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The Robin House

Ministry devoted to giving cancer patients a place to stay as they undergo treatment

The Robin House was originally named after the Wasser/Hawley families that have been a part of the College Place Presbyterian Church from its earliest days. Ruth Wasser Hawley and her husband Wilber, Ken and Kathlyn Wasser and their descendants have been instrumental in sustaining and celebrating the ministry of College Place Presbyterian Church.  Kathlyn is the only surviving member of that quartet as of November 2010. The four of them traveled and lived together in a world of hospitality and grace.

When it came time for our congregation to expand our property in order to keep ministry options open for the future, we began to explore the possibility of purchasing the lot and house just beside the church on W. Rose Street. Little did we know that the Wasser family had a financial investment in the property. As we proceeded with the purchase, the Wasser family donated their share of the value of the house and made it possible for us to purchase the home and lot with financial reserves we had on hand.

Initially, we did not have a ministry of hospitality in mind for the house. We needed more classroom space for adult education classes and we used it for that purpose to begin with. Slowly, the vision for a ministry of hospitality using the house to welcome patients needing housing at the St. Mary’s Regional Cancer Center, emerged. We applied for a Grant from the Synod of Alaska/Northwest and received $5,000 which was the catalyst for an outpouring of resources and talents that have transformed the house into a home. Over the last years, untold numbers of hours have been donated by many gracious hands to create a place of beauty and charm. Peggy Cox was the elder on session responsible for the overall renovation and she did an amazing job. We do not have room to list all the people who have worked on the house and grounds nor do they desire special recognition.

Numerous businesses in our community have given us essential items as a gift or at cost. Often, we found businesses and their employees donating their labor as they work on the house. The vision of a place of hospitality to those who are going through cancer treatments inspires so many to give so much.  We had a dedication of the house and its ministry during our Annual Harvest Party October 24, 2010.   And the house became available for occupancy in November of 2010.

One of Wilber Hawley’s great talents was to bake fresh bread and pastries nearly every day of the week. He never failed to bring fresh French loaves to any Church Potluck or Dinner. The gifts of fresh baked goods, which we hope to provide, will be another connection with the Wasser/Hawley Family legacy.

Our prayer is that God will use the beauty, charm and love that has transformed this house to encourage and bless the families that will occupy it for years to come. Pray for these guests, that they will feel God’s nearness and find both physical and spiritual healing as they share in life together with us, their neighbors at College Place Presbyterian Church.

In 2016 the name of the house was officially changed to "The Robin House" in honor of the late Rev. Robin Peterson. Robin, during the time he was pastor of College Place Presbyterian Church, held this ministry close to his heart. In honor of his dedication, the house has been named after him.

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