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Spring/Summer 2013

For supporters of the mission and vision of the Anne Carlsen Center

Meet a 3-year-old boy with the boots and bravery of his soldier father Page 10

After 40 years apart, a West Fargo woman and the Anne Carlsen Center reunite Page 14

Page 4 Our newest team member is helping students with autism explore the “paws�ibilities


hamp is no ordinary dog. This Labrador Retriever began preparing for his special job when he weighed only 1 pound and fit easily in the palm of a hand. After more than two years of in-depth training, he is now an Autism Assist Dog at the Anne Carlsen Center, working with students ages 4 to 21. Champ can be spotted around the Jamestown campus helping out in a variety of ways. For students who struggle with transitions, he’s by their side to encourage them every step of the way. A great listener, he’s become the preferred audience when students work on their reading skills. And for children and young adults with the tendency to become withdrawn, Champ has the unique ability to draw them out of their shell and help them interact with the world around them. You’ll fall in love with his brown eyes. But what will really touch your heart is seeing the impact Champ has on the lives the remarkable individuals we serve, as this very special dog provides the gifts of peace, encouragement and friendship.

M e e t

Teacher Tom Kenna gives Champ some much-deserved affection after the Chocolate Lab puts in a full and productive day of assisting students.

C h am p !

Champ and Jonas, an ACC high school student, play fetch with a tennis ball.

Champ plays fetch with a Can Do Canines trainer at the training center in New Hope, Minn. Can Do Canines has supervised every aspect of Champ’s training.

Champ playfully shakes his head during his break time.

Trenton and Champ shake paws.

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO Four-legged friend helps continue tradition of personalized solutions

We have a new face on the Anne Carlsen Center (ACC) campus—one that’s easy to distinguish from those of the students and personnel. Floppy, v-shaped ears hang on either side of a broad forehead. Big, brown eyes reveal kindness and intelligence. And then there’s the dark, wet nose. This loveable face belongs to Champ: the Chocolate Lab who now calls the Anne Carlsen Center home. Champ is a bit of a miracle worker here on campus. His special role is that of “Autism Assist Dog,” but you’ll hear the students describe him as “friend.” On pages 4 – 7 of this issue, you’ll read more about this remarkable dog and his special connection with students. Champ has a lot to teach us—so much, in fact, that his life-changing work on our campus is part of a collaborative research project that we sought out the University of Minnesota to conduct. The university has partnered with us to gain information about, and insight into, the human-animal connection. While there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence of the benefits dogs provide to individuals on the autism spectrum, there has been little research done in this specific area. We are currently in the midst of collecting qualitative data through direct observation. ACC team members are noting the impact of Champ’s work: a reduction in negative behaviors and an increase in healthy and socially-acceptable be2 The Ambassador

haviors. Eventually, we will gather quantitative data, such as heart rates and stress-related hormone levels, to measure how Champ and the people he works with respond in different situations. Professors and students at the university will organize and analyze the resulting data. Efforts like this have kept the Anne Carlsen Center on the cutting-edge as a service provider for individuals with disabilities. Our dedication to improving the quality of programs and supports for children and adults has gained the attention of The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL). An international accrediting organization known as innovators in the human services field, CQL has accredited us for another four years. The CQL reviewer commended the creative approaches the Anne Carlsen Center takes in our person-directed solutions. One of those ways is through technology: ACC identifies the technology that will work best for each individual and then develops ways for that individual to access these tools at school, in the home living environment, in vocational settings and at places of recreation. Our technology solutions include computer hardware and software adaptations, SMART Board interactive whiteboards, eye-scanning technology, switch adaptations (in which users tap a switch with their head or hand to interact with a device), and portable devices like the iPad™.

From high- to low-tech approaches, our talented professionals find the most effective ways to maximize growth and learning for every individual we serve. We leave no stone unturned. The individualized services of our KIDS Program have made a big difference for the Johnson family of Fargo. Doctors said 3-yearold Isaac would never walk, talk or see. But this remarkable little boy is showing the world the power of determination! Meet Isaac and his family on pages 10–11. This issue also contains the story of a special reunion. A woman who once studied under Dr. Anne Carlsen is once again receiving our personalized services. Barbara’s story begins on page 14; I promise it will make you smile. Your love and support help make these amazing success stories possible! You empower us to deliver high-caliber services with a compassionate, personalized touch. On behalf of all the lives you’ve touched— thank you! With gratitude,

Eric M. Monson Chief Executive Officer Anne Carlsen Center

Generous Response to Giving Hearts Day The online fundraising effort known as Giving Hearts Day was a tremendous success for the Anne Carlsen Center (ACC). Giving Hearts Day fell on February 14 this year, and the Center was once again selected by Dakota Medical Foundation (DMF) and Impact Foundation to participate in this innovative fundraising event. For a 24-hour period, gifts of $10.00 or more to select nonprofit organizations, including the Anne Carlsen Center, were matched by DMF. This year ACC set the goal of surpassing the amount—roughly $30,000—raised last year. With your help, we raised more than $64,000! The Center will use the funds for many different projects, including new equipment to benefit individuals with medically-fragile conditions. “We exceeded our goal here at the Anne Carlsen Center, and the overall Giving Hearts Day also exceeded expectations by a very wide margin,” says CEO Eric Monson. “We’re extremely thankful that so many individuals chose to take part.” Donations came in from a handful of states, including Arizona and Texas this year. We thank you—from the bottom of our hearts—for your compassion and dedicated support. You make a difference!

The Ambassador 3

Keith, an ACC student, finds a comfortable spot to read a book to his new friend, Champ. Champ has helped motivate students to learn and achieve during the school day.


e’s three years old, loves to help others, and looks very sporty in a red vest. His name is Champ—and after one look into his deep brown eyes, you’ll never want to leave his side. Champ is a Labrador Retriever, and the Anne Carlsen Center (ACC) is both his new home and a special assignment for which he has spent many months training. ‘Can-Do’ Attitude Champ’s story begins with Can Do Canines—a non-profit organization based out of New Hope, Minn. It began operations in 1989, training assistance dogs for deaf and hardof-hearing clients. Today, Can Do Canines also trains dogs to assist individuals with physical disabilities, seizure disorders, diabetes complicated by hypoglycemia unawareness, and—much to the delight of the Anne Carlsen Center—children with autism. Since 2007, Can Do Canines has trained Autism Assist Dogs to provide security, peace of mind and a calming presence.

The Anne Carlsen Center family has welcomed its newest member.

4 The Ambassador

ACC first contacted Can Do Canines in the fall of 2011. A group of ACC team members, including COO Marcia Gums, toured their training center in

Minnesota that October. “When we were there, we saw about 30 puppies and dogs,” says Gums. “They ranged in age from about 18 weeks old to 1½ years old. It was fascinating to get an up-close look at the training process. Can Do Canines has an amazing operation. The trainers are very thorough, knowledgeable and kind.”

The final stop in Champ’s training was back at Can Do Canines’ training center, where he received enhanced, autism-specific training. He would soon meet an ACC team member with a very special calling.

The Anne Carlsen Center was one step closer to finding the newest team member to help guide and nurture students on the autism spectrum.

Adele Harrington grew up around horses, cows, cats and dogs. Throughout her life she has had many animal-related vocations, including horse trainer and dog groomer. Caring and skilled in her interactions with animals, she was a natural fit for the position of Champ’s handler.

Training for Greatness While many of the Can Do Canines trainees come from shelters, the organization recently began its own breeding program. Champ is a member of one of the inaugural litters.

A Perfect Fit

Champ began training for his future responsibilities when, weighing only 1 pound, he fit easily in the palm of a hand. The volunteer breeder who raised Champ for the first nine weeks of his life didn’t waste any time before beginning work. “Our volunteers start working with the dogs when they are very young—actually, just a few days old,” says Julianne Larsen, the director of training at Can Do Canines. “We do exercises with them, tickle their toes, and turn them this way and that. There’s lots of handling—a lot of stimulation and socialization.” When Champ was 9 weeks old, he went to live with his volunteer puppy raisers who attended classes at Can Do Canines, receiving in-depth instruction on how to train Champ in the home environment and out in public. “They took Champ with them into public daily—malls, restaurants, movie theatres and even their work places,” says Larsen. When Champ had learned all the basics, such as retrieving objects and opening doors and drawers, he went on to fine-tune his skills with several others, including a family operating an in-home daycare. “That was an invaluable experience for him,” says Larsen. “He got a lot of exposure to child-like activities, behaviors and sounds. We want to make sure that when he’s around kids, there’s nothing that fazes him.”

Champ spends some quality time with Michael, a high school student at the Anne Carlsen Center.

Harrington also brings to the position 20 years of classroom experience at the Anne Carlsen Center. In addition, she is the mother of a child with multiple disabilities, giving her additional insight into working with individuals with impairments.

Last fall Harrington spent several days in Minnesota at the Can Do Canines training center, receiving in-depth handler training. Eileen Pfarr, Champ’s back-up handler and a veteran ACC team member, also attended the training. Trainers showed them the commands Champ knows, from basic to advanced, and then took them and Champ into a variety of public places, to ensure that each handler could work comfortably with the dog in all settings. Continued, next page

The Ambassador 5

On October 10 Champ returned to Jamestown with Harrington. She brought him to the Anne Carlsen Center campus daily “for odds and ends” to help him get acclimated to the new environment. Champ also got accustomed to Harrington’s home, where he sleeps and spends his non-working hours. Harrington quickly discovered that “Champ is a smart dog—it doesn’t take him long to learn something new!”

Over the next several months, Champ gained new experiences Champ, a 3-year-old and friends throughout the Chocolate Lab, is the newest team ACC campus. Then, in midmember at the January, Larsen came to ACC Anne Carlsen for several days of observation Center working to and guidance. “This was the empower students with autism. first full week of us working intensely with the students, and she was there as back up, in case we had questions,” says Harrington. “She was able to steer us in the right direction.” Four-legged Friend Champ now works directly with 12 Anne Carlsen Center students, ranging in age from 4 to 21. He also spends time with groups of students during physical education class in the gymnasium. “There is a male student who had been extremely quiet and withdrawn during physical education,” says Harrington. “Since Champ arrived, this student will come over to me and ask if he can walk with Champ. After they walk around the gym together a few times, the student will come back and ask if he 6 The Ambassador

can play ball with Champ. It’s been wonderful to see this student come out of his shell.” Champ wears a bright red vest with a handle on it. When working with Champ, a student can hold onto that handle, or hold onto a leash, depending on preference. While Harrington always holds onto the primary leash, she can attach a second leash for those who want to help out in that way. “Our students love taking hold of that handle or leash,” says Michele Well, ACC’s Education Services Director. “It gives them so much confidence, and it also helps develop independence. It’s wonderful to see how excited the students are about Champ being here.” Gentle, friendly and eager to please, Champ is providing a calming influence to students struggling with behavioral, social and/or sensory impairments. Those working directly with him were selected after careful consideration. Parents and ACC personnel were surveyed to gauge each child’s level of experience with animals as well as ability to interact well with animals. Also, to work with Champ, a student cannot have any dog-related allergies. Good Dog! “One of the goals of having Champ here on campus,” says Gums, “is to help students become more independent in their transitions: from the home area to school, from school to therapy, and from school back to the home area. We have students who have meltdowns during these transitions, and Champ will help ease the frustrations.” Already, Champ has made a big difference for a young female student who had extreme difficulty with transitions. Until recently, she would scream and collapse to the floor instead of moving on to the next activity. With Champ by her side, however, she has handled transitions smoothly, progressing without incident and enjoying her new role as Champ’s “helper.” Another goal is for Champ to help children engage and interact during therapy sessions, as well as increase their level of motivation. There’s the residential component, too: “In the residential setting, we have some students who—upon

getting done with school—have a habit of selfimposed isolation,” explains Gums. “We’re hoping Champ will help encourage these students to be more social after school.” And during the school day, Champ is helping improve the desire to learn and succeed academically. “We have a male student who previously did not enjoy reading books,” says Well. “Nothing we did or said seemed to work in this area. One day, we asked him to read a book to Champ. This student selected a book about a dog, and then proceeded to read it to Champ. He read two books to Champ that day, and he did a fantastic job! Champ has helped open up a world of literacy for this child.”

ACC Therapy Horse Receives Top Honors Over the years, a variety of four-legged friends have had a life-changing impact at the Anne Carlsen Center. One of those animals is receiving a special honor, 11 years after his death. Pharaoh’s Fire (1979–2002), a purebred Arabian gelding, was a therapy horse for the Anne Carlsen Center for 13 years. He assisted with occupational, physical and speech therapies.

In addition to spending time with students on campus, Champ is going out into the community with them, helping them maximize their experiences with the world around them. He has already accompanied students to a restaurant and a movie theatre.

Champ shares a moment with (left) Julianne Larsen, the director of training at Can Do Canines, and (right) Adele Harrington, his handler at ACC.

Each day at the Anne Carlsen Center, Champ makes new friends and helps make new achievements possible. This gentle and loveable lab is—in every sense of the word—a champion for the remarkable individuals we serve.

Fire developed a special connection with riders of all abilities, and he was especially sensitive to riders with autism. His level of devotion earned him the prestigious title of 1994 National Therapy Horse of the Year. Now, he and the other horses who have received that honor over the years are being inducted into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame, established by Horse Charities of America and United States Equestrian Foundation. Although Fire had a fiery disposition as a stallion—earning him his name —he became a calm and reliable horse as a gelding. He will always be remembered as easy to handle, tolerant and focused in all situations. Many riders found strength and greater independence through his healing touch. The Ambassador 7

Memorial Gifts

G i v e n B y I n M e m o r y O f

The Anne Carlsen Center is honored to receive gifts from donors in memory of family members, mentors and friends. As you remember and celebrate the lives of your loved ones, you enrich the lives of the children and adults we serve. Thank you for your role in shaping beautiful success stories. Gifts given between September 1 and December 31, 2012: G i v e n B y I n M e m o r y O f

Mrs. Betty J. Aarhus Mrs. L. Elvira Lokken Jeff and Drenda Hall Doreen Albohm Paul and Kathleen Larson Gary and Linda Mahloch Dr. Linnea M. Anderson Ray and Sandy Anderson Mary L. Grinde Mr. Dennis L. Anderson Mr. Dennis R. Murphy Mrs. Anna Drangsholt Roy and Esther Peterson Mr. Rodney L. Tennyson Raymond and Marilyn Myers Mary and Clarence Steffen

Olav Aarhus Marion Abrahamson Carlyn A. Adix Tristen Amanda W. Almer Gloria J. Altringer Lucinda Andersen Oscar & Beatrice Anderson Rebecca J. Aricheta Fred Arnason Roger Arneson Sally Artz Sally Artz Sally Artz Charles B. Askew Jane Aune

G i v e n B y I n M e m o r y O f

United Methodist Sunday S. James and Linda Kimball Mrs. Kay J. Kvasager Karter and Vernis Krogh Mrs. Sherry Mischke Mrs. Vivian J. Bartlett Richard & Josephine Beitzel Rodney and Fayne Bell Mrs. Lois A. Belsvik Ms. Esther Strausburg Mrs. Dorothy L. Bentley Melvin and Ruth Skjerseth Mrs. Joan Lindvall Rev. Gordon N. Berntson Mrs. Carol J. Bertelsen

Dillan R. Bader John Baker Ida and Roger Bakke Katie D. Bakkum Richard Barnes Robert Bartlett Christian H. Beitzel Gregory D. Bell Loren Belsvik William I. Bennett Donald Bentley Monrad Berg Synnove Berge Pam Berntson Charles Bertelsen

Chaplaincy Program Receives Support Our Chaplain, Reverend Ethelind “Lindy” Holt, weaves fun, love and meaning into each and every Chapel service at the Anne Carlsen Center. She gives children and adults the opportunity to be part of a congregation, growing together in faith and sharing their gifts and talents with others. There are also the pastoral visits and Vacation Bible School! It’s a privilege to be able to offer our Chaplaincy Care Program through the support of friends like you. This is such an important component of care at the Center. We don’t receive government funds

8 The Ambassador

or corporate support for this work, instead relying on your love and support. You showed how much you care during our recent Thanksgiving Appeal. Nearly $16,000 was given by 203 donors. Thank you for supporting and enriching our vital Chaplaincy Care Program. We are grateful for your partnership with us!

Myron and Gertrude Pryor Mr. Ken F. Black Donald and Sara Lindberg Monica Mills Mrs. Alice Bloms Douglas M. Bonsness Mrs. Bonnie Jorgenson Gerald and Elenore Borstad Gerald and Elenore Borstad Ms. Patricia L. Bossert C. William & Patricia Dennert Vernon & Charlotte Baenen Mrs. Velma P. Martin Donna and Grant Schmidt C. William & Patricia Dennert Calvin and Loretta Isaak Norman & Donna Lorentzsen Mrs. Mary Ann Engebretson Michael and Amy Steinke Mrs. Sherry Mischke Mr. Delmar R. Hagerott Mrs. Phyllis B. Andersland Ms. Arlene B. Wells Raymond and Elaine Willows Calvin and Maxine Shockman Wayne and Anna Haverland Robert and Chris Horine Ms. Delma Schmidt Richard and Rose Ann Splitter Mrs. Fern L. Watkins Robert and Chris Horine Keith and Rebecca Solberg James and Linda Kimball Mrs. Katherine Paschke Mrs. Katherine Paschke Ms. Joan Y. Redmann Glenn and Connie Schwinkendorf Mr. Carl T. Christianson Mr. Carl T. Christianson Kim and Gail Christianson Dave and Kay Krueger Ms. Judy L. Kulla Donna and Grant Schmidt Mrs. Martha Coleman Rev. Ernest W. Collard Mr. Lloyd O. Cook Jerome and Barbara Cremers Alan and Dorothy Lommen Hon. Lyle A. Podoll Calvin and Loretta Isaak Ms. Doris E. Desautels Al and Judy Dosch Lewis J. Duffey Steven and Melissa Duin Mrs. Mabel Dahl Mrs. Mavis A. Wold Daris and Mabel Bittner Hon. Lyle A. Podoll

Edna Bjork Carole Black Carole Black Carole Black Martin Bloms Sharon Bonsness Dr. Joan D. Bonsness Bill M. Borstad Charles W. Borstad Robert Bossert Burt Boussard Delores I. Boyle Betty A. Braisted Sue Brandau Helen Breitkreutz James Brobst John and Clara Broten Lynn Brudevold Lynn Brudevold Ernest E. Buchholz Fern Bueligen Henrietta & Thomas Burgess Alyce M. Burke Alyce M. Burke Muriel E. Carlblom Dr. Anne H. Carlsen Dr. Anne H. Carlsen Dr. Anne H. Carlsen Dr. Anne H. Carlsen Dr. Anne H. Carlsen Paul Carlsen Vern Casey Edna Casteel Pat Cayko Andy Cayko Lorraine M. Christensen Floyd Christianson Carl and Evelyn Christianson Lynne Christianson Eldora & Russell Christianson Alwin Christopherson Gordon T. Colburn Gordon T. Colburn Kenneth Coleman Ruth Collard Marie Cook Michael Cremers Leonard Crouse Jr. Val D. Cutler Ron Davis Fred and Joan Desautels Karen Jane Dosch Nancy Duffey Peter and Leora Duin Grayce Dvirnak Ronald Edberg Wallace Edinger Dean A. Eichler

Memorials continued on page 12


aryAnne Bitz has always lived close to the land. The Dickey, N.D., woman says she “grew up” in a tractor, helping her dad raise crops. Today, she and her husband run a farm and a herd of cattle. She’s a farm girl through and through. Now MaryAnne’s agricultural expertise is being used to plant seeds of kindness at the Anne Carlsen Center (ACC). Since June 2007, she has been a volunteer in one of the elementary school classrooms, working with students in grades 3 – 6. Much of that time is spent outside of the classroom, helping students gain skills and experience in the ACC gardens and stateof-the-art solarium. “MaryAnne has so much patience,” says teacher Mary Lewis. “She doesn’t get frustrated with the students. She comes alongside them with a caring and calming presence. If a student becomes uneasy or needs extra attention, she’s able to redirect and calm that child.” This dedicated volunteer and mother of two (a daughter in high school and a son in college) was encouraged by a friend six years ago to consider vol-


KINDNESS Harvesting


ACC Volunteer MaryAnne Bitz helps Saige feel the different textures of the leaves. Saige, who has a vision impairment, benefits from a multi-sensory approach to experiencing the plants.

unteering at ACC. Doubtful at first that she would have something to offer, she now can’t imagine volunteering anywhere else. “I fell in love with the place and the kids,” she says. “I love watching the students. It’s so much fun to watch their expressions as they react to the sunshine and the breeze. Sometimes they’ll spot a ladybug or a butterfly. It’s such a joy to watch their delightful expression as a bug crawls up their arm.” MaryAnne, along with ACC personnel, guides and assists children as they gain hands-on experiences tending vegetables, herbs and flowers. She also performs tasks that help keep the gardening program running smoothly, such as fertilizing and weeding the gardens … and helping keep the solarium tidy. “She has spent hours digging up thistle!” explains Lewis. “She does the heavy labor that would be difficult for kids to do, and we—the staff—don’t have time to do all of it. She needs very little direction and is very hard working and dependable.” And while many agree this volunteer is a special blessing to the students and the gardening program, MaryAnne focuses instead on what a blessing the Anne Carlsen Center has been in her life. “I love that when I walk into the classroom, the students say, ‘Good morning, MaryAnne!’ They know my name! That really touches me,” she says. “Volunteering here has taught me to pay more attention, to use people’s first names, to slow down, and to enjoy the simple things in life. I’ve learned that when communicating with someone, to watch that person’s eyes. That was a huge discovery for me.” MaryAnne hopes others will decide to get involved as a volunteer, experiencing what her mom taught her many years ago: “Giving is living, and living is giving.” There are many ways to make a difference in the lives of the children and adults served by the Anne Carlsen Center. You can dedicate your time and talents as a volunteer and/or provide financial gifts that help make our exceptional programs and services possible. To learn more about how to empower individuals with disabilities, visit

The Ambassador 9


ou never do chores in the military without your boots on,” says N.D. National Guard Staff Sergeant Nathan Johnson, “unless you’re unable to put them on during an attack.” Stationed at the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Warhorse near Baqubah, Iraq, the possibility of an attack on the gritty U.S. stronghold where Johnson served with the 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment was a real one. During the course of Nathan‘s tour, Baqubah had emerged as a scene of intense guerrilla activity. As Nathan laced up his boots each morning in preparation for the duties and dangers he’d confront as an Officer in Charge of Air Defense and Air Management, his wife, Christina, was roughly 8,000 miles away in Bismarck, N.D., helping their one-year-old son, Isaac, do the same. Isaac’s “boots” are actually orthopedic leg braces, designed to help him walk. But since they are printed in the same desert camouflage his dad wears, putting them on each morning becomes a ritual of tribute, instead of a chore.

That’s because Isaac is his father’s son. “A daddy’s boy for sure,” Nathan says with a smile.

“Iraq will always be here” Mounds of melting snow lined the streets of Bismarck the night Isaac was born. It was March 18, 2010. Nathan was in Iraq, and his Chief Warrant Officer ordered him to call his First Sergeant on the double. Nathan immediately thought of his friends in Afghanistan with whom he had served 10 The Ambassador

during his initial deployment from 2005–2007. “At first I thought something went wrong in Afghanistan with a few of my close friends,” Nathan recalls. “He told me about a Red Cross message, saying Christina had to have an emergency C-section. He assured me everything was okay, but the situation sounded bad enough for me.” Nathan’s fears were warranted. Christina had been rushed to the hospital, and was very ill with a serious pregnancy complication called pre-eclampsia. After an emergency C-section, a tiny baby boy was delivered … seven weeks premature. Isaac weighed exactly 3 pounds when Christina held him for the first time. Doctors determined that he’d had a stroke before he was born, affecting a part of the brain that controls vision and motor skills. Three days later, Isaac suffered a brain hemorrhage. Doctors placed a port in his head, to create a reservoir where fluids could collect and be drained to relieve pressure on his brain. Isaac was fighting for his life. Making matters worse for the young family was Nathan’s deployment. “The day they found the hemorrhage was difficult, but there wasn’t much I could do from Iraq,” Nathan says. “I just wished I could have been there for Christina. I stuck it out for a few weeks with everything going on back home … until they decided to put the port in Isaac’s head. The best advice anyone told me was, ‘Johnson, Iraq will always be here, go home and make sure everything is good there.’” Impossible Questions For the next seven weeks, Isaac remained in the

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and the Johnsons grappled with the profound questions surrounding the future of their fragile son. As a Special Education teacher, Christina felt the same agonizing frustration that so many of her students’ parents must have experienced. “We were told on one end that he may simply need a therapy here or there, and at the other end, that he may never walk, talk or see. Will it get better? Will he still get to play sports? Why us?” Christina wondered. Meanwhile, Nathan—now home to stay after a year in Iraq—was in denial over his son’s delayed development. “I just pretended it wasn’t real for the longest time,” he admits. Eventually, the missed milestones could no longer be ignored. “We were sitting in the living room one night,” remembers Christina, “and Nathan looked at me and said, ‘This is never going to go away, is it?’ That was our moment of reality.” Helping Hands The Johnsons were determined to do all they could to help Isaac reach his full potential. Nathan, Christina, Isaac, and older brother Carter moved from Bismarck to Fargo in 2011. From there, they assembled a team of dedicated experts that would empower Isaac to reach their high expectations. Michelle Peterson, a Developmental Specialist with the Anne Carlsen Center KIDS Program, would work with the family at home, providing support, instruction, information and resources to help Isaac realize his full potential. Beyond Boundaries Therapy would help with developing motor and speech skills, and the North Dakota Vision Services/ School for the Blind would work to help Isaac maximize his limited vision. The first step in plotting out a course for Isaac was a clear evaluation of his potential. Peterson (known by many as “Micki”) was there to provide the straightforward assessment the Johnsons needed. “Micki was the first person not to sugarcoat things for Christina and me,” says Nathan. “She laid everything out for us and explained that ‘this was wrong, he needs to do this better, work on this, watch for this, he will struggle with this.’ To me it was like someone beat down the elephant in the room.” Working with Peterson and other KIDS Program personnel, the Johnsons have had the support system in place to focus on Isaac’s overall development within his natural environment. In the process, the family

An army of four: (from left to right) N.D. National Guard Staff Sergeant Nathan Johnson with sons Isaac (3) and Carter (4) and wife Christina.

has learned that not all therapies require trained experts; in fact, four-year-old brother Carter also plays a major part in Isaac’s continued success. “Hands down, Isaac could not have a better big brother,” says Christina. “Carter is a very strong-willed, independent 4-year-old, which has helped push Isaac in his development. Carter loves to help Isaac walk and has taught him most of the words he knows.” A Bright Future Isaac, who turned 3 years old on March 18, is a “happy, mischievous, talkative child,” say his proud parents. “But if there was one word to describe him, it would be determined,” adds Christina. “He loves being able to do things on his own.” These extraordinary qualities have made a big impression on the KIDS Program team members. “If you were to just look at Isaac’s medical file,” says Peterson, “You would think that this little boy would have significant impairments. But spend just five minutes with Isaac, and you easily forget that he has challenges. His strong will, determination and the support of his parents and brother have already brought Isaac further than most of the experts would have anticipated.” As Christina puts it, “We cannot wait to see what the future holds for Isaac. Each day is a blessing. He continues to amaze us each day.” To be sure, not every day is going to be easy. Isaac does have his challenges; the stroke he suffered left him with cortical vision impairment—a neurological issue that causes his brain to incorrectly interpret what his eyes see. Cerebral palsy affects his legs and feet. But more noticeable than the walker Isaac sometimes relies on … or the brown-and-tan “boots” strapped to his legs … is a tremendously happy little boy, whose march towards independence is proceeding with the strength and resolve of a soldier. Just like his proud daddy. The Ambassador 11

G i v e n B y I n M e m o r y O f

Dwight and Suzanne Eiken Stewart E. Ekstrom & Suzanne Maly Gregory and Hilda Eldevik Oral and Ruth Elhard Mr. Elmer Ellwein C. William & Patricia Dennert James and Carol Erkens Mrs. Glenna Mae E. Larson Mrs. Shirley D. Hintz Mr. Kenneth D. Fandrey Mrs. Rosanne M. Farrell Mrs. Cordy Farsdale Gloria and Bryan Jones Dean and Sylvia Fatland Ernest and Shirley Hanson Mrs. Irene L. Fink Albert and Solveig Bartz Keith and Beth Liudahl Merle and Eunice Munson Mrs. Eleanor Forseth

G i v e n B y I n M e m o r y O f

Vernon and Eva Eiken Carl and Mary Ekstrom

Mrs. Eleanor Forseth Vera and Frank Fraass Ms. Dorothy A. Briss Frances and Norman Eldevik Daniel and Brenda Anderson Irene L. Elhard Hon. Lyle A. Podoll Alber and Margaret Ellwein Donald and Marian Savage Marvin J. Elsen Mr. Arlon E. Fuchs Thomas J. Erkens Mrs. Muriel Hoplin John A. Evers Jr. Ms. Harriet E. Olson Dagmar A. Everson William and Marilyn Gackle Lurline D. Fandrey Mrs. Donna E. Gaffaney Gerald Farrell Reta M. Gage Wade Farsdale Paul and Marilyn Gage Jasmine N. Farsdale George & Michelle Gagnon Jan M. Fatland George & Michelle Gagnon Agnes K. Ferderer Mrs. Marilyn F. Galazen Otto Fink Rev. and Mrs. Quintin C. Erick Fiss Schowalter Thresse Folk Duane and Barbara Butts Jensina and Hilmer Forsberg Mrs. Anna M. Slater Barbara Forseth Curtis and Betty Hahn

Richard Forseth Duane and Billy Bradley Joann Frappier Donald M. Freeman Ruth Frerichs Ronald Frydenlund Jeanette Fuchs Lowell Fugleberg Lowell Fugleberg Don Gackle James Gaffaney Yvonne Gage Rev. Wells H. Gage Ed Gagnon George and Renee Gagnon Paul B. Galazen Alvin Geisler Mavis Gerrells Carroll Gilbertson Ione Glinz

Making Dreams Come True! During the Christmas season we brought you the amazing stories of three remarkable individuals whose dreams are coming true right before our eyes— because of your wonderful love and support! You met go-getter Sander with his smile that lights up a room … Sady, our future award-winning film editor … and Tieranny, who has transformed into quite a social butterfly! Thank you for honoring the determination and resolve of these incredible young people. We are so grateful for your response to the Christmas Appeal, as 389 donors gave more than $49,500.

12 The Ambassador

You give all the individuals we serve the opportunity to dream ... and then you help prepare them with the skills and support they need to make those dreams come true. Thank you for your important role in nurturing these precious smiles and success stories!

G i v e n B y I n M e m o r y O f

C. William & Patricia Dennert Hon. Lyle A. Podoll James and Linda Kimball Mrs. Kathleen Wyum Donald and Carol Odenbach Candice and Gary Ruden Gloria and Bryan Jones Floyd and Evelyn Fergerson Mrs. Agnes R. Stewart Ms. Ida Schmitt Mrs. Donna L. Collins Mrs. Leah W. Guderjan Mrs. Darlis Short Ms. Virginia Jeanotte Ms. Judy L. Kulla Donna and Grant Schmidt C. William & Patricia Dennert Norman and Belle Kvale Mr. Tom Haffner Curtis and Betty Hahn Rev. Delwayne Hahn Noren and Audrey Meland Stanley & Phyllis Dolbinski Valerie and Dustin Bakken Sheila and Peter Dewey Gloria and Bryan Jones Dana and Justin Kolden Ms. Judy L. Kulla Donna and Grant Schmidt Mrs. Erin J. Zalumskis-Sand Mrs. Mary L. Johnson Gerald & Marian Rasmussen Mr. Kenneth J. Haraldsen Jerry Haralson Ms. Ruth N. Hall Ardean and Diana Harstad Mr. Arthur G. Haskins Mrs. Erna Hauf Lenora & Leona Dohrmann James and Linda Kimball Keith and Rebecca Solberg Mr. Charles D. Stromsodt Mr. Dennis L. Anderson Mrs. Katherine Paschke Robert and Becky Herman Mrs. Lilly Johnston James and Judy Engstrom Mrs. Yvonne Hildebrand Ms. Judy L. Kulla Donna and Grant Schmidt Gary and Arlys Mathis Lowell and Amy Anderson Daris and Mabel Bittner Dennis and Myrna Wold Keith and Rebecca Solberg Mrs. Mary Ann Engebretson Kent and Bonnie Eicholtz Mrs. Mary L. Johnson

Steve Glover Steve Glover Beulah Goebel Mabel Goehring Bernice Goldsmith James D Gray Marie Greenshields Ryan Gregory Amber Grindeland Charles Grumbo Zenner Grzegorek Theodore Guderjan Rick Gulstad Marvin G. Gunderson Sarah Gunderson Sarah Gunderson Dean Haaland Jason C. Haas Janice Haffner Doris Hagen Marilyn Hahn Ray Haman Helen Handtmann Emlin Hansen Emlin Hansen Emlin Hansen Emlin Hansen Emlin Hansen Emlin Hansen Emlin Hansen Clarice J. Hanson Clarice J. Hanson Opal Haraldsen Rose O. Haralson Alfred V. Harstad Merlin C. Harstad Karen Haskins Paul Hauf Elaine Haugen Regina Haugland Olga H. Hayen-Heisinger Robert Hedstrom Fern V. Herbeck Elmer Herdt Sharon G. Herman Vanita L. Herman Rick Hermann Dennis Herrmann Dennis Herrmann Dennis Herrmann Randy Hetland Leo L. Hibsch Leo L. Hibsch Leo L. Hibsch Cecil E. Hiles Curtis Hodenfield Ruth I. Hoerauf Marvin K. Hoff

G i v e n B y I n M e m o r y O f

John and Karen Holien Charles and Eloise Jones David and Carol Hoplin Daris and Mabel Bittner Lavonne Horowitz Char Foundation Larry and Edith Raatz James and Judy Engstrom Ms. Mary A. Long Mari G. Irvin Reed and Ruth Danuser Hon. Lyle A. Podoll Mr. Daniel L. Jasper Mrs. Sherry Mischke Mrs. Elaine K. John Marilyn F. Nissen Mary L. Grinde Ms. Jacquelyn R. Schulte Ben and Patricia Johnson Mrs. Darlis Short Ronald & Sandra Bendewald Ms. Judy L. Kulla Mrs. Geraldine E. Johnson Glen and Nathlie Miller Don and Charleen Schermerhorn Ms. Carol L. Ness Mrs. Mona R. Johnson Mrs. Mary L. Johnson Ms. Andrea Morenski Ernest and Shirley Hanson Mrs. Blossom G. Schnabel Mrs. Anna M. Prichard C. William & Patricia Dennert C. William & Patricia Dennert Bison 6 Cinema Erhart and Patricia Hehr Apollo Hair Clinics Tom and Rita Kennedy Hon. Lyle A. Podoll Mrs. Sharon L. Heil Donald and Inez Olson Ms. Sharon L. Rance Ms. Joy L. Kjellbotn Joel and Karen Nelson Steven and Janell Mc Laen Mrs. Katherine Paschke Mrs. Frances Barnard Mrs. Della J. Hoff Mr. Mitchell L. Koch Susan and Gerald Simonson Gregory and Hilda Eldevik Lynn and Jeanette Kieper Anthony & Kathleen England Deb Kritzberger Ms. Esther Strausburg Mr. Henry L. Kucera Mrs. Jane Y. Kulla Hon. Lyle A. Podoll

Bradley J. Holweger Joanne and Floyd Homuth Glenn C. Hoplin Charles L. Hoppe Sr. Lavonne Horowitz Char Foundation David Housh William G Howard Eva M. Huck Bruce Irvin Myra G. Jaekel Viola A. Jasmer Beverly Jasper Chester Jensen Kent John Bernice Johnsen Albertine Johnson Beatrice & Kenneth Johnson Dean Johnson Evalyn M. Johnson Sarah Johnson Sarah Johnson Alfred Johnson Levi Johnson

G i v e n B y I n M e m o r y O f

Reed and Ruth Danuser Richard Cavanaugh James and Linda Kimball Mrs. Judy Goettle Roger and Patty Skarphol Charles & Priscilla Anklam Candice and Gary Ruden Arlene and Gary Gran Ervin P. Langholz Ms. Jacquelyn R. Schulte Hubert and Joan Blegen James and Judy Engstrom Victor and Arlene Lybeck Mrs. Ivy E. Johannesen Ms. Mary L. Milbrath Ms. Susan M. Lender Leonard and Doris Lere Mrs. Katherine Paschke Ms. Lynda L. Faith Ms. Lynda L. Faith Si and Martha Liechty Dr. Charles L. Lindberg Julie and Ken Slag Kermit and Arlys Sorby Mrs. L. Elvira Lokken Levi Johnson Jacquelyn Senf Martha Johnson Mrs. Mary Ann Engebretson Robert Johnson Melvin and Ruth Skjerseth Sean A. Johnson Mrs. Anna M. Slater Trista F. Johnson Vernon and Marcy Grant John Johnston Leif and Cynthia Peterson Helen Justus Kevin and Cynthia Roorda Ella I. Kalinowski Richard & Janice Huebner Victor A. Kamm Mrs. Elizabeth Hagen Richard W. Karlen Mr. Allen V. Martell Loren Keim David and Fay Falk Ida C. Kellogg Dr. & Mrs. Larry K. Hoffman Eileen Kennedy Nicholas & Jean Neumann Eileen Kennedy Mrs. Velma P. Martin Geraldine Kippley Marvin & Mary Siedschlag Bernard Kirschmann Mrs. Arlene E. Simpson Carol J. Kiser Ardina and Elmo Bentz Robert Kitterman Ardina and Elmo Bentz Margaret and Carl Kjellbotn Tom and Beth McCauley Myrtle B. Kjonaas Bosard, McCutcheon Lyla J. Klefstad & Rau, Ltd. Irene Knels Larry and Edith Raatz Jeanette M. Knote Knox Presbyterian Church Jeanette M. Knote Lawrence and Connie Anderson John and Lydia Koch James and Judy Engstrom Lois H. Kozojed Mr. Duane L. Meiers Stephanie A. Krehlik Hon. Lyle A. Podoll Ruth L. Krein C. William & Patricia Dennert Elaine Kreutz Durward & Phyllis Otterness Lynn Kritzberger Mr. Vernon H. Meyer Gerald Krueger James and Judy Engstrom Mary and Henry Kucera Mrs. L. Elvira Lokken Margie Kulla Harvey and Darlene Kluvers Hiram Kusler

Tom Lacopini Robert Lagein Robert Lagein Dale E. Lalim Dale E. Lalim Willard Lamb Allen E. Landers Theodore and Helen Lang Carrie Langholz Eva and Alfred Larsen Lee O. Larson Lee O. Larson Lee O. Larson Marie M. Lay William F. Lemke Jr. Ruth Lender Florence I. Lere Adeline C. Ley George and Dorothy Liebe James Liebe Clara and John Liechty Loren and Mabel Lindberg Lillian E. Lindemann Bentley A. Lindvall Margaret E. Lokken Kathy Lomsdal Bruce A. Lubbers Hazelle Lund Doris Lysne Darin Malec Melvina F. Mandigo Louise C. Manstrom Mary Marks Stanley L. Markwardt August & Katherina Martell Mary M. Martin Mary M. Martin Mary M. Martin Paul L. Martin Paul L. Martin Victoria B. Marvel Paul and Bertha Mayer Wallace L. Mayer Michael T. McCauley E. Hugh McCutcheon Paul McBride Ida McCann Joan L. McDonnell Pearl A. Medhus Emilie J. Meiers Albert Merkel Allen Mettler Marvel & Herbert Meyer Mary Ellen Meyer Russell Michaels Lavon Mickelsen Norma Miedema

G i v e n B y I n M e m o r y O f

Mavis Strinden Dr. David E. Miller Mrs. Marlys A. Bergene Larry and Edith Raatz Marian E Sateren Carl and Leona Nelson Ms. Anna V. Moran Sylvia Morgan Sylvia Morgan Patricia and Frank Paula Calvin and Loretta Isaak David and Patricia Mueller Richard Murray Ms. Margie A. Lane Allyson Peterson Mrs. Lilly Bratvold Mrs. Lilly Bratvold Mrs. Lilly Bratvold Mrs. Beaulah Sears Frances Hanson Ms. Wanda V. Nissen Paul and Gail Buegler Mr. Richard A. Novak Ms. Lorraine Tisdel William and Lois O’Hara Dennis and Myrna Wold Vernon and Marcy Grant Mrs. Kathy R. Ashe Ernest and Edith Jelleberg Arden and Judith Omlid Lyle and Deloreis Blunck Mrs. Lorna J. Boreson Mr. Meryl T. Hansey

Norma Miedema Viola and Clement Miller Esther B. Moen Lillian M. Moen Martha Monke Robert Monson Gerald Moran Caroline Morgan Mike Morgan Theresa & Hank Morth John S Mosbrucker Barbara M. Mueller Joyce E. Murray Randy R Myers Tayib Nash Vernon Nelson Archie Nelson Raymond W. Nelson Ruth A. Nelson Mary E. Neubert Loretta Nissen David R. Norem Bernice Novak James Odegaard Brenda K. O’Hara Charles E. Olson Connie M. Olson Helen A. Olson Shirley A. Olson Edith Omlid Family Loved ones Those who have lost their life from cancer All those who gave their life Mr. Meryl T. Hansey so we may be Free 26 people killed in school Ms. Karen L. Hunt shooting Lawrence and Irma Rathbun Loved ones Floyd Orr Ellen D. Orr Tommy Oster Mrs. Sharon L. Heil Durward & Phyllis Otterness Oscar & Myrtle Otterness Kathleen E. Page Gary and Jan Wysocki Lydia Parrott Mr. Marvin L. Rapp Bob Patton Mrs. Anna Beauclair Elizabeth J. Paulson Mrs. Katherine Paschke Shirley Pedersen Mr. Harvey H. Pedersen Ronald Pederson Mrs. Marlys A. Bergene Senster & Janet Vangsness Palmer R. Pederson Rudolph and Erna Peltz Si and Martha Liechty Virginia Pentland Mr. Bruce G. Pentland Dale Peterson Kent Peterson Wayne and Diana Jacobson Lisa D. Peterson LuVerne Peterson Don and Yvonne Williams Debbie and George Greshik Jeff Pfarr Jeff Pfarr Bette and Robert Johnson Jeff Pfarr Ms. Judy L. Kulla Jeff Pfarr Donna and Grant Schmidt Memorials continued on page 17 The Ambassador 13

40 years later, ACC once again helping West Fargo woman live a full life


sk Barbara Beaton about movies, and her eyes will light up. The 60-year-old West Fargo woman is especially fond of films that tickle her funny bone—the sillier the comedy, the better. And when it comes to adrenaline-packed action, this movie buff says the James Bond series is adventure par excellence. But what has provided the most satisfying experience for Barbara is a sequel she first discovered in December 2011. This sequel takes place in real life, and Barbara is the main character. The setting is her home in West Fargo —and many other locations near and far. It is the continuation of a story that began more than 50 years ago. A Challenging Start

Early on, Wally and Vi became aware of their limitations in caring for their daughter. When Barbara was 4 years old, her parents brought her to live, study and receive therapy at the Anne Carlsen Center (at that time, the Crippled Children’s School) in Jamestown, where Dr. Anne Carlsen was the superintendent. The transition was not an easy one, and Barbara was often in tears. “Dr. Anne called us and told us that Barbara wasn’t quite ready to be at the school,” remembers Vi. “So we brought her back home and enrolled her in the public school. When she was 8 years old, the principal called to tell us the school was no longer able to meet her needs. That’s when we began to consider (the Anne Carlsen Center) again.” This time, Barbara was ready. Succeeding at School Barbara thrived as a student and made many friends. She greatly admired Dr. Anne—a quadruple congenital amputee who refused to let her physical impairments prevent her from living life to the fullest.

Barbara was born into a hard-working North Dakota family in 1952. Her father chased cattle at the West Fargo Stockyards, and her mother was head cook at a nearby school. Wally and Violet (“Vi”) Beaton were now the parents of five children, but they quickly discovered that Barbara’s needs were very different from those of her four older brothers.

“Dr. Anne would always greet all the students and families at the start of school in the fall,” remembers Vi. “There has never been a woman like her. She was determined to do everything that anyone else could do, such as driving. She once showed us the car that had been adapted for her with all its gadgets. She got around so well!”

Barbara was born with cerebral palsy (CP), a condition caused by abnormalities in portions of the brain that control the muscles. The disorder affects muscle control, coordination and tone, as well as reflexes, balance and posture. In Barbara’s case, it interferes with her ability to stand upright and walk. The muscles that control her mouth, tongue and pharynx also are affected, causing her speech to be slurred.

Dr. Anne inspired the students at the school to take a similar approach to life: believe in their Godgiven abilities and pursue as much independence as possible. Barbara recalls of Dr. Anne, “She was so nice to me!” Through this kindness and example, the Center’s namesake helped guide and encourage Barbara until, at age 18, the young woman from West Fargo graduated from the school and began her next major transition in life.

14 The Ambassador

Next Step? Barbara was eager for adventure and independence but was faced with a lack of appropriate services for someone her age with her needs. She ended up returning home to live with her parents. But while Wally and Vi provided a loving environment for their daughter, they did not have the training and expertise needed to maximize their daughter’s abilities and opportunities. Many years went by, and Barbara remained at home with her parents. Most of what she learned about the world came through books and movies. As her parents grew older and less mobile, her exposure to the outside world was further diminished. Barbara’s four older brothers grew concerned. They knew their 88-year-old mother and 95-year-old father needed some help caring for their sister. They also saw that Barbara was not reaching her full potential, and it pained them to see her missing out on many of life’s meaningful experiences. So, in June 2011, Carol Beaton—wife of Barbara’s oldest brother, Perry—called the Anne Carlsen Center. What she was told brought tears to her eyes—tears of joy. Danielle Remmick, the Operations Manager for the Anne Carlsen Center (ACC) Community Based Services in the Fargo area, explained to Carol what the Center’s services would entail. Carol’s excited response was, “That’s exactly what we need!” Remmick told Carol how ACC helps individuals participate fully in the activities of life, make contributions to their community, and hone critical skills for daily living. The Fargo area is among dozens of North Dakota communities where ACC now provides home- and communitybased services to individuals and families affected by a developmental disability. ACC began its expansion into Community Based Services in 2008, while continuing to operate the Jamestown campus where Barbara received services as a child.

Anne Carlsen Center professionals met with the Beaton family in November 2011 and began providing services the following month. Rewarding Reunion At first it was not easy for self-reliant Wally and Vi to accept help. But that initial reluctance has been replaced by a palpable reassurance. “I think (Community Based Services) is wonderful,” says Vi. “My only regret is that Anne Carlsen isn’t here to witness it. She would really enjoy this.” Three ACC team members spend time with Barbara throughout the week, working individually with her to meet needs, interests, and desired outcomes in many areas of life. Many of those hours are spent out in the community. “We are empowering Barbara to be an integral member of her community,” says Remmick. “She is now exploring the world and making her own decisions. It’s such a joy to see how inquisitive and observant she is. She loves to be around people and is very interested in the world around her.” ACC professionals tap into each person’s interests and abilities, providing assistance and accessibility tools to help provide the best possible vocational and volunteer experiences. Barbara has always loved animals, so helping out at a local pet store was a natural fit. She has spent time socializing with kittens and helping keep the area tidy. When asked about her other vocational interests, Barbara expressed a strong desire “to work in an office with other ladies.” ACC has arranged several opportunities to work in an office setting, including the church office at Prairie Heights Community Church in West Fargo, where she helps out every Thursday shredding papers. Barbara smiles Barbara Beaton, born in while holding her hand 1952, became the youngest of five children. Her parents out to demonstrate how quickly discovered their tall the pile of papers is daughter’s needs were that she shreds. She also much different from those folds bulletins, which isn’t of her four older brothers. Continued, next page The Ambassador 15

always easy, given the effects of cerebral palsy. Vi says she’s proud of her daughter: “It’s hard work with her hands, but she digs right in!” On Tuesdays at the YMCA, Barbara folds towels, greets people as they come in the door, distributes healthy snacks to members, and helps out with children’s activities. A Positive Attitude No matter the task, Barbara can be counted on to have gumption and a positive attitude. “She is a hard worker,” says Genieve Thayer, an ACC Direct Support Professional who works with Barbara. “She won’t give up until the task is done. She never quits!” In addition to gaining vocational skills and experiences, Barbara is now a patron at a wide variety of businesses. An avid reader (especially of books about animals), she loves to visit book stores. She has a passion for and is especially skilled at Find-AWord puzzle books. One of her favorite activities is to go to stores in search of the best bargain on these puzzles. She enjoys dining at restaurants and looks forward to going to the movie theater to see the latest blockbuster. “There is joy in her face when she’s out in the community,” says Thayer. “She loves to make new discoveries, and I’ll often hear her say, ‘I’ve never seen that before!’” While a big emphasis is on spending time in the community, ACC professionals working with Barbara also spend time in the Beaton home in West Fargo, assisting Barbara with primary needs such as maintaining proper hygiene. Getting in and out of the bathtub, for instance, is often difficult for someone with cerebral palsy. When people without CP perform a movement, some groups of muscles “turn on” while other groups “turn off.” But for those like Barbara, with spastic CP, conflicting groups of muscles may “turn on” at the same time, resulting in stiff and jerky movements. In addition, Barbara also endures headaches and rapid muscle spasms, both of which are often 16 The Ambassador

painful. “We know she’s hurting when her muscles bunch up,” says Thayer. “She won’t admit that she’s in pain, though. She never complains. We help make sure she gets to be out and about with as little pain as possible.” Life to the Full Barbara has never forgotten what Dr. Anne taught her many years ago in Jamestown about the value of determination in the pursuit of independence. The passage of time has not dampened the West Fargo woman’s enthusiasm for emulating her childhood mentor. And while the services she receives now may be different from the services she received as a child, the Anne Carlsen Center’s philosophy of care and support remains the same. “What hasn’t changed is the Center’s core approach: the individual comes first,” explains Remmick. “It’s the same Pictured here with ACC’s level of love and compasGenieve Thayer, Barbara sion that she received enjoys a tour of the Red River aboard the more than 40 years ago.” SS Ruby Pontoon.

With every adventure Barbara takes, she gains more self-sufficiency and a greater sense of self-worth. “She is happier now,” says Vi. “We couldn’t take her to all of those places. At our age, we have trouble getting out ourselves. She’s been places we have never been!” Barbara celebrated her 60th birthday in October at a bowling event organized by ACC Community Based Services in Fargo. There was a cake and singing, and Barbara—content to be a spectator at past bowling events—decided to join the others on the lanes. Her final score was 147—the highest score of the day! The frosting on the birthday cake, much to Barbara’s amusement and delight, turned her mouth and teeth blue. She laughed and laughed and laughed. “I had blue teeth today,” she said with a smile—a smile that continues to tell us “the possibilities are endless!”

G i v e n B y I n M e m o r y O f

Roger and Patty Skarphol Ms. Delila M. Heinrich William & Paulette McCann Robert and Ruth Wedman Ernest and Neva Miessel Mr. Lloyd C. Sheldon Mr. Harold F. Priddy Gary and Phyllis Torske Dennis and Joan Bangen Ms. Judy L. Kulla Mrs. Mary Ellen Kulla James & Debra Schumacher Mrs. Muriel Christopherson Mrs. Mary Ann Engebretson Erhart and Patricia Hehr Mr. Marvin L. Rapp Mr. Kurt D. Rasmussen Gerald & Marian Rasmussen Mrs. Donna L. Collins Ms. Joan Y. Redmann Bruce and Lucinda Vantine Wayne & Coleen Rehovsky Melvin and Ruth Skjerseth Mrs. Donna L. Collins Ms. Dorothy A. Briss Karter and Vernis Krogh Mrs. Evelyn R. Rients Marvin and Helen Johnson Mrs. Mertis Hill Mrs. Velma P. Martin William and Alpha Roeszler Dennis and Myrna Wold Clayton and Karen Romfo Mrs. Della J. Hoff Mrs. Mavis A. Wold Timothy Rudnick Rudnick Electric Mr. Robert J. Rudolph Clarence Rudy Mr. Dennis L. Anderson Elsie Saewert James & Sharon Hatlewick Gary and Arlys Mathis Mr. Steven R. Sarafolean Mr. Steven R. Sarafolean Gloria and Bryan Jones Roger and Patty Skarphol Ms. Marilyn J. Collier Myron and Lois Schmidt Leonard and Doris Lere Ernest and Shirley Hanson Ms. Jacquelyn R. Schulte Marvin and Laverne Schulz Jeff & Doreen Schumacher David and Maxine Syhre Bert and Diane Anderson Mrs. Vivian J. Bartlett Leslie and Carma Branch

Les Pfau Larry S. Piatz Eudora J. Pieterick Carol Ann Wedman-Pioske Bill Plagge Margaret Plasterer Bertie Jo Priddy JoAnn C. Quale Anna S. Quick Margaret E. Quigley Margaret E. Quigley Margaret E. Quigley Gerda Qvale Gerda Qvale Alfredo Ramirez Ruth Rapp Ruthanna & Fred Rasmussen Phyllis M. Rasmusson John Redman Robert E. Redmann Agnes Reed Cheryl Rehovsky Dick Reineke Gladys R. Renshaw Mary H. Ressler Sylvia C. Reynolds Tjark Rients Joseph O. Rise Marvel P. Robinson Marvel P. Robinson Mazie A. Roeszler Mazie A. Roeszler Brandilyn Y. Romfo Joseph Ronning Norman Rosholt Robert Rudnick Frank L. Rudnick August and Mary Rudolph Elizabeth Rudy Suzanne Ryan Ernest Saewert Rachel D. Sahr Truman Sandland Lynne L. Sarafolean Rika L. Sarafolean Sadie M. Sargent Kenneth W. Schaffer Marius & Elsie Scheldrup Rev. Russell C. Schmidt Marsha Schmitt Leonard Schneibel Kenneth A. Schulte Frances Schulz Bobby Schumacher Mathilda Schumacher Della and Delton Schwanz Carol Schwartz Alma and Carl Schwarz

G i v e n B y I n M e m o r y O f

Mr. Manley D. Lokken Mr. Manley D. Lokken Raydon and Betty Workin Stanley and Donnis Benson Mrs. Mary Ann Engebretson Ernest and Shirley Hanson Mrs. Clarice C. Weigel Keith and Rebecca Solberg Richard and Nancy Shermoen Hon. Lyle A. Podoll Mrs. Darlene Benzel Mrs. Marlys A. Bergene Julian and Emily Braaten Raydon and Betty Workin James and Kathryn Johnson James and Kathryn Johnson Mrs. Mary Ellen Kulla Ms. Judy L. Kulla Marian E Sateren Herb and Diane Mittelstedt Eleanor M. Hesse Harold and Alvina Schlenker Ms. Betty L. Nelson Mrs. Frances Smith Dennis and Myrna Wold James and Linda Kimball Mrs. Ivy E. Johannesen Marie C. Storbakken Mrs. Marilynn E. Johnson Mr. Rodney L. Tennyson Ms. Unamae S. Stoyka Ms. Unamae S. Stoyka Michael and Loretta McConnell James and Judy Engstrom Michael & Loretta McConnell Gary and Ingrid Lane Larry and Mary Selle Mrs. Lola Jan Keith and Rebecca Solberg Norman and Carol Carlson Ms. Virginia Jeanotte Betty and Dennis Steele Michael and Amy Steinke Waldo and Marion Platte Marvin and Helen Johnson Mrs. Gloria Knutson Larry and Janet Schaaf Donald and Carol Odenbach Eldon and Clara Jo Conant Vernon and Marcy Grant Mr. Keith Thomte Kermit and Arlys Sorby James and Judy Engstrom Tim Dwyer Farm Trust

Donald Score James Score James Score Doris P. Selander James Selby Mildred Seltvedt Herbert Shafer Raymond O. Sheets Clarence and Margaret Shermoen Bette J. Sieber Geraldine Smith Lorraine R. Spelhaug Lorraine R. Spelhaug Lorraine R. Spelhaug Duane Spitzer Reed J. Spitzer Reed J. Spitzer Reed J. Spitzer Arthur Stanger Robin Stanton Steven G. Staves Esther Steinwandt Dale L. Stenberg Dale L. Stenberg Walter Stenson James Stewart Ruth Stillings Alvin Storbakken Grace Storhaug Bjarne Stousland Ernest Stoyka Reta Stoyka Craig A. L. Straabe Maxine S. O. Straabe Maxine S. O. Straabe Leona Strouse Tyler Stuart John Stuck Arnold Sundquist Edna Swanson C. Morris Tangsrud Elsie Tate Elsie Tate Elmer Tatge John K. Teman Wesley Ten Pas Gertrude L. Thom Darold and Margaret Thompson Robert Thomsen Robert Thomsen Darlene Thomte Leif Thorfinnson Austin P. Thorp Tim Dwyer Farm Trust

G i v e n B y I n M e m o r y O f

William and Doris Schmitz Erling and Elizabeth Tufte Erling and Elizabeth Tufte C. William and Patricia Dennert Cleo and Claire Berdahl Judy and Gerald Ringdahl Daniel & Brenda Anderson Arthur & Glorianne Hiltner John and Erna Vinje Mary L. Grinde Marian E Sateren C. William and Patricia Dennert Robert and Loretta Fleckenstein Mr. John R. Sakariassen Mr. Arthur Wall Mrs. Katherine Paschke C. William and Patricia Dennert Ms. Virginia Jeanotte Arlene and Gary Gran Jon L. Way, D.D.S., M.S. Mr. Dennis L. Webster Robert and Ruth Wedman Robert and Ruth Wedman Robert and Loretta Fleckenstein Hon. Lyle A. Podoll C. William and Patricia Dennert Hon. Lyle A. Podoll Reed and Ruth Danuser Donald and Barbara Weng Lowell and Amy Anderson James and Judy Engstrom Keith and Rebecca Solberg Ms. Shirley Jensvold Mr. Barrett J. Williams Mrs. Katherine Paschke Mrs. Marlys A. Bergene Gregory and Hilda Eldevik Irwin and Judy Swanson Clarence & Ardella Wiedrich Landon Kimball James and Linda Kimball Mrs. LaVera M. Edick Danny and Laurel Alber Mrs. Eunice Wunderlich David and Geraldine Yaggie Keith and Rebecca Solberg Mrs. Dorothy B. Stover Twyla K. Zimmerman James and Linda Kimball Mrs. Donna Lagein

Irving Traiser Amanda B. Tufte Olivia C. Tufte Merle C. Turnquist Glenn Udell Dorothy Van Ornum Gene Vatnsdal Gene Vatnsdal Donna and Edward Vinje Beverly A. Volla Webb Voorhees Walter Wagemann Sr. Roland Wagner Roland Wagner Inga Wall Myrtle A. Walla Glennice Walth Curt Ward Margaret L. Watts Helen Wong Way Jean D. Webster Julius Wedman Gordon Wedman Hulda Weigum Henry J. Weinreis LeRoy Weismantel LeRoy Weismantel Dean Wendel Kim R. Weng Willard L. Westad Willard L. Westad Dennis Whitman Alice M. Wieber Lynn K. Williams-Estrada Art Winden Shirley Windloss Tracy Wirtz Herbert A. Witthauer Albert Wittmayer Kathy Woll Kathy Woll Dee Woodring Myrtle Wrangham Vernon Wunderlich Tanya K. Yaggie Duane W. Zeisler Sarah E. Zielke LeRoy A. Zimmerman Roland P. Zimmerman Roland P. Zimmerman

The Ambassador 17

In Honor Of

G i v e n B y I n H ONOR O f

Living tributes to the Anne Carlsen Center honor family members and friends on special occasions, such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and holidays. Recognizing loved ones in this special way helps the Center provide comprehensive care to individuals of all abilities, equipping them to experience life to the very fullest. Gifts given between September 1 and December 31, 2012: G i v e n B y I n H ONOR O f

G i v e n B y I n H ONOR O f

Randy and Penny Gengler

Corby’s classroom

Mrs. Marlys A. Bergene

Margo Bergene

Mrs. Orvella P. Anderson

ACC Staff

Lyle and Jean Sevre

Muriel Christopherson

Pastor Bradley P. Edin

ACC Staff

Mary A. Cory


Mr. Orville R. Ose

Marie Anderson

Dr. and Mrs. Lewis M.

Ted Cowardin

Mrs. Marlys A. Bergene

Kent and Mardell Bartl Anniversary

Cowardin Peggy Shouse

Duane Davenport

Ms. Wendy Davis

Wendy Davis

Amanda and Scott Brekhus

Lenny and Karen Behm

Alvin and Carol Abbott

Cleo & Marie 75th Wedding Ms. Virginia Eastmo Anniversary

Jacob Eastmo

Ms. Sandra Franke


Mrs. Lois A. Estrem

Peter Estrem

Tom and Margie Holmes


Gregory and Brenda Tappert

Jean L. Griffin

Valerie and Dustin Bakken

Marcia Gums

Sheila and Peter Dewey

Marcia Gums

Dana and Justin Kolden

Marcia Gums

Mrs. Erin J. Zalumskis-Sand

Marcia Gums

Paul and Betty Haverluk


Lori Zeman

Gail Hanson

Rev. and Mrs. Harold O. Vold

Hank & Sandy 50th

Frank and Marvel Fischer

Kari and Marc Hoe

Jay and Emma Schnell

Kari and Marc Hoe

Mrs. Carol Rinde-Lewis

Chloe Hopkins

Daniel Gunderson

Josh and Yvonne Jones

Ms. Judith Bell


Thomas and Mariol Knapp

Shirley M. Jones

David and Carol McCarthy


Ms. Sharon L. Rance

Dorothy Kitterman

Wedding Anniversary

Gala Provides Magical Start to New Year The Anne Carlsen Center (ACC) rang in 2013 with the theme “Music, Magic and Memories” at the 10th Annual ACC Gala. Eighty guests attended the event at the Quality Inn in Jamestown. Traditionally coinciding with New Year’s Eve, the gala this year was scheduled for January 5—the first Saturday of the year. There were also some changes to the entertainment, which this year included a magician. Imaginick (Nick Bretz) provided endless laughter and fun while juggling and performing magic tricks. Many gala participants commented that the magician was a great addition to the celebration. During one of the magic tricks, as Eric Monson, Anne Carlsen Center CEO, was attempting to put a straight jacket on the magician, the whole room was rolling with laughter. “I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a long time!” said Margie Johnson, the Center’s Human Resources Director. Couples hit the dance floor as the band Hollywood Nights took the stage, playing an

18 The Ambassador

assortment of music including rock, country and swing. The gala raised about $6,000. Proceeds will go toward the purchase of medical equipment to benefit our students with complex medical conditions. Two large raffle prizes were up for grabs: a fully-stocked wine cooler and two round-trip airline tickets from Jamestown to Minneapolis. The silent auction items were also a big hit and included night stays at the Holiday Inn on the Lake in Detroit Lakes, NDSU Men’s Basketball tickets, UND Hockey tickets, and an array of symphony and theatre tickets.

G i v e n B y I n H ONOR O f

Mrs. Lillian M. Clemens


Mrs. Carol Rinde-Lewis


Mrs. Barbara J. Klein

Ruth A. Klein

Peggy Shouse

Harvey and Darlene Kluvers

Jerry and Kay Gnoinsky


William and Margaret Leech Sarah M. Leech Krist and Taryn Kjelstrup

Deb LeRoy

Bob and Helen Lewis


Leif and Cynthia Peterson


Mr. Kenneth J. Haraldsen

B. Sophie Loftsgard

Mr. Aaron R. Gaffrey

Mary J. Mann

George and Elizabeth


McCallum Dr. Linnea M. Anderson


Ms. Alice M. Alexander


Leon and Dawn Helstad


Mr. Jeremy R. Paulson


Mrs. Mary Ann Pedersen

Ruth Michaud

Mrs. Mary Ann Pedersen

Rachel Mickelson

Mr. Robert B. Mitchell Jr.


Arthur and Esther Bender


Stutsman County


Abstract Company Mrs. Carol E. Anderson

Kaylee and Kayla

Mrs. Iris Bighley

Five children

Gary and Debra Hobert

Maddie, Easton, Xavier,

Mrs. Gladys Larson

Grandchildren and great

Lawrence and Irma Rathbun

Loved ones

Margaret Sam

Bischke’s, McCarty’s & Sam’s

Martha and Guy Rosenberg

Mary Ann Pedersen

Kara L. Geiger


Les and Gloria Reister

Brian and Brenda Reister

Mrs. Muriel Christopherson


Mrs. Mary Ann Engebretson


Cory and Andrea Rolstad


& Henry grandchildren

James and Colleen Weyrauch Jaxon Mrs. Mary Ann Pedersen

Martha Rosenberg

Bruce and Carolyn Adams


Peggy Shouse

Lorraine Stephenson

Gregory and Brenda Tappert

Sally Tappert

Ted and Agnes Hoversten

Terry Tiseth

Matt and Jane Van Ray


Vernon and Geraldine Glass


Ms. Sharlene Paquette

George and Carol Zenk

Celebrating Expansion of Services

Surrounded by ACC personnel and members of the Bismarck Chamber of Commerce, CEO Eric Monson cuts the ceremonial ribbon during the grand opening celebration.

Neither sleet nor snow could stop the Anne Carlsen Center (ACC) family from celebrating the grand opening of the new ACC Community Based Services office in Bismarck and the expansion of services into western North Dakota. Supporters from across the state gathered at the BPS Career Academy on March 7. Originally planned to be held at the new office on Kavaney Drive, the ribbon-cutting event was moved to the BPS Career Academy due to wintry weather. Even with the change in venue, excitement remained high. “It’s been our goal to make sure we are a partner in the life of a child with disabilities,” explained Janet Seaworth, an ACC Board Member. “Not just when they’re young—as they grow in life, as their interests expand, and as their needs change. It’s a great day when we can accommodate the unique needs of these individuals right here in Bismarck.” Surrounded by members of the Bismarck Chamber of Commerce, Anne Carlsen Center CEO Eric Monson acknowledged the Bismarck team members for their dedication before cutting the ceremonial ribbon. The open house included a video presentation and remarks by Lorena Poppe, the ACC Autism Services Operations Director, and Andrea Peña, the Director of Community Based Services—West. “It’s just a privilege to serve this area,” Peña said. “To be fortunate enough to do what we do…to say that we work for the Anne Carlsen Center…it’s a tremendous privilege.” The Ambassador 19

New Development Personnel at ACC

Jeannie Camarillo Associate Development Director

Michelle Walker Associate Development Director

Patrick Kirby Chief Development Officer

Jeannie lives in West Fargo with her husband, JJ, 4-year-old son Ryan, and a Shih Tzu named Nikko. Originally from Grafton (where her parents still live), she earned her degree in Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Prior to coming to the Anne Carlsen Center, she was an account executive at WDAY.

Before joining the team at the Anne Carlsen Center, Michelle served as the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program Director at the North Dakota Department of Health. She and her husband reside in Bismarck with their three children.

Originally from the Twin Cities area, Patrick spent nearly six years as the Senior Development Director at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – MN/Dakotas Chapter. Two years ago, he and his wife, Shannon, moved to West Fargo, where they now reside with their 15-month-old son, Spencer, and a dog named Grover.

Watch for your 2013 Save the Date Card!

The Anne Carlsen Center will be hosting the 31st Annual Benefit Golf Tournament this summer (date TBD) at the Jamestown Country Club. The tournament is the longest-running golf event of its kind in North Dakota. Funds raised by players and sponsors help support the summer camp experience for about 20 teens with disabilities from around the state. During ACC Week at Elks Camp Grassick near Dawson, N.D., youth enjoy functional learning activities paired with traditional camp favorites like hayrides, bonfires, swimming in the lake and talent shows. Tournament play is limited to 36 teams of four. Player registrations will be in your mailbox soon. If you are interested in being a player and/or sponsor in the tournament, contact Rachel Schafer at 701-952-5167 or

20 The Ambassador

Patrick, Jeannie and Michelle are looking forward to visiting with donors and friends of the Anne Carlsen Center in the weeks ahead.

Board of Trustees Tim Flakoll Fargo, N.D. Joel Fremstad Moorhead, Minn. Harvey Huber Treasurer Jamestown, N.D. Bruce Iserman Vice Chair Fargo, N.D. Pat McCullough Secretary Edina, Minn. Robert Montgomery, M.D. Fargo, N.D.

Sue Offutt, Ph.D. Arlington Heights, Ill. Thomas Rohleder Immediate Past Chair Fargo, N.D. Janet Seaworth Bismarck, N.D. Pat Traynor Chair Fargo, N.D. Reesa Webb Englewood, Colo. Myra Quanrud, M.D. Ex Officio Jamestown, N.D.

SENIOR MANAGEMENT Eric Monson Chief Executive Officer Marcia Gums Chief Operating Officer Allan Hartmann Director of Financial Services Judy Kulla Chief Financial Officer

Margie Johnson Human Resource Director Sam Brownell IT Director Patrick Kirby Chief Development Officer

development Department 701-952-5167 Patrick Kirby

Rachel Schafer

Chief Development Officer

Development Operations Coordinator

Donna Zimmerman

Naomi Grueneich

Associate Development Director

Development Systems Coordinator

Jeannie Camarillo

Logan Little

Associate Development Director

Communications Manager

Michelle Walker

Brittany Lipetzky

Associate Development Director

Development Coordinator

the ambassador Published by: Anne Carlsen Center 701 3rd St. N.W. P.O. Box 8000 Jamestown, ND 58402 1-800-568-5175

Notice of NonDiscrimination Policy: Anne Carlsen Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age or disability in employment or services.

Brenda Tappert, Editor

If you would like to be removed from our mailing list, please call 1-800-568-5175, ext. 167.

Logan Little, Assistant Editor

Brittany Lipetzky, Assistant Editor Eco-friendly Ambassador The Forest Stewardship Council logo you see here means we are Paul Johnson, Designer printing The Ambassador on an environmentally-certified paper. Each page has a 10% postThe Ambassador is mailed, consumer waste content, and free of charge, for supporters the inks utilized are Soy Inks. of the mission and vision of the Anne Carlsen Center.

Cert no. BV-COC-070703

O u r C omm u nit y Partners

The Anne Carlsen Center partners each year with businesses that share our passion for empowering children, adults and families to lead lives of greater independence and hope. We are grateful for the commitment and compassion demonstrated by these Community Partners. This year the following businesses are helping continue the rich tradition the Center began more than 70 years ago — nurturing abilities and changing lives forever.

Brady, an ACC student, poses with Denise Jensen, Recreation Coordinator, and Pat Albrecht, a Direct Support Professional, with his winning artwork for the 2012–2013 school yearbook. With assistance from Albrecht, Brady cut out ridges in a piece of cardboard to make a comblike utensil, which he used to paint the beautiful design. His art was voted by his friends and ACC personnel to be featured on the cover of this year’s yearbook.

Connect with the Anne Carlsen Center on Facebook Become a fan, learn about upcoming events, and share your memories with fellow friends of the Center.

The Ambassador: Spring/Summer 2013  

A Lab's Labor of Love