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New Sanctuary admin excited about fall festival

When Brian Eichenlaub was hired as administrator of Sanctuary of the Ohio Valley in March he said he heard from a few employees about a fall festival.

“We have always done certain things for our staff,” he said. “This event was originally just for staff and their families but we decided to invite the community and businesses to enjoy it as well.”

The Fall Festival and Open House, Eichenlaub said, will provide food, inflatables and games for the young and old completely free of charge.

“There will be door prizes, job opportunities and more,” he said.

The festival is 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the Sanctuary at 2932 S. Fifth St. in Ironton.

This is the first event of its kind to take place since Eichenlaub was hired in March. A native of the Portsmouth area, Eichenlaub worked admissions at a rehabilitation facility in Lucasville before acquiring his administrator’s license this past January. At only 25 years old, he said his first few months on the job have been difficult at times.

“It’s going really well,” he said. “It was challenging at first and there are still some challenges, but overall it’s been really good so far.”

Eichenlaub has implemented some small changes that he said have had tremendous positive impact on the day-to-day operations.

“The first thing I realized I needed to do was improve the office dynamic,” he said. “We moved some offices around and that seems to have worked out well so far. One of the more difficult challenges has been earning the respect of employees who have been here or in this profession for years because I am so young. But, we are getting there.”

When hired, Eichenlaub said, there were 58 people living in the 80-person facility. Since March that number has climbed to 73.

“We strive to offer the best care and best facility we can,” Eichenlaub said. “We just completed updated the exterior of the building and we are committed to this community.”