By Alton Mitchell
A ride around LaFayette will be like that of any southern city or town, a high visibility of churches to engrave the signature of life in the Bible belt. One popular story in the Bible is that of the prodigal son, the story of a young man who leaves his father’s farm goes off to the big city only to return with a greater knowledge of life and to better himself in the end. Well recently LaFayette has seen a modern day story with similarities taking place. A native child who moved away as a youth has returned to LaFayette bringing with her great new things.
Monica Shaw is a native of LaFayette, but moved away as a small child due to a local tragedy. Having gained experience through her adolescence and young adult life she has returned home to bless her hometown with a tangible gift with the ambition to give back to a community which gave her so much.
Over the past weekend Ms. Shaw held an open house at a new business venture that she has opened in LaFayette called Diane’s Castle. The new facility is one which has roots in LaFayette that go far beyond the concrete foundation poured under the framework of the building. “Diane’s Castle is named after my mother who passed away when I was only 12-years-old here in LaFayette”, explains Shaw.
Spending her first eleven years of life in LaFayette Ms. Shaw moved away as a child. She credits her entrepreneurial spirit to her father. “I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but my father was my main motivation to be creative”, Shaw explains while embracing her drive to pursue the opening of Diane’s Castle in LaFayette.
The new center that Shaw has opened is one which will serve as an event center but will also serve a positive role in the community. Shaw has hopes of doing a lot of events that will allow community involvement and giving back at the new facility. She takes the roots of her dream back to where her fondest memories of LaFayette are and that is in the children. Ms. Shaw hopes that many of the events will cater to the youth of the community and give young people in LaFayette a positive outlet to avoid running the streets or getting in trouble.
At the open house event on Saturday night, Ms. Shaw seemed right as home as she welcomed and embraced local citizens and dignitaries who came out to see what LaFayette’s newest business had to offer. She seemed right at home while refocusing her origins of young life and cherished memories in everything from the community that she loves to continue the legacy that her mother bestowed upon her so many years ago.