Galaxy shares its story (Garland Morning News - 4/17/03)
17th April 2003
BY SUE WATKINS
One of the fine success stories in Garland is the grown of Galaxy Counseling Center. Dr. Elaine Ply, executive director of the center for 25 years, has guided its development into a family-oriented agency with more than 20 therapists.
Galaxy is not located in a spacious building at 1025 S. Jupiter Road, a giant step up from its beginnings. Baker Furniture has donated enough comfortable sofas and chairs for the therapists’ rooms to take on a homey feeling. Therapists add their own accessories so that no two rooms are alike. More than 20 therapists help the center in its mission to help individuals and families solve problems that may have existed for generations.
“Changing lives on family at a time” is the succinct way the staff refers to its work. Among the first nonprofit comprehensive counseling agencies in northeast Dallas County, Galaxy is supported by grants, sliding-scale payment for services and hundreds of donations small and large. An annual fund-raiser has become one of Garland’s major events.
In the early 70s, members of Soroptimist International in Garland saw the need for counseling help for girls. The club sponsored a home where three or four girls could live with a housemother to help improve their young lives. The need far exceeded the facility, leading to an office on the downtown square, which was quickly outgrown. Clients soon included both sexes and all ages.
Soroptimists are women from different professions who pledge to help the community. The club boosted funds by sponsoring garage sales and a Christmas tour of homes. Billie Johnson, a local banker and Soroptimist member, finds a number of homes to open for the tours.
While Soroptimists still contribute to Galaxy, major funds also come from the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, private grants, individual and corporate donations and sliding-scale client fees.
Bill Bell, a friendly Canadian import, is president of the galaxy board. He and Amy Walton, Galaxy’s Development director, led a tour of the building at an April 8 open house and luncheon, ending in the room completely furnished by kraft Foods, a major corporate sponsor. On the Border sent a fajita buffet for the community luncheon, where guests are while listening t Dr. Ply’s description of the center’s growth.
Members of the Leadership Garland, sponsored by the Garland Chamber of Commerce, were among the guests.