It was one of those calls no family member ever wants to receive. Mike Babb was working out of town in Texas when he received that call. It was from staff at Resident Home’s Hemphill home and he knew immediately it could not be good news. His sister Cheryl lives in that home, has lived there since 1990. If they were calling him out of town, something had to be wrong with Cheryl. He listened as they talked and was on a
plane home that night. “It really hit me hard,” he remembers about that call. “She has cancer,” he recalls the words of staff, “ovarian cancer – Stage 4 ovarian cancer. Our mother died of cancer. That’s how Cheryl first went to Resident Home. She lived with our mother all her life and we had to find somewhere safe for her before our mother died. And now she has IT!”
Cheryl’s staff, her “other” family were just as stunned. “There were no indications anything was wrong,” shares Home Manager Monica Redman, who has been with Cheryl and the other ladies at Hemphill since 1991. “We were just devastated …. just devastated,” she says with tears brimming in her eyes. “She had been
to the doctor on Friday and when she came home she started telling us her back hurt. We had her rest and kept an eye on her but the pain became worse. We took her back to the doctor on Monday. The next Monday she was in treatment. There were three rounds of chemo, then surgery, then three more rounds of chemo.”
Staff were by her side every time she went to chemo. Big brother Mike was there as well. “It’s amazing how well she’s handled her cancer,” he says with pride for his sister.
Read the rest of Cheryl’s heartwarming story here
It soon will be Independence Day and what better way to celebrate than by supporting the independence of people with developmental disabilities served by Toward Independence! They invite you to join them on Friday, July 3 for their annual Walk for Independence. The Walk will get underway at their offices at 81 East Main Street in Xenia. Check-in and Registration begins at 9:00 a.m., with the 2.5 mile walk through Xenia’s downtown streets getting underway at 10:20. Prior to that, at 10:00 a.m., there will be cash prizes for those who have collected pledges, as well as other giveaways.
The mission of Toward Independence, Inc. is to assist people with developmental disabilities to live the fullest life possible by providing individualized services in a variety of community settings.
For more information about services and about Walk for Independence, contact Beth Esterkamp, Marketing and Development Coordinator, at 937-376-3996, or email@example.com.
The state budget currently being debated is one of the most important in recent years and action is needed now to support funding for agencies serving people with intellectual/developmental disabilities. At risk is a 6% increase for IO Waivers, the primary revenue source for agencies like Choices In Community Living and Resident Home Association.
Governor John Kasich originally proposed a 6% increase, effective July 1, that would provide funding for wages for Direct Support Professionals. The Senate proposal/response has now reduced that to 3% for this year and 3% for 2016. The Senate needs to hear from us. There are many competing voices asking them for funding support. Make sure people with disabilities and the people who serve them are not forgotten. Call today and share this message:
We ask the Senate to restore the cuts to the DD Direct Care rate increase and fully fund the developmental disabilities budget as the administration introduced in the Omnibus Amendment.
Senate President Keith Faber, 1 Capitol Square, 2nd Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215 – (614) 466-7584 – firstname.lastname@example.org
President Pro Tempore Chris Widener, same address, (614) 466-3780 – email@example.com
Senator Bill Beagle (representing our Miami Valley region), same address, (614) 466-6247 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Peggy Lehner (representing our Miami Valley region), same address, (614) 466-4538 – email@example.com
For additional contact names and more information on this urgent need, please contact Tom Weaver at (937) 898-2220 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rand donned his Dining with the Stars apron at El Meson and made every guest feel welcome, including Brenda Whitney. Brenda retired after many years as Executive Director at Resident Home. She now serves as a member of Partners Joint Development Committee. Like everyone else at Dining, she had a great time meeting Rand.
At Partners we have two very important goals for each of our fundraising activities. One, of course, is raising funds to add to the quality of life for people served by Choices In Community Living and Resident Home Association. The other is equally important or maybe even more important, and that is friendraising.
That’s what we did this year at our Dining with the Stars event when we were honored to have Claudia Cortez, Executive Director of the Dayton Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Rand Oliver, WENCO and the Hispanic Chamber, join us as two of our outstanding celebrity waiters.
The bonds of friendship with them were immediate and nothing illustrates that more than the early morning of June 4. It was Garber Road staff member Helene Gordon’s birthday. She had met Rand at Dining with the Stars and had a great time bantering back and forth with him.
At 6:45 a.m. on the morning of her birthday as she was at work, the doorbell rang. She opened it to find Rand, his huge and gregarious smile, with 20 bagels, “smear”, and a big cup of coffee from Panera to help her start her day off in grand style.
The Garber men were also very happy to welcome their early morning visitor and they proudly took him a tour of their home, showing off their rooms and making him feel like part of the family. Our new friend Rand was as impressed with them and their home as the men and staff were with him.
Thank you to Rand for making Helene’s birthday so special and welcome to the family! You are a stranger but once when you become part of Partners.
It’s hard to imagine a time at Resident Home Association when Amy Cromer wasn’t a part of what the agency represents, it’s very fabric. She was boundless energy, headstrong, confident, always ready for a new challenge for herself and for her family and her extended Resident Home family. And now that energy and confidence, even the challenges, are gone. Amy, she of the smile that always, always seemed etched into her mischievous face, was 58 when she passed away in May from a pulmonary embolism. Her death was sudden and left those who loved her at a loss for words.
Words will come in the weeks, months and years ahead, as there are so many stories to tell about Amy, so many that make you smile and some that make you laugh so hard you cry. More than most, she brought real meaning to the phrase “one of a kind.” A whirlwind – that is one of the things her family and her RHA family remember about her – always in motion – the wheels in her head always turning.
Amy was one of four daughters of Bill and Eleanor Cromer. She graduated from Centerville High School. So many knew her and loved her as a friend or as a member of the family. That was evident during her memorial service. She was remembered for the love she had for her family, how much she enjoyed her church, how her life had meaning and value. During that service her niece brought laughter through the tears as she remembered her two most favorite things about her aunt. “You could never ever have too many hugs,” she remembers about Amy, the hugger, “and never, never ever say no to dessert.” There is so much to remember about Amy and one of those things is her catchphrase – something she said to everyone on parting from them – the simple, simply eloquent words that Pastor Paul Thacker cited in closing her memorial service – Good-by, Buddy.
There were no wasted moments in Amy Cromer’s life. She made herself known. And now there is this void where there had once been this whirlwind. GOOD-BY, BUDDY!
(At her family’s request, donations in celebration of Amy’s life may be made to Resident Home Association, 3661 Salem Avenue, Dayton, Ohio 45406. Your donations will make wishes come true for her housemates and friends through our Wish List.)
Choices In Community Living is serving as one of the sponsors for Abilities Dash, a 5k and 10k Run and Walk that will be held Saturday, September 12 at Eastwood Metro Park, 1385 Harshman Road. Irongate Realtors and Allstate Insurance (Evron Colhoun)) are joining Choices as sponsors for the event in support of children and adults with developmental disabilities.
Registration will begin at 7:45 a.m., with the Run/Walk beginning at 9:00 a.m., followed by the Awards Ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. Register for the event at www.keysports.net/events.php. Register by September 5 to be guaranteed a t-shirt.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available at different levels, from $50 to $200. Sponsorship information is available by contacting Sherry Gross at 937-216-0315 or AbilitiesDash@gmail.com.
Michelle Ortel (left) and Nancy Viets communicate the word for love in American sign language during one of the recent classes held at Choices In Community Living. Michelle, who is Choices’ billing clerk, graduated from the Sign Language program at Sinclair Community College. She volunteered to teach the class for staff who are interested in learning to sign to enhance communication skills with the people they serve. Nancy is the coordinator for Choices’ Adult Day Program.
Elements IV Interiors will be hosting their 9th Annual Charity Golf Outing on July 18 at Cassel Hills Golf Course in Vandalia. Registration will begin at 12:30. Shotgun start will be at 1:30. Choices In Community Living will be one of the community organizations that will benefit from this year’s Outing, along with Paws for Ability.
Elements IV Interiors employees recently donated personal care and other items to people served by Choices as part of their community outreach. If you would like to have a great time golfing, meet the caring and generous people of Elements IV Interiors and help raise funds in support of Choices In Community Living, please call 937-918-1000 or email@example.com.
View the event flyer here.
Donald Rice (Choices In Community Living) was inducted into the Developmental Disabilities Hall of Fame in Dayton in April. Donnie, as he prefers, was inducted for his efforts in the area of advocacy. Following is his nomination that led to him being selected for the 2015 class of the Hall of Fame.
Donnie is an individual who has stared adversity in the face on multiple occasions. He is a man of deep moral character who has turned life-challenging situations into positive motivators. He is a person who encourages others to look within to find their abilities. As an advocate, he has served as president of the Kuntz Center (MONCO/Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services) Advocacy Council and on the Montgomery County Board’s Advocacy Council. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Miami Valley In-Ovations housing board, which provides housing for individuals with disabilities.
Donnie spoke at a Montgomery County Commission meeting last year to advocate for changes in signage that would eliminate labeling of individuals as “handicapped”, part of a statewide effort (House Bill 265) to eliminate that word from parking and other signage and replace it with accessible. He also was a speaker at Leadership Dayton’s 2015 Human Services Day, where he immediately connected with the audience, sharing the impact that Human Services Levy funds have on his life.
Donnie’s friendliness and ability to communicate so openly, honestly and effectively has inspired and continues to inspire people to support individuals with disabilities, while encouraging individuals with disabilities to be active and positive role models, self-advocates and advocates for others.