BROKEN ARROW -- More than 50 years ago, it was a dream of Helen Gates to establish the Gatesway Foundation, an organization that would ensure all citizens felt included, connected and loved. Today that dream is a reality, one which was recognized by the City of Broken Arrow.
Friday morning, city officials unveiled Helen Gates Way, the one-mile stretch of road that runs directly in front of Gatesway Foundation. College Street from Lynn Lane to County Line Road will honor the organization's founder.
Gatesway Foundation offers living and work options for people with intellectual disabilities.
"It's really something that is an asset to our community, and we do appreciate her vision," said Broken Arrow Mayor Craig Thurmond said. "But we also appreciate all the people and their hard work that continue to keep this organization going."
The ceremonial street naming took place on the anniversary date of Gatesway Foundation's 50th anniversary.
"If you think about 1963, the only options for families who had family members with loved ones who had disabilities was to institutionalize them, or perhaps have them in an environment that was marginal at best," said City Manager Thomas Moton, Jr. said. "Helen Gates changed that way of thinking when she created the Gatesway Foundation."
The decision to rename the street was approved at a Sept. 17 Broken Arrow city Council meeting.
"I think this will complete our 50-year, as far as in memory of Helen," Judi Myers CEO of Gatesway said. "I really think it symbolizes the work that she started. What our goal is and our mission is to always do things Helen Gates Way . And to have the sign to continually remind us that we're doing it Helen Gates Way is what it's all about."
For more information, visit gatesway.org .