The first year of operations for OM Sanctuary involved building the foundation to expand into a major holistic health education retreat, community resource and visionary project. As with most non-profit organizations, there is always a humbling heart-wrenching beginning. We soon realized that our goals and vision would require a vast more amount of time, energy and work than we had initially expected. The property came with a list of unforeseen obstacles and years of deferred maintenance that needed to be attended to before we could even begin to breach the subject of programming and guest accommodations.
With clarity of our priorities and the goals ahead, OM Sanctuary staff began stabilizing the facility, renovating the guest rooms, researching next steps, and getting to know our vendors, volunteers, and community that would help us along the way. After months of what we call an in-depth “spring cleaning” OM Sanctuary hosted an Estate Sale where over 700 people perused and purchased items from the former Richmond Hill Inn. Emptied of the vessels of the past, OM Sanctuary began the process towards crafting the long-awaited vision. In the words of Shelli Stanback, Visionary Executive Director, we began a pursuit to “”OM-inize”” the property.
OM Sanctuary partnered with innovative environmental organizations to create a facility and preserve that would support sustainability as well as enhance the rest and renewal of future program guests. The next phase would involve a full-scale inventory and continuous research guided by leading consultants to take us from the groundwork to the opening of programs.