Baird Advisors Cares: A Dream Come True for Duane McAllister and Family
Celebrating Grace Landing
Grace Landing opened in summer 2021, bringing a long-time dream to life for the McAllister family and many others. See the story unfold in the video at right.
A dream came true for Baird Senior Portfolio Manager Duane McAllister and his family when St. Coletta, a non-profit organization providing residential, day/vocational programs and services for persons with development disabilities and other challenges, broke ground on a community-based residential facility for adults with intellectual disabilities. The project, named Grace Landing, was the idea of Duane, and his wife, Connie.
Their daughter, Kelly, was born with intellectual and physical disabilities and is not able to live independently. She currently lives with and is cared for by her parents. As Duane and Connie began to think about their future – recognizing that Kelly would likely outlive them – they looked for options for Kelly’s care and found the offerings were limited near their home in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
After learning about St. Coletta of Wisconsin, which has served individuals with disabilities for more than 100 years and operates group homes in several communities, Duane became more involved with the organization and eventually joined the Board. He was impressed with St. Coletta’s mission, which was inspired by the Franciscan values of compassion, dignity and respect, and aims to support persons with development and other challenges to achieve their highest quality of life, personal growth and spiritual awareness.
“We were looking for a mission-driven organization with a long, successful history of serving individuals with disabilities, and St. Coletta of Wisconsin is all of that, and more,” said Duane. “They are the perfect partner for our Grace Landing development.”
Duane and Connie formed Kelly’s Home LLC – in honor of Kelly- and purchased a 2.85 acre property in Brookfield. They also hired an architectural firm to develop plans for a group home facility that includes three homes and a clubhouse, to provide a community within a community.
Through St. Coletta, Duane and Connie were introduced to many other families who were also looking for care options for their adult family members with disabilities. Families who were interested in Kelly’s Home joined together and began meeting regularly to plan and raise money for the project, which was estimated to cost $3 million. The group now has 24 families involved and together they have either pledged or raised over $2.5 million for the project. Baird Foundation and Duane’s colleagues in Baird Advisors have provided generous support for the project.
“Every parent wants to be at peace that they have done everything they could to make sure their son or daughter is safe, happy and loved, both now and in the future,” said Duane. “We feel so incredibly blessed to be a part of this amazing development and know Kelly will be in good hands even after we are gone.”
After many hurdles, the project eventually received approval from the city of Brookfield and the McAllisters donated the property to St. Coletta. The project officially became known as Grace Landing.
On June 18, a socially-distanced ground breaking was held. The event was a joyous and emotional occasion for the many families and loved ones who will come together as a community to provide a loving, supportive environment for adults with disabilities.
City of Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto welcomed the group and presented a mayoral proclamation declaring June 18 Kelly McAllister Day.