Boorowa Early Education (BEE) Centre has bid a fond farewell to long-time manager Sarah Rose with an afternoon tea last Thursday.
Staff, committee members, families and children joined in on the occasion, with the centre revealing a commemorative plaque in honour of Sarah's achievements during her time with the organisation.
While she officially stood down from her role in January, a proper farewell has been on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions around gatherings.
Sarah said it was a bittersweet moment for her.
"[I'm] very overwhelmed, it's bittersweet," she said.
"I miss everybody here, the staff and the families and the children heaps but it's lovely to come back and see everybody and be a part of it."
Sarah first became involved when she was President of the then Boorowa Preschool Committee in 2012.
From there, Sarah led the charge to create a long day care service alongside the preschool after community calls for more local child care options in Boorowa.
Community support, donations and government grants made those dreams into reality and the Boorowa Early Education Centre, or BEE Centre as we know it today was officially opened in 2016.
By that time, Sarah had started working with the centre as manager.
She said while the renovation of the facility was a highlight of her time with the centre, she said was most proud of the people around her and being able to deliver a service the Boorowa community had desperately needed.
"Do you know what, it isn't just the building though. I's being part of something that the community has wanted for so long and being able to be part of a group of people that made that happen was amazing," she said.
"It's an incredible experience and then watching the community support that, [support] the building by enrolling their children here and that's been just incredible really."
Committee member Belinda Hewitt said it was important the centre was able to acknowledge Sarah's efforts.
"All of Sarah's hard work and dedication over the years, she was the driving force and she had a vision," she said.
"I don't even know how many hours would have gone into it.
"[It's] recognition of the extension and a much needed service. We're very sad to see her go.
"We just want to thank Sarah for everything she's done with the centre."
As for her next move, Sarah said she has been doing a bit of teaching but isn't sure at this stage what she will be doing in the future.
"At the moment I'm doing some teaching and I'm loving that, I'm spending lots of time with my boys," she said.
"Not sure what the future holds yet really, we'll see what comes up.
"Thank you to the committee, the staff and the families that have been so supportive."