by Pete Roll, Executive Director
At Resident Home we have always been very fortunate to have a core group of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who are in every sense the backbone of the support we provide to those we serve. They work long days, difficult hours, including evenings, weekends and holidays. We are who we are because of our dedicated DSPs who have been with us for years, some decades. It’s also fortunate when a new DSP comes to us with ideas, enthusiasm and passion. One such person is Donna Lawson, a new (six months) DSP at our Garber Road Home. As we joined in the national recognition of the work of DSPs during DSP Recognition Week September 8 – 13, I could think of no better way to celebrate our DSPs than to have you hear firsthand what it means to be a DSP. I am honored to turn over my place in our newsletter this time to Donna to share a message she wrote after attending the Spring Conference of the Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA.) I know her words will inspire you, as they have inspired me.
Read Donna’s story here
Mark your calendar now so you won’t miss all the fun when we host our 2014 Dining with the Stars celebrity waiter event. Join us on Wednesday, May 14 at Thai 9 in the Oregon District.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be added to our invitation list or receive information about how you can donate to or sponsor our event.
More details to come!
It’s been a home makeover long in the making, with planning now underway to renovate the kitchen in Resident Home Association’s Piedmont Home. Resident Home has had the home since December, 1975. It still has it’s original kitchen, where meals are prepared and served for nine people, all of them senior citizens.
Once the renovation is complete, there will not only be a new kitchen but a new name for the space as well. It will be “Brenda’s Bistro’, named after the one and only Brenda Whitney, she who spent more than 30 years as Resident Home’s Executive Director before her retirement. Even with her retirement, she remains active as a member of our Joint Development Committee for Partners For Community Living and can often be found volunteering at many of our events. Anyone who comes to our March Fish Fry can’t help but meet Brenda as she serves as ticket-taker at the door.
In addition to the respect and admiration she still has at Resident Home, she is as well respected across Ohio. Under her leadership, Resident Home Association became the first private residential provider in our region to provide homes for people with developmental disabilities, this at a time when the only option for most families was institutionalization. She set the standards for agencies across Ohio to follow as director of one of the first two agencies in the state to provide such services. Her skills, knowledge and passion for advocacy led the civil rights movement that has resulted in the homes and services we have in our communities today.
Brenda’s Bistro is a small way for us to acknowledge her service, and it is one we know she will value because it is benefitting the people who have been part of her extended family for decades, people who are enjoying retirement just like her.
When Brenda retired, donations in her honor were set aside for a future project. That future project is now here and it is our kitchen at Piedmont. The renovation will include a new sink, cabinets, flooring, appliances, paint and more. We would welcome donations in Brenda’s honor to help us complete the renovation. Donations may be made on our secure website or sent to Resident Home Association, 3661 Salem Avenue, Dayton, Ohio, 45406, with a note that the donation is to help with the kitchen renovation that will become Brenda’s Bistro. You might even be invited to join us for a celebration when our Bistro officially opens.
Life has not always been easy for Wesley Fisher, including the news in 2011 that he had Type II Diabetes. In typical Fisher family style, the news did not devastate Wesley and his parents Melissa and Bill. It motivated them. With his family’s support, Wesley began going to classes at Diabetes Dayton and got involved in training at the Bull Diabetes Center. In just three months Wesley went from four insulin shots a day to just one. Within six months he was completely off insulin shots and taking oral medication.
Through his diagnosis and with his family by his side, he has learned to live a healthier lifestyle. He is one of the participants in Choices In Community Living’s Fun-Fit (Day Hab) program at the West Carrollton YMCA. He lost over 80 pounds over ten months. He has maintained his weight loss for over a year and is currently not taking any medication for his Diabetes.
This May Wesley graduated from Stebbins High School. What he wanted for his graduation was not gifts for himself, but gifts for others, others, like him, who live with the challenges of Diabetes. He decided that he would donate the money he received as graduation gifts to Diabetes Dayton. He was active in letting friends and family know about his wish for others, resulting in him raising $1000.
On a beautiful summer day at Fifth Third Field, Wesley was honored as a Community All Star. Wesley got to go out on the field and present a check to Diabetes Dayton. With him on the field as he presented the check were his parents, his grandmothers, a cousin and an aunt who had recently been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. The family got a personal tour of the field as well. The ultimate highlight for Wesley was when he got to step on the field and throw out the first pitch at the Dayton Dragons game.
A hug from Dragons’ mascots Heater and Gem was the perfect ending for Wesley’s great day, a day when a stadium full of Dragons fans became Wesley fans as well, fans of that determined young man who is indeed one of our community’s All Stars!
It would be hard to find anyone who enjoys our annual Choices Talent Show more than Nancy Wilson. She has been front and center as emcee of our event for many years. This year she will be joined by her partner on WHKO Radio’s Morning Show, Frye Guy. With them as emcees and all our great acts, it’s sure to be a great evening.
Please join us on Friday, October 11 at Northview School, 8114 North Main Street, beginning at 6:00 p.m. to watch our 20 acts perform with song, dance and maybe even a little comedy! Our event is open to the public at no charge.
As in previous years, our performers will wow us with their costumes and their creative renditions of songs from the 60s through today. All they need is you cheering them on! You’re sure to leave humming some of your favorite ‘oldies’ and trying to remember the words to some new songs. Most of all, you’re guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face.
The 5th annual Big Beers & Barley Wines Festival is just around the corner and you’re invited to join us on October 5 in the Roundhouse at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds.
Go to www.bigbeersdayton.com or www.facebook.com/bigbeersdayton for more information on the this year’s great event.