40th Anniversary

Celebrating 40 Years

As we joyfully celebrate the remarkable milestone of our 40th anniversary, we want to reflect upon the incredible journey and express our heartfelt gratitude to the extraordinary individuals who have played a pivotal role in our success.

This four-decade legacy is a testament to the dedication and unwavering support of our passionate volunteers, committed staff, generous donors, and the entire community that have stood with us through thick and thin. Their collective efforts propelled our mission forward and transformed countless lives with their compassion, resilience, and shared purpose.

Join us on an exploration of our history and the incredible people who’ve made this important work possible along the way. We’ll be posting new content each month.

As we honor the past, we look ahead with enthusiasm, inspired by the impact we can continue to make together. This celebration is not just a recognition of time passed, but a tribute to the people who have shaped our story and continue to be the driving force behind the important work of providing resources and support for those experiencing domestic violence.

Photo of Sr. Rose Therese

Sr. Rose Therese Lange

Founding Director of Bethany House

Sr. Rose Therese Lange was a trailblazer for long-term shelter services for survivors of domestic violence. A fearless advocate for survivors and their children, she taught culture-shifting concepts we continue to teach today:

  • Domestic violence is common and can be lethal.
  • Domestic violence is never the victim’s fault.
  • Children who witness domestic violence need and deserve special intervention.
  • With time and resources, families can heal from domestic violence.

Junior League

Community Grassroots Engagement

The Junior League played a key role in early Bethany House organizing.

Junior League members spearheaded the needs assessment that revealed a need for a longer-term shelter for domestic violence victims in the early 1980s.

Highlights include long-time supporters Teddy Wilson, Ruth Baumann and Veronica Muprhy.

Sr. Faith Cosky

Former Director of Bethany House

While serving the Sisters of St. Francis as the Vocations Director and Novice Director, Sr. Faith Cosky began volunteering at Bethany House in 1984. She later became its Administrator in 1990.

After completing her Clinical Pastoral Education studies in 1999, Sister enjoyed a 20-year ministry as Team Leader and Chaplain at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI.

Now back in Toledo, Sister currently provides pastoral care in Sandusky and volunteers at Bethany House.

Fundraising & Volunteering

Community-led Support

Fundraising and volunteering have always been community-led at Bethany House.

In the 1980s, Women Helping Women and the Junior League supported volunteering and fundraising efforts. In the 1990s, our incredible fundraising committee planned wildly popular events to drive awareness and donations. Today, we receive gifts of time, talent and treasure from corporations, businesses and individuals.

Over the last 40 years, community support has helped Bethany House thrive.

woman giving presentation

Michele Karcher-Clark

Former Director of Bethany House

Before becoming the director of Bethany House in 1997, Michele Karcher-Clark was a social worker and mental health counselor.

She directed Bethany House through 2001 and has worked faithfully as a consultant ever since.

Michele’s background in mental health led her to formalize systems and processes at Bethany House, moving away from grass roots organizing toward the structure we operate under today.

Kathy Griffin

Former Director of Bethany House

Kathy Griffin began her 17-year service with Bethany House as a Case Manager under the direction of Sr. Faith Cosky.

As a survivor of domestic violence, Kathy understood what the women receiving shelter were going through. She built great relationships with participants because she had come through an experience similar to theirs.

Her experience as a survivor motivated her to accept the position of Director of Bethany House in 2001, a role she served in for 12 years.

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