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What We Do

Mission Statement:

Creating a Christian community, rooted in the Beatitudes, which supports and protects the dignity of persons with disabilities. Bridges of Belonging, Inc is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Our goals have incorporated the vision of Jean Vanier, who established the first L’Arche community in Trosly, France back in 1964.  He opened his home to two men who had been in institutions for developmentally disabled most of their lives.  He did so in response to his belief in the dignity of every human being and their right to celebrate that dignity within the context of community. 

Bridges of Belonging, Inc. is guided by these same core values and principles which include: 

  1.  The recognition of the unique value of all persons, with or without a developmental disability.
  2.  The recognition that a life shared in relationship with others, through prayer, work and celebration, is a fulfilled life.
  3.  The recognition that we are all created, by God, to give and receive love.

The unique qualities of this home:

  • Family oriented
  • Christian and faith-filled
  • An environment to age-in-place
  • A prototype for similar homes
  • An environment where residents can grow in mind, body, and spirit by means of a designated area for creative, educational, and recreational activities.

Board of Directors

Board Members and Officers

This is a volunteer, community board.  There are no administrative costs in the corporation.

Jeannette Spilde, President 

Tom Ballinger, Vice President 

Joe Welch,  Treasurer 

Julie Pichler, Secretary

Current Board Members:


Amy Frauenkron

Joe Welch                

Dr. Jeannette Spilde

Kay Mazza              

Tom Kieffer             

Tom Ballinger

 Julie Pichler 

Those who have served in the past:

Mary Bakalars, concerned parent, Director of ARC of La Crosse  

Sue Gilbert, concerned parent, pastoral minister 

Kent Handel, CEO of Trust Point, Inc. 

Dawn Jaehnke, dedicated volunteer 

Robin Malayter, concerned parent, business owner 

Tom Rand, retired CEO of Bethany-St. Joseph Corporation 

Kathy Smalley, advocate for people with disabilities 

Brad Sturm, President of Coulee Bank

Tom Thibodeau, professor at Viterbo University

 Sr. Rose Elsbernd