Provides space to recover, unwind

Linda Brady owner of Canine Community Center sent us this photo of Alexis Burgess, 8. Brady took 10 emotional support dogs over to Legacy to help kids relax and destress. Photo by L. Brady

By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
On Tuesday evening, Nov. 30, officials and news crews crowded into the parking lot of the Legacy 925 complex to find out exactly what happened only a block or so away.
By Thursday, Dec. 2, the entertainment hub had become a center for healing.
Already home to a plethora of recreation and dining options, businesses within the 200,000 square foot facility adjusted hours and cleared space to give Oxford families a place to distance themselves from the week’s tragedy.
“We just want to create a space that allows [the kids] to define what they need,” Christian Mills, owner of Legacy 925, said. “[The work is] unplanned and planned at the same time, right? Kinda putting some support bumpers around them, but allowing them to come in and choose what they need and when they need it. I don’t think anybody knows, honestly, how to absorb this and how to help … other than just showing love and bringing in as many resources as we can while they work through this — while we all work through this, honestly.”
Urban Air Adventure Park, K1 Speed, and 925 Bar + Kitchen’s bowling lanes were free for Oxford families, with K1 holding a fundraiser for the Oxford Bank’s community memorial fund. All of the proceeds from Thursday night races were donated to the fund and matched by a local business owner.
For those in need of something more therapeutic, therapy dogs were brought in throughout the day while trauma response teams from Soothe Your Soul and The Giving Tree Collective provided therapists to speak with and rooms to relax in. Viewspire helped families make “calming galaxy bottles,” both a fun craft to make and a tool to help “practice deep breathing and stress tolerance skills.”
“Common Denominator Coffee has donated cookies and free coffee, and they have grief counselors and spiritual leaders [in their store] to talk to people,” Jordan Knudsen, operator of Legacy 925, said.
Oakwood Church also provided spiritual counseling and the on-site event center was opened as a general gathering space. Chick-fil-A, Sick Pizza, 313 Pizza, Little Caesars, Woodchips Express, Domino’s Pizza, Italia Gardens, Panera Bread, Anita’s Kitchen and many more restaurants have donated food to be served in the center since Wednesday.
The giving has been done without instigation from the Legacy Center.
“I’ll be honest, we are just fielding calls,” Mark Swieczkowski, president of Swiss Insurance Group, said. “It’s not like we even need to reach out to anybody. People are pouring in the love to this community and these kids. They are just giving and giving and giving.”
The Legacy Center team credits Lisa Sell-Hocson, Sharon McClenaghan, Tom Donnelly and Kimberly Donnelly for helping coordinate the giving.
“It takes a village to do this,” Swieczkowski said. “Without volunteers and everyone else that’s been involved in orchestrating this, it could never happen. That continued support is what’s gonna keep these kids’ mental health and what’s needed [to be] able to move forward.”
Care was taken by the Legacy 925 team to keep the space secure for the families, limiting indoor attendance to the Oxford community and receiving support from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office to prevent any unauthorized persons from entering.
“We just wanted to make sure there’s enough room there for the kids and the families to go somewhere and not have to be in the spotlight and have a place to sit around and do what they need to do,” Swieczkowski said. “There’s a sheriff and, with all due respect, there’s been zero media allowed in the building, and when they did come [the deputies] were able to get them out so the kids didn’t have to feel overwhelmed.”

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