Girls happily reading their books - at Orchard Place Des Moines

Orchard Place Improvements Made Possible by Two Donations


DES MOINES, Iowa, June 4, 2014– Orchard Place, mental health experts for Iowa’s children, is proud to announce completion of an important project made possible by estate and memorial gifts from two outstanding supporters. Margaret Ann Bannister and LuVern Shiffler, who passed away in 2011 and 2013 respectively, both provided years of service and generous contributions throughout their lives; both women continue to have a lasting impact on Orchard Place.

“During our history, there have been several notable people who have served in multiple roles, from being a board member, volunteer, mentor and supporter of the children of Orchard Place,” said Anne Starr, CEO of Orchard Place. “Margaret Ann Bannister and LuVern Shiffler are outstanding examples of individuals who gave their hearts and talents to our organization. People like Margaret Ann and LuVern have had a positive impact on far more children than they imagined.”

A recent project on the Orchard Place campus was completed with the help of the combined gifts. Major furniture upgrades in living quarters of Jacobson House and Shiffler House have made the spaces more functional and comfortable for children who live there.

“This is a great example of how combining two gifts from supporters who understood our mission and wanted to share their love and support for the kids at Orchard Place made and will continue to make a difference,” said Starr.

Margaret Ann Bannister’s involvement on Orchard Place’s board of directors included overseeing the transformation of the Des Moines Children’s Home to Orchard Place and the construction of its first facilities at Orchard Place Campus in the 1960’s. She was the 3rd member of the Bannister family to serve on the Orchard Place Board. Margaret Ann was proud that her two sons Scott and Hobie continued the family’s legacy of service to Orchard Place; Hobie continues to serve on the Orchard Place Honorary Board. Margaret Ann was known for giving her heart, her time, talents and support to Orchard Place and the children and families who receive mental health care and services.

LuVern Shiffler volunteered at Orchard Place for more than 46 years and was also part of the transformation of the Des Moines Children’s Home to Orchard Place. Her mother Lulu took her to a board meeting when she was only 6 months old. LuVern was proud of telling people she had been a part of Orchard Place for more than 90 years. She was honored in 2007 when Orchard Place named one of the living units on the campus as “Shiffler House” in honor of her family’s legacy with the organization. Her son Bryan continues to serve on the Orchard Place Board of Directors.

“When it comes to people who will forever be noted as understanding the importance of doing the right thing when it comes to children’s issues, we will always remember the remarkable legacy left by Margaret Ann and LuVern,” said Starr. “It’s further proof that their long standing devotion to Orchard Place will always be remembered. We can never thank them enough. Their gifts continue to impact children daily.”

About Orchard Place:

Orchard Place is the oldest locally-based charity in Des Moines providing mental health treatment and expertise for Iowa’s kids. Our inpatient, outpatient and community programs serve nearly 8,000 children from birth to age 22 annually. Four operating divisions work under the Orchard Place umbrella of services: Child Guidance Center, Orchard Place Campus, PACE Juvenile Center and the Integrated Health Program.