Volunteer Fran Chapell: You Can’t Do it Alone

As executive director of Canaan Childcare Center Fran Chapell has worked hard to create a caring and stimulating atmosphere for those at the beginning of life’s arc. She hires the best people she can find, helps them develop as professionals, sets standards for the center’s functioning, sees her organization as part of a larger connected community, and promotes a high standard of care so that families can go to work knowing their child is well cared for.

It’s these same qualities that she finds at Noble Horizons, and ones that keep her connected to it in one way or another for over 25 years. “In childcare, you learn about what people need and do whatever it takes to meet those needs. Because of this, I work with many organizations in the area. We all need each other.”

Fran’s connection to Noble began in food service as a supervisor in the dining room while also teaching kindergarten in Town Hill School. She had begun catering events at Noble for a friend and enjoyed the atmosphere so much she came in-house for a time. “I really enjoyed that time in the dining room--meeting people, watching staff interact with residents, seeing the meticulous attention to dietary needs in the kitchen. It made an impression on me.”

Fran’s career took her to Housatonic Childcare Center and then onto Canaan Childcare Center 12 years ago. She’s an active member of Salisbury Rotary, has served as its president, and is a current board member. Through that association she has seen Noble’s dedication to partner with community non-profits to multiply the effect of good works.

“Whenever I need a partner in the community, I think of Noble. And everytime I ask, Noble is there. Rotary hosted its Kentucky Derby Social at Noble last year. They provided the volunteers to help with the event, which was amazing. Anything we needed, they made possible. Because of their willingness to help, we had our most successful event ever raising over $15,000 for Rotary scholarships and contributions to other organizations who serve our community,” Fran gratefully acknowledges.

Noble also hosted Rotary’s Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre to raise money in partnership with the local Rotary in Tulum, Mexico for water fountains in the local school. “For that event, Noble even helped us with costumes they had in storage. This reduced our costs and allowed us to raise even more funds.”

Fran has regularly coordinated the contribution of a decorated tree to be auctioned at the annual Noble Horizons Festival of Trees. This involvement led to her taking charge of the Children’s Corner last winter. She helped solicit decorated trees from local organizations, schools, and childcare centers and made the corner a welcoming place for the clientele she knows best.

For Fran, it’s the dedication of the Noble staff that keep her connected with Noble over the past two decades. “You can tell when people have buy-in and enthusiasm. When I work with Noble staff you can see they’re 100 percent into anything they do. It makes you feel good about working with them,” compliments Fran. She sees this dedication to service extend to how the residents are treated as well. “I see the staff as protective of the residents and so positive in their interactions.From the security staff to the leadership--everyone gives heart and soul.”

For Fran, it’s this dedication to the community--both within Noble and in the local area--that keeps drawing her back. “No one can do it alone, and Noble is always there for its residents and the local community.”

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