Couple finds new ways to serve others

By Amanda Lauer | For The Compass | March 16, 2016

In retirement, Endries put their business skills, faith into programs that help others

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]BRILLION — Bob and Pat Endries spent a lifetime building their businesses and they haven’t slowed down in retirement. Bob started Endries International in 1970 in his basement and grew that company to where it is today with 700 employees and 70 locations in 39 states and eight countries. Eight years ago, he sold the business.

They still own another other business in Brillion, Professional Plating, which was started in 1979 and has around 200 employees.

Your Catholic Neighbors: Bob and Pat Endries (Amanda Lauer | For The Compass)
Your Catholic Neighbors: Bob and Pat Endries (Amanda Lauer | For The Compass)

Through the years, Bob has been on many boards with Pat. They started dating in eighth grade and have been married for 55 years.

Among their board memberships and fund-raising initiatives were numerous Catholic projects: Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Green Bay, Inc., Camp Tekakwitha, Advancing the Mission and Silver Lake College.

When Bob and Pat are considering what organizations to support they think of who helped them. “We go back to that — who helped us build our business? We’ve had a lot of employees from Manitowoc County, from Calumet County and a lot of small communities and we’ve probably had 75 employees coming from Appleton every day,” said Bob. “So we also built a gymnasium at the Kimberly YMCA.”

For the past five years, the nonprofit they have devoted a good amount of time and resources to has been CHAPS Academy in Shiocton.

“CHAPS Academy has about 30 employees and 13 therapists. It’s mainly for suicide prevention for youth ages 8-18,” explained Bob. “A lot of these kids are coming from physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse, incest and bullying.”

Youth come from about six different counties in northeast Wisconsin, said Bob. “Bellin Memorial Hospital has a mental health ward and (youth) can only stay so long and they have to be released. Some aren’t ready to be released, so there’s a program here with up to 16 girls. They are here every day five days a week for about four hours.”

The outpatient program is geared more towards girls, who give some kind of indication that they are contemplating suicide, the couple said. “They are mad at life and have shown signs of taking their lives,” Bob explained. “There are about 190 youth here now getting therapy who have shown signs of suicide.”

The therapy involves working with horses.

“The reason for the horse is these youth have given up on trusting human beings, they’ve been violated,” said Bob. “All of a sudden they go into depression, they isolate themselves, they have problems in school. When they come out here, the first friend they make is a horse. The horse can be trusted.”

“The horse chooses the client,” added Pat.

“The horse figures you out. He figures out what your problems are,” said Bob.

Bob and Pat were originally asked to run a fund-raising campaign for CHAPS Academy. Over a year ago, they were asked to step in to help the organization again. The client base had grown considerably from 65 clients to about 250, including children with issues such as autism and ADHD.

According to Pat, a lot of the clients don’t have money and can’t pay yet no one gets turned away.

“We spent probably about 20 hours a week rebuilding the whole organization. It takes a lot of work to rebuild a business. We were out here every day,” said Bob. “We had to rebuild the business and get it rebuilt financially. We’ve got it quite stable now.”

The Endries are the parents of four children, one of whom has passed away, and have three grandchildren. They are very happy to say that all their children know how to give as well.

They encourage other people to give of themselves in whatever way they can.

“Some people don’t think they have anything to give but they do have something to give. It isn’t money all the time — it’s prayer, it’s just saying something nice to somebody, that’s a gift,” said Bob.

“You’ve got time, talent and treasure. It’s easier to give money than it is to give time or talent. I believe that old story that one woman’s penny is equal to our thousand dollars. If everybody would give just a little bit then good things happen. That’s how it was for us, the more we gave of time or talent or skill and treasure, the more things happened.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_message]

Your Catholic Neighbor
Name: Bob and Pat Endries
Parish: Holy Family, Brillion, St. Martin of Tours, Cecil
Ages: 76
Favorite saint: Bob: Peter; Pat: Blessed Mother
Words to live by: “To those who are given much, much is expected.”
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