LexisNexis hosts 1st Game Day

lexis nexis
Employees from LexisNexis have been supportive, creative and hard-working volunteers with our Partners Volunteer Program for more than five years but July 18 was a first for them and for us. Eighteen volunteers came together on the spacious lawn of Choices’ Olive Road home to host their first large group effort, their Game Day and Picnic for people served by Choices In Community Living and Resident Home Association. The Employees developed the idea for the event and did all the planning, in addition to providing all the activities and food for the day for 125 guests.

Guests had their choice of participating in games, like Cornhole, or sitting under the large shade trees to paint, play music and visit with each other and with volunteers. Marvin Lewis, a Program Administrator for Choices, summed up the day on behalf of all the guests. “I just wanted to thank our volunteer program and coordinator Pam Winston and the LexisNexis crew for a wonderful time at Game Day. My individuals thoroughly enjoyed themselves. I watched as the volunteers worked with our individuals and they had the perfect touch. They were down to earth and just plain respectful. I’ve had the pleasure of working with this crew several times at my program in the past and they truly give it their all! If I did not enjoy my job so much I would consider joining the LexisNexis family. Again, my sincere thanks to LexisNexis volunteers for the wonderful job and a job well done!”

In addition to their BIG event, individual and small groups of LexisNexis volunteers have been with us to help with many landscaping projects at our homes, have helped with decorating our homes for the holidays, have painted fences, cleaned out garages and so much more, and all with the same spirit of generosity, kindness and energy that they shared with us during Game Day. They are exemplary examples of corporate involvement in making our community a place where each of us is welcome and valued.


African Delegation visits Kuntz Center

Ten delegates from African countries, four interpreters and three Wright State University representatives were guests of the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services Kuntz Center on July 22. The delegation learned about services and programs for people with disabilities while sharing challenges they face in serving people with disabilities in their own countries.

The visitors were invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program, which is arranged by the Mississippi Consortium of International Development (MCID Washington.)

Mark Vonderbrink, Director of Agency-Wide Support for the Board, provided the delegates an overview of the history of the Board, the services that are provided and information about how services are funded. Kevin Hayde from The Brighter Tomorrow Foundation discussed how the Foundation was formed and its mission of supporting people with developmental disabilities in the Miami Valley area. Marti Goetz, Manager of the nonprofit housing corporation Miami Valley In-Ovations (MVIO), talked about housing, while Charlie Pierce, Sales and Marketing Supervisor for MONCO Enterprises, Inc., shared a comprehensive presentation on employment training and work opportunities for people with developmental disabilities, which includes several people served by Choices In Community Living and Resident Home Association.

Following the presentations Kuntz Road Facility Manager Joe Akakpo led a tour of the facility that provides job training and work opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.

Ohio and Montgomery County have a history of developing and providing innovative and creative services that focus on the abilities, skills, strengths and interests of people with developmental disabilities as participating members of our communities. That sense of innovation and commitment may well be the most important message these delegates carry back to their countries as they work to support and serve their citizens with disabilities.


Donor Honor Roll

Making great things happen for people served by Resident Home Association and Choices In Community Living – that’s just what Cindy Niekamp, Tony Feldkamp and Brian Shively just did! Not only did they donate their time as enthusiastic and hard-working volunteers at our great LexisNexis Game Day and Picnic on July 18, they also made donations to help with expenses.

Thank you Cindy, Tony and Brian – what fun, excitement and friendship you brought to us!


Big Beers and Barley Wines

Save The Date
October 5, 2013 | Dayton, Ohio

A beer list that is an experience all of its own.

Big Beers and Barley Wines features some of the best and rarest beers available in Ohio. No one can walk away from this festival unsatisfied.

We feature some of the best beer minds in Dayton.

Big Beers and Barley Wines is sponsored by craft beer bars from all over Dayton. Who better to pour for you than those you choose to let pour for you all year long!


Nothing less than People First

by Tom Weaver, Executive Director, Choices In Community Living

There are so many difficult things for us as an agency to face on a daily basis and many difficult things for me as I work with my remarkable team in meeting our mission to our clients and our community.  There are the ever present concerns about funding – what will happen with federal and state funding – where do we get the money for new vans – how do we do more to meet increased needs with  decreased funding? There are all the administrative and operational difficulties that sometimes seem overwhelming. With all these critical issues, nothing even comes close to the most difficult thing of all – getting that one call I wish I would never get – that one call that tells me we have lost one of the people we have served. I received that call in early June about Joji and it wasn’t any easier than the first one or the second or any of the others. Joji had been a part of Choices for as long as I have been and so we and I did not just lose a client, we lost a part of us.

It is just this kind of moment, the moment when a tearful staff member reports the news we never want  to hear, that I am most keenly aware of who we are and why we are. We are not here to satisfy rules  and regulations, to balance budgets and manage staff. We are here because of Joji – we are here  because we know the most important thing we do is put People First.

Read Entire Article Here


Free National Park passes available

Free National Park passes are available for people with disabilities. U.S. residents with disabilities can receive a free “Access Pass” that offers lifetime admission for the pass holder and three other adults. To receive the pass, individuals with disabilities need to present official documentation of their disability status to the National Park Service, either in person or by mail. A physician’s statement or a document issued by a federal or state agency (SSI, Social Security Disability, etc.) is acceptable.

Our Dayton area hosts one of our nation’s most historically relevant National Parks. The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park is a five-unit park located in and around Dayton. It includes the Wright Cycle Company Complex, which includes the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center and Aviation Trail Visitor Center and Museum and the Wright Cycle Company; the Paul Laurence Dunbar House; Dayton History at Carillon Park; Hawthorn Hill; and the Huffman Prairie Flying Field and Interpretive Center.

For more information about the Access Pass go to www.atnps.gov.


Pete’s passion for work, competition and home

For Pete Smith (Choices In Community Living) it’s all about giving 100% plus in everything you do. He did that most recently when he competed in the 5K part of this year’s Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, completing his run in 2 hours, 41 minutes. He ran his race alongside one of his co-workers from Encon, Chris Evans, who completed the race in 2 hours, 39 minutes.

Pete has been at this job at Encon for 19 years, working in the shipping department, where he has earned the respect and friendship of his co-workers. It was one of his Encon co-workers who paid for his hotel and other expenses so that he could participate in the Flying Pig Marathon. Others are there to make sure he is always remembered at Christmas and on his birthday. He is a hard-working, responsible, dedicated and loyal part of the Encon team.

Pete, who is 42 years old, is an all around athlete in addition to being a stellar employee. He enjoys golf and has won state titles in Special Olympics tournaments. He has also won a state title in Special Olympics softball. He participates in swimming, basketball, track and field, bowling and soccer. He received a 2004 regional Erin Ritchey Memorial Award for his athletic achievements. He was inducted into the Developmental Disabilities Hall of Fame in 1997.

He has been a part of our Choices extended family since 1993, where he is supported by our Semi-Independent Living (SIL) team. With the support of his SIL team, his job at Encon and his own work ethic, he his living out his American dream. He owns his own home. He and SIL staff Kay Bowman have been working hard to finish some re-modeling in his home. He plans to show it off soon with an open house.

That American dream, his American dream, has been made complete not only with his home, but with his job in the community, participation and success in athletic competition, a supportive Choices family and the best of friends, including that one who ran beside him on that big day in Cincinnati.

Note: For more information about hiring employees with disabilities and what they can bring to your company/business, contact us at partners@choicesincl.com and ask about Choices Supported Employment program.




B I N G O …. and Bingo is our Game-O

Bingo is one of our favorite activities coordinated by our shared volunteer program and Pam Winston, our Volunteer Coordinator. We have Bingo once a month, due to the energetic and enthusiastic efforts of volunteers from the Active Minds Service Club from the University of Dayton. We are filled to capacity (up to 38 players) every month. We always have a waiting list for residents and clients who would like to join us.

Our players are very competitive and love winning, especially being able to choose their own prizes. At the end of each evening of Bingo everyone enjoys popcorn and pop. It’s also a great opportunity to make and build friendships between Resident Home residents and Choices clients who enjoy spending time together – just one of the great benefits that comes with our partnership efforts!

We invite our families, friends and readers to be a part of our Bingo games by donating small items we can use for our prizes. Our players really enjoy any and all baseball caps, music CDs (especially country and classical), DVD movies (old or new) and PG or G rated, gift cards for a McDonald’s meal or similar gift cards. Your donation of items will be greatly appreciated, you may make a designated donation and we will purchase prizes on your behalf OR you can choose to sponsor our Bingo games for a year with a $300 tax-deductible sponsorship.  Just click on our Donate button on our secure website to make a designated donation or to sponsor great nights of fun at our Bingo games for 2013.

Please contact us at partners@choicesincl.com for more information. Our Active Minds volunteers and our boisterous Bingo players thank you!


Building ‘Brenda’s Bistro’

Families, advocates and professionals who have been involved in services for people with developmental disabilities in our region for the past 40 years know the name Brenda Whitney. More importantly, they know the dedicated, creative, supportive, outgoing and persistent Brenda Whitney herself. A premiere storyteller and pioneer in our field, Brenda served as Executive Director of Resident Home Association for almost 35 years before her retirement. She was active and involved during the time when the only option for most families was to send their children with disabilities to state-operated institutions, showing our region and our state what residential services in the community could and should be.

While enjoying traveling and all the perks that come with a well-deserved retirement, Brenda has not left her Resident Home and Partners For Community Living family behind. She is an active member of our Partners Joint Development Committee and was a great addition to our planning team for our 2013 Dining with the Stars celebrity waiter event.

We’re doing something to honor her service in a way that means the most to her, adding to the quality of life for her residents. We are in the planning process at Resident Home to renovate the outdated kitchen at our Piedmont Home, which is our senior home, home to nine residents. We have had the house since 1975 and it still has it’s original kitchen! It’s past time for a major re-do and what a better way to kick it off than to use the donations we received in Brenda’s honor when she retired to help us with the renovations.

We’ll be doing new cabinets, countertops, sinks, flooring and paint and when finished we’ll dedicate our new kitchen as ‘Brenda’s Bistro’.  We invite Brenda’s friends and colleagues from all those years of service to join us in building ‘Brenda’s Bistro’ with a tax-deductible donation to add to those we have from her retirement. Maybe you would like to designate your donation to new flooring or new countertops or cabinets or make a general donation for the project. Whatever way you choose, Brenda will be honored to know that you will be a part of updating the kitchen for our seniors! As with all she did over so many years, it was and will always be about quality of life for our residents!

You may make a donation online at our secure website or send your donation to Resident Home Association, 3661 Salem Avenue, Dayton, 45406. Brenda thanks you and our wonderful and joyful seniors thank you!