Mercy's motherhouse in Belmont, North Carolina.

    {time} 1045 Maria was born with severe physical disabilities, and her mother was overwhelmed and unable to care for her. The Sisters of Mercy nuns took Maria in, and, thus, Holy Angels was born.

    As word about Maria spread throughout the community, State--and country, in fact--more children with special needs began arriving at Holy Angels. As each new child arrived, the Sisters of Mercy worked to meet their needs. Funds were raised, and the necessary facilities were built. Over time, more professional nursing and medical staff were hired. Today, Holy Angels provides full-time resident care as well as physical therapy, day programs, and vocational programs through their Cherubs Cafe and Life Choices locations.

    Holy Angels' CEO, Dr. Regina Moody, and her dedicated team of professionals continue to fulfill the promise that the Sisters of Mercy made when they took Maria in 60 years ago. That promise is now enshrined in Holy Angels' motto: Loving, living, and learning for the differently able.

    Holy Angels has been serving those in need for 60 years, and their timeless spirit will be around forever in the families they have touched, in the lives they have touched, and in how they have helped shape our community in Gaston County. I honor Holy Angels, and I thank them for their service, not just for those people in their midst for whom they are providing care, but for what they mean to our community.

    Tony's Ice Cream Mr. McHENRY. Mr. Speaker, we also hear stories of small businesses being around for 10 or 20 or 30 years, and it is amazing, in and of itself, that a small business can survive that long. In my hometown of Gastonia, North Carolina, Tony's Ice Cream has been a landmark for over 100 years. In fact, this year marks its 100th anniversary.

    In 1915, an Italian immigrant named Carmine Coletta began Tony's as a horse-drawn wagon that served ice cream to those in Gastonia's Loray Mill Village. Eventually, the first store was opened and took the name ``Tony's'' in honor of Carmine's brother-in-law, who managed the store. The current location was built in the 1930s and now is run by Carmine Coletta's grandson and his children. Generations of Gaston County kids--me included--have grown up knowing there is no better milkshake than one from Tony's. In fact, my favorite is chocolate.

    To the Coletta family, I thank them for their service to our community. Really, building an enduring institution for a century is such a significant achievement, especially given the challenges that we face as a country and with the economy. They have meant a lot to their employees. They have also meant so much to generations of children, like me and so many others, in what they have provided.

    I thank the Coletta family, and I honor them on their 100th anniversary. I also thank Holy Angels, on their 60th anniversary, for their significant contribution.

    Mr. Speaker, it is an amazing place in which to grow up, Gaston County. It has such great values and also wonderful institutions there that I learned so much from as a child, growing up there with my two brothers and two sisters and my parents, from whom I learned so much. So I take this moment to recognize these fine institutions in Gaston County.


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