The Community House remembers and honors Joanne Holbrook Patton
All of us at The Community House were deeply saddened by the news of Joanne Holbrook Patton’s passing on Sunday, September 24, 2023, at the age of 92. Her unwavering commitment to The Community House stands as a testament to her extraordinary leadership and dedication to community service. It is no exaggeration to say that without Joanne Patton, The Community House would not be here today.
Joanne’s tenure as President of the Board from 1983 to 1986 was a pivotal chapter in TCH’s 100-year history. At the onset of her term, The Community House was grappling with severe financial challenges. The building required extensive repairs, and the programs were not yielding profits. Joanne had a mere few months to raise $100,000 to initiate a turnaround.
After interviewing numerous community members and discerning the robust community support for TCH, Joanne launched a Capital Campaign in 1983. Her leadership and dedication were instrumental in establishing a capital reserves fund. By April 1984, the campaign had garnered donation commitments nearing $100,000. This substantial financial injection established a robust foundation, ensuring the organization’s continuity.
Joanne demonstrated exemplary leadership, spearheading transformative initiatives that would shape the institution’s trajectory for years to come. In 1982, Joanne Patton, alongside Hamilton resident Terry Jennings, co-founded the Friends Club program—a beacon of support for North Shore adults with disabilities. Through this program, they organized complimentary monthly gatherings where adults with diverse challenges and disabilities could convene, engage in activities such as music, dancing, and art, and cultivate a community spirit.
Under Joanne’s adept leadership, The Community House introduced innovative, sought-after programs, like the ski initiative for local youth. Introduced in 1986, Ski Bradford did not just enrich the lives of its participants—it also played a crucial role in bolstering the organization’s financial stability.
When Joanne joined the Board, The Community House was on the brink of closure. Yet, her steadfast determination and fervent leadership almost single-handedly steered the institution away from this fate. Thanks to her ability to listen, foster connections, and pursue ambitious goals, The Community House not only survived but thrived.
Joanne Holbrook Patton’s legacy at The Community House in Hamilton is an enduring chapter of our collective history. Her selfless devotion and groundbreaking contributions have left a legacy on both the organization and the communities it serves. The Joanne Holbrook Patton Community Service Award will keep her memory alive, continually inspiring and uplifting those who value the spirit of service and community. In the coming days, we will share more about our plans to honor Joanne and her service.
To learn more about Joanne Patton and her instrumental role at The Community House, we invite you to enjoy the video below. In the video Joanne tells the story of how she helped save our organization.