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Innkeepers’ mission to heal mirrors Excelsior’s proud past

February 2, 2018 – The Inn on Crescent Lake is known as a romantic getaway. But owners and innkeepers Craig and Beverly Bohnert see it as far more than just a place for couples to reconnect. Instead, they view it as their mission field.

The Inn has a history of hospitality, restoration and generosity. It was once the private residence of Dr. Aretas S. McCleary, who founded the McCleary Sanatorium and Clinic in Excelsior Springs, during the era when the town was the world’s leading mineral water resorts. He would often gather up his patients, take them back to the red brick Georgian mansion, and serve them tea on the great lawn. At Christmas, too, he hosted local families, making sure that every child received a gift and the parents went home with $50 in their pockets. Today, the equivalent of that cash gift would be around $700.

Like Dr. McCleary, the Bohnerts use their property to heal. It also acts as a venue for their own generous spirits.

“We’ve built this mental framework around it, that this is like our mission field."

“We’ve built this mental framework around it, that this is like our mission field.”

The couple frequently opens up their inn to a person or couple in need. In that way, the Inn has become a haven for the wounded, the sad, the grieved and the tired. The Bohnerts give those in need a chance to recuperate, by giving them access to quiet beauty and some much-needed pampering, as well. Their place is uniquely suited for both. The property, set on 22 acres, gives people in need a sense of serenity, space, and the solitude often needed to heal.

“People come to our property to relax. It’s so quiet. They just listen to the silence,” said Beverly.

“We’ve built this mental framework around it, that this is like our mission field,” Craig explained. “We take this viewpoint that we are here to bless others.”

“We are wanting to live with open hands of generosity. We want to help others,” Beverly added. “Our hearts are so touched when we can help people.”

“It can act as a place of healing for hurting people,” Beverly said, but added, “It also restores my faith in love. So often, we have couples make a reservation, and the husband will call to add something special to the package, and then, minutes later, his wife will call to do the same thing for her husband, both in secret.”

The Inn celebrates nine years in business in February. The Bohnerts estimate somewhere around 28,000 people have slept under their roof since they began operation.

“We just try to celebrate it,” said Beverly.

By Samantha Kilgore • samantha@leaderpress.com

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