The gift of friendship

Lincoln Park 2

The best gift for this holiday season and for this year for the men at Choices’ Lincoln Park home is the gift of friendship from students from Carroll High School. The students come by the house for dinner every month.

Wesley, Patrick, Bradley and Damien wish their friends the happiest of holiday seasons and can’t wait for more dinners, games and other activities in 2016.


Happy Holidays and Good News to our parents, providers and friends

Choices In Community Living is pleased to share that 2015 brought many changes and new opportunities to our Fun Fit programs. We have incorporated a Plus program into the traditional program at the Kettering Recreation Center. Most of the four traditional programs are at capacity, with individuals now being placed on waiting lists. We are supporting  this program by making a commitment to the purchase of three additional vans during 2016.

We are excited to announce expansion to the Vandalia Recreation Center, starting in January, 2016. Initially our Huber Fun Fit group will attend the Vandalia program on Tuesdays with their existing staff for four to six weeks. Our Englewood group will do the same on Fridays. This will allow participants to familiarize themselves with the new facility with staff and people they know. Families/homes in Vandalia area and close by may opt to change the location of their individual’s day programming to the community in which they live if they choose to do so at this time.

We are anticipating development of a second shift Fun Fit program in the upcoming year, possibly to be located at the Vandalia and Kettering Recreation Centers to meet the needs of participants both north and south. Program times have yet to be established. We welcome the input of families so we can best meet your needs, as well as the needs of individuals and homes.

This has been a year of Fun, Fitness, and Opportunity! We look forward to providing excellent day programming services to individuals throughout our community during 2016. Please contact Tom Weaver at to make suggestions and/or for additional information.

Happy Holidays from our Fun Fit participants and staff!


Honoring Nancy Wilson

Friends and colleagues came together on November 12 at El Meson Restaurant to honor K99 Radio’s Nancy Wilson as the 2015 recipient of the John W. Pratt Legacy Award. We came together to honor her for giving full measure to the word volunteer.

Dayton’s own Erma Bombeck so often filled the world with laughter with her quick wit and humorous take on the everyday things in life. Beyond the laughter, she also shared thoughts about what it means to be human. She said this about volunteers. “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience and just plain loving one another.”

The face of compassion, unselfish caring, patience and just plain loving one another was front and center at our reception as we honored Nancy for giving full measure and meaning to the word volunteer. It seems that wherever there has been a need in the community, Nancy has always been there. She co-hosts K99’s Cares for Kids Telethon and The Children’s Miracle Network Telethon on WHIO Television in support of Dayton Children’s Hospital. She is a board member for SICSA and serves as a tutor for the Miami Valley Literacy Council.  We honored her on a November night for her contributions that have added significantly to the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities over so many years.

Nancy Banks, Superintendent of the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services and Dennis Grant, Executive Director of United Rehabilitation Services joined Tom Weaver (Choices In Community Living) and Pete Roll (Resident Home Association) in recognizing Nancy for her years of service to and with people with developmental disabilities.

Nancy has served as emcee for Choices’ Talent Show for almost as many years as it has been held. She has volunteered with URS, the County Board and ARC/Ohio. She was instrumental in working with Partners For Community Living to initiate the first Dining with the Stars fundraising event and she has stayed involved every year as it has developed. She serves as a member of Partners Community Team, representing and supporting us throughout the community.

John Pratt was one of the founding members of both Choices In Community Living and Resident Home Association. He was a strong supporter of Partners For Community Living and helped form our Endowment Fund. Three of his four daughters, Ann Schulte, Cathy Payne and Mary Ann Schulz presented the Award to Nancy at the conclusion of the ceremonies, followed by the signing of John’s favorite song, You Light Up My Life, sang to Nancy with deep gratitude by Margie Little, who is part of Choices’ extended family in Clark County.  John’s daughter Susan is a member of our Resident Home Association extended family.

The ceremonies closed with these most fitting words from Piglet to his friend Winnie the Pooh. “We’ll be friends forever, won’t we, Pooh? he asked. “Even longer,” Pooh answered. We’ll be friends forever, our wonderful Nancy, and even longer.

If you would like to honor and thank Nancy for her friendship and service with a tax-deductible donation in her honor, please forward your donation to Partners For Community Living, 1651 Needmore Road, Dayton OH 45414 or you may make a donation in her honor on our secure website by going to our Donation link.



Call for Entries

Entries are now being accepted for the 2016 Art & Soul juried art exhibit, celebrating the creative expressions of artists with developmental disabilities. Entries in a variety of media will be accepted until February 12. Artists may submit two entries. Professional artists from the Miami Valley will select the top 40 entries to be included in the exhibit. The exhibit provides opportunities for artists to showcase their work to a large and diverse audience, free framing (as appropriate) for their work selected for the exhibit, the opportunity to earn income through the sale of their work, and potential for cash awards during the awards ceremonies.

The opening reception and awards ceremonies will be held Friday, April 8 at Toward Independence, 81 East Main Street in Xenia. There will be cash awards for the top ten entries and recognition for all artists selected for the exhibit. The exhibit will remain on display through April 29.

The exhibit is planned and coordinated by Toward Independence and Partners For Community Living. Sponsors for our 9th annual exhibit include the Butler, Greene, Hamilton and Montgomery County Boards of Developmental Disabilities Services.

Entries can be mailed or hand delivered to Toward Independence at 81 E. Main Street in Xenia. For more information, contact Beth Esterkamp at 937-376-3996 or email at

Families and friends can support our Art & Soul artists with an ad in our Exhibit program. Share your message to an individual artist or to a group of artists and celebrate with them. Donations for ads are tax-deductible and available at $50 (1/4 page); $100 (1/2 page); $200 (full page.) You may include a photo of your artist (artists) along with your message. All donations directly support our 2016 exhibit. Please contact Pam Skelly at 937-278-0791 or no later than March 29 with your ad information.


The gift of good health

We can give ourselves and our families the gift of good health just by making a few changes …. increase the amount of fruits and vegetables we eat; eat smaller portions; get up off the couch and take a walk, even a short one. Those are some of the recommendations Susan McGovern and Erin Rowley shared during our latest Partners DATV program. Susan is Executive Director of Diabetes Dayton and Erin is Program Director/Chef.

This important community grass roots nonprofit organization provides camps for children with diabetes, a clinic, classes, support groups, resource guide, cooking classes led by Erin and an Emergency Supply Assistance Program.  They hold a Diabetes Expo each November in recognition of Diabetes Awareness Month. More information about their services is available at Cooking classes are open to anyone interested in learning more about preparing healthier meals that are also delicious. Other programs are also open to the public, as well as for individuals and families with diabetes.

Susan and Erin shared that while nationally the rate of diabetes is over 9%, the rate for our region is 12%. They also noted the staggering economic costs of this disease at more than $169 billion in direct medical costs, with an estimated $69 billion in reduced productivity. The cost to individuals who face kidney disease, blindness, an increase risk of heart attacks and stroke, and amputations is immeasurable.

Choices In Community Living and Resident Home Association are committed to healthier lifestyles for the people we serve, some of whom have diabetes.  We encourage staff to be creative in providing healthier menu alternatives, serving appropriate portion sizes and encouraging more physical activity. One example is Choices’ partnership with area YMCAs for our Fun-Fit program.

While we can’t eliminate diabetes completely, it is one of those diseases that we can have a significant impact on by our own actions. We join Susan and Erin in encouraging others and ourselves to make a commitment to living healthier.  Let’s make a commitment to each other and let’s make this one New Year’s resolution we keep!