There’s no clowning around when we celebrate the Halloween/Fall Season. The people we serve and volunteers are quick to get into the act when it comes to dressing up and having a good time, like Vicki (Resident Home Association) at our annual Halloween Party coordinated through the offices of our volunteer program.
Our annual Halloween Party, which is attended by more than 100 guests, is made possible by the Sign Language students of Jessica Minor of Sinclair Community College. It’s become something the students look forward to each year, from planning and coordinating, right down to picking out just the right costumes. The students are pictured with our Volunteer Coordinator Pamela Winston (in green.) The party is held each year at United Rehabilitation Services (URS). We thank the energetic, enthusiastic and creative Sinclair students and URS for their partnership with us in making sure our Halloween Party is a great success.
It was also a scary good time in Clark County when Choices In Community Living staff made sure all their guests had a great and ghoulish good time at their Halloween party.
Everyone has a great time at the show, including our judges who look forward to the event almost as much as our performers. Taking time for a photo before the performers take the stage are: (back – left to right) Nancy Wilson, K99 Morning Show host and our event emcee for many years; Tom Weaver, Choices Executive Director; Patti Gerhardstein; Mark Gerhardstein, retiring Superintendent of the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services: State Representative Roland Winburn; State Representative Fred Strahorn; and Bob Archer; retired Executive Director of Toward Independence; (front – left to right) Senator Bill Beagle; Choices Board Member Janet Peasant; and Resident Home Executive Director Pete Roll.
For more than 20 years Choices’ annual Talent Show has served as the kickoff to a busy holiday schedule for Partners For Community Living, Choices and Resident Home Association.
Suave and sophisticated, Kirk Ford always has a performance that wows the audience, whether in his solo singing performance or as part of dancers who really know how to rock the stage.
The happiest person at every Talent Show has to be our emcee Nancy Wilson, pictured with Elmer Banks after his singing performance, one of 21 performances at this year’s show. It wouldn’t be a Talent Show without our Nancy, who knows most of the performers by their first names. She and our performers have a very obvious mutual admiration society.
Everyone gets into the spirit of dancing at Rocktoberfest, both those on the stage and the very engaged and enthusiastic audience. Dancing in this performance are Lisa Panstingel and Mike Richardson. Mike is the Program Administrator for Choices’ Fun-Fit Adult Day Services program.
Mark and his wife Patti serve as judges at our 2013 Choices Talent Show.
Partners For Community Living joins with organizations and individuals throughout the region and across Ohio in honoring the advocacy and service of Mark Gerhardstein upon his retirement as Superintendent of the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services.
Mark was an important partner with us over so many years. He was instrumental in obtaining funding for our nationally-distributed Lest We Forget: Silent Voices film documentary, in addition to sharing his message of advocacy and acceptance in the film. He also led the Montgomery County Board as one of the first sponsors for our 22-county Art & Soul juried art exhibit, with the Board serving as a sponsor for all of our seven years in presenting our celebration of the creative talents of artists with developmental disabilities. He has also played a pivotal role in the important work of The Brighter Tomorrow Foundation.
The best part of being Superintendent of the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services is evident in Mark’s face as he enjoys time at our Choices Talent Show with Kirk Ford (left) and J.R. Grant.
He has been a familiar face at many of our events, including our Fish Fry and as a judge at Choices annual Talent Show. He also frequently appeared on our DATV public access television program to promote services provided by the Board and in support of the Human Service Levy.
We thank him for his professional leadership and his personal friendship over so many years of significant and meaningful changes.
Former Resident Home Association Executive Director Brenda Whitney (left) presents the Mary O’Leary Lifetime Achievement Award to Shirley Fowler during our Annual Luncheon at Sinclair Community College.
From the time Shirley began working at Resident Home in 1978 until her retirement in 2000, she held almost every position within the agency, beginning as a Habilitation Planner and ending her career as Director of Residential Services. Whatever her position was, she was always, first and foremost, a strong and passionate advocate for the people she served, with a strong dedication to assure their safety and health. She always reminded others within RHA that the people being served should always come first – that they should be at the forefront when planning and providing any activity or program.
The Mary O’Leary Award is presented annually by Resident Home Association (RHA) to an individual who has dedicated his/her career (and much of his/her life) to passionate advocacy for people with developmental/intellectual disabilities, to a person who has consistently met the highest standards over many years of service.
Mary O’Leary was a founding member of Resident Home and a dedicated mother to her son Tim. She devoted much of her life to building services within the community for him and for others with developmental disabilities. She is a member of our Partners For Community Living John W. Pratt Society, honoring her lasting legacy to Resident Home through a generous gift from her estate, part of which helped build our Garber Road home.
There’s a lot of great taste centered around one of Resident Home Association’s latest resident-driven classes. Eight residents took part in a vegetarian cooking class, with a goal of learning that healthy eating can also be tasty eating. The class, which was coordinated by Day Services Supervisor Amanda Wallace and Direct Support Professional Nathan Stevens (and one class run by Program Manager Vicki Servais,) consisted of making and tasting waffles, mushroom burgers, quesadillas, and yellow and green pizzas.
For Lori Evans preparing vegetarian food was educational but the most important thing was that it was delicious, as she discovered as she sat down to enjoy her vegetarian lunch.
Keith Savage enjoyed making a healthy pizza so much that he had to show off his vegetarian masterpiece to the camera.
And just how appetizing was the food – one look at the yellow pizza says it all – healthy can be very tasty indeed!
Amanda reports that the response to the class means it will most likely be held again
This class was one of many classes that have been planned and conducted based on the interests expressed by residents, with staff standing by them to make sure they get to enjoy classes that they have selected. Classes have focused on exercise, photography, cooking, Bible study, newspaper writing, ladies class, and more. Typically residents pay to participate in classes. However, thanks to the RHA wish list, those without their own funds to participate have the same opportunity as those with more resources. Wish list funds come from employee pledges, our community campaign and beer festival proceeds.
It started with a knock on the door at Resident Home’s Garber Road home by Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley. He was not there in his role as Commissioner, but as friend to the men at Garber and to all those served by Resident Home and Choices In Community Living. He and his family enjoy our annual Fish Fry and he has served as a judge at Choices’ Talent Show. When he knocked on the door at Garber, it was to invite the men to attend the monthly Dorothy Day Luncheon held at Precious Blood Church.
Not only do the Garber men now enjoy the fellowship, worship, entertainment and luncheon on the last Sunday of each month, they have been joined by the ladies of Resident Home’s Elru home. They are always excited about the chance to win some raffle prizes at the end of each luncheon.
More than 25 volunteers from Precious Blood, as well as children from the Sunday School classes, help serve the luncheon and make sure that 75-100 guests from the community have a wonderful time enjoying good food and making new friends. Brown’s Nursery donates home-grown vegetables, with corn on the cob a favorite of the guests. Carl’s favorite thing about the monthly activity is the music, while Thomasine really enjoys the lunch – “the food is really good!” Joan likes how everyone is made to feel welcome and the people who come together to enjoy lunch and all the activities.
Precious Blood has been hosting the Dorothy Day Luncheon for ten years, in honor of the ministry of Dorothy Day to the homeless and social justice. Born in New York City on 1897, she was a writer, editor and social reformer. She helped establish several Catholic settlement houses, with 200 of those communities still active across the United States today and in 20 communities abroad. She also founded The Catholic Worker, a newspaper that promoted Catholic teachings while tackling social issues of the day.
Her legacy of reaching out to make communities more accepting and welcoming lives on in the monthly luncheons at Precious Blood, where our residents are among the very grateful recipients of her faith and service.
Whether it was close to home or a day trip out of town, the end of summer was all about the great outdoors and having fun for people served by Choices In Community Living in the Clark County area.
Jan and Ron Ewers and Margie and Donald Little got in the spirit of things at Young’s Jersey Dairy on a recent outing – a double date for the two couples.
Clark County Day Hab (Adult Day Services) participants also stayed close to home with an outing on a beautiful summer day to George Rogers Clark State Park.
For Pam Kellis it was a ride on I-70 to Columbus to enjoy all that the city’s nationally known zoo has to offer.