It’s no understatement to say that Chelsea, Lorene and I are simply overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, support, friendship, and business-to-business support of all who attended our long-awaited grand opening on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.
Your presence was not only appreciated by our family, but it was also a day we paid tribute to my father and my grandfather as they would have been so pleased to see each of you. What an exceptional prayer and blessing Rev. Craig Borchardt, of Hospice Brazos Valley, offered our group.
The welcome and remarks from the representatives of our Bryan-College Station of Commerce were heartfelt and so warmly received by my entire family team, whom I was most proud to introduce to you all. Our Chamber is an invaluable resource and it especially resonated as we reviewed the number of local vendors we’d chosen to complete our project and have Glen Brewer say it looked like the membership roster of the Chamber we were sharing.
My personal friends whom I grew up with in Bryan stopping by made my day. Our family’s longtime family and friends who traveled to be with us, the exceptional floral bouquets that were shared by our local florists. Each team member greeted their friends and neighbors as well, and never was it clearer that our beautiful Bluebonnet Room is the perfect setting for a community gathering.
This is just the beginning of what I’m recalling. I must confess that Chelsea and I were so overwhelmed by your kindness that we just looked at each other and said how fortunate we are to be living in the Brazos Valley and to be held in regard by people we respect, love, and admire. Thanks to each of you who’s reached out to us during this important, exciting time.I’ve included many photos and memories of our special day in my blog, so please take a moment to visit and share the day with us all over again.
Chelsea and I have been going through all the photos taken that day; we appreciate several of our team members taking and sharing some photos on their personal Facebook pages and our Facebook business page as well. Nicole, with Water to Wine Productions was our on-site photographer and they gave us so many great photos to pick from.
In addition to the photos here, let me try to describe from my perspective what we “saw” that day. Our official start time was 4:00pm on Wednesday, April 26. Our entire team arrived long before that, and they were as excited as we were about all of you coming. Each team member had invited several of their family and friends to drop by and it was great to see delightful new faces coming through the doors and reaching out to say hello to their favorite team members.
Floral bouquets poured in from the Lamars (Affordable Florals), University Flowers & Gifts, Nan’s Blossom Shop, Nita’s Flowers, and Tricia Barksdale Designs. To say that we have creative artistry among our town’s floral designers is an understatement.
Then, the Chamber of Commerce team arrived, and it was a crowd big enough to have a parade. When our local Bryan-College Station Chamber supports a business’ grand opening, let me share that this means they are out in full force!
We first opened with Rev. Craig Borchardt, President/CEO of Hospice Brazos Valley, offering a beautiful prayer and blessing of our facility. That is a family tradition as well. Next, Glen Brewer, Chamber President/CEO gave some of the most poignant, meaningful reflections on our business and spoke of the way we’d invested in Bryan, both 54 years ago as well as in the past two years of building our new center.
After getting quick tours, the Chamber members led our team into our Bluebonnet Community Room where some introductory remarks were given.
The Chamber’s Chase Murphy eloquently shared his perspective on what our business means in the community here, and Lamar Advertising’s Scott Rolfsmeyer spoke on behalf of the Chamber Ambassadors, who were many members strong in our group, and it was outstanding to feel your collective support in our new center.
Then it was my turn to share a few thoughts with the group. I have to say that it was an amazing experience to stand there before all of you and speak of being the fifth generation of the Callaway-Jones family in our profession of caring for individuals and families in Texas. I’m the third generation to do this in Bryan, Texas. Coincidentally, my grandfather, my father, and I were all the same age when we assumed leadership of the business and took the reins.
It wasn’t planned that way. It’s just how it turned out. And, the only regret that I had that day was that my dad wasn’t alive to stand next to my mother and enjoy the history being made. My mother’s strength and ability to carry on in his absence is both admirable and characteristic of the great role model she was and remains. Many of our longtime family friends came by to say hello that day.
Going outside to cut the ribbon was a highlight; it was then that I saw the biggest pair of scissors I’d ever seen in my life. But they did the job just right!
So many of you were pleased to meet Chelsea and she enjoyed getting to know many of you. It was definitely a team effort in our decision making on all the critical elements of our new center. Our architectural design team came to wish us well. Many of our local vendors came by and I regret not being able to say hello to everyone but I was trying!
Music was so lovely for the event, beginning with Nancy Matus on the accordion and then the BCS String Quartet created a delightful atmosphere throughout the afternoon and evening. Our very popular team member, and licensed funeral director, Ricky Alderete, I do believe, won the unofficial title of having invited the most people who attended the event. That’s how I saw it that day. I was personally so pleased to see my fellow Rotary Club members, and some friends from my soccer team, and some of the guys I play golf with.
We had so many of you signing up for our new Community Newsletter (coming soon!) and there was an iPad and some great gift cards at stake for that drawing. Also, when you checked in to Callaway-Jones on Facebook too, it made you eligible for some terrific restaurant gift cards. We are in the process of notifying our winners, and we’ll post the names of our prize winners on our Facebook page soon!
If you were not able to attend our event on Wednesday, we invite you to truly drop by and see us anytime that’s convenient for you. We’ll always be happy to show you around. If you have a group of people who’d like a tour, please call Courtney Jasso, our Family Services Manager, to arrange an appointment.
Finally, this new Funeral Center in Bryan belongs to all of us in the city. Please feel free to reserve our Bluebonnet Room if you have need for your nonprofit group to have a meeting and cannot afford to rent a room somewhere. That’s part of being a good neighbor in Bryan.
Once again, thank you so much for being part of our very special day last week. Your presence made our event special and we thank you for helping us create memories that will indeed last a lifetime.
Cody D Jones ’02
Owner | Community Member