Area Residential Care’s Quarterly Newsletter
Clarke Paints Mural in Therapy Room The people who achieve their own development in Area Residential Care’s speech and physical therapy room are witnessing another amazing development, the painting of a beautiful mural for them by student volunteers of Clarke University. This ambitious joint project between Clarke and Area Residential Care is almost two years in the making. Radie Roberts, Clarke’s Assistant Director of Campus Ministry, presented the idea of painting a mural on the walls of Area Residential Care’s new building at 3355 Kennedy Circle. Area Residential Care naturally loved the idea. The project was difficult to get off the ground due to the busy schedule of Clarke’s students during the school year and small numbers of students during the summer. Fortunately, Professor
Jessie Rebik’s summer mural class had the talent and the number of students to finally make it happen. Each student came up with a design for the mural and presented it to Area Residential Care’s administrative staff as well as people served by the agency. Gwen Gross’s cabin and nature theme was selected from all the designs presented, and it has since become a collaborative effort with Rebik, Gross, Emily Schlueter, Anai Williams, Emily Cram, and Kathleen Wersinger. The artists paint during agency hours so staff and consumers can witness their artistic process. Kudos and thank you to Clarke University and the students of Professor Rebik’s Mural class. Each of you gets an A!
In this issue of Accolades...
Leifker Wins Achievement Award page 3
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Life Choices Events page 4
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45 Years and Counting Jon Romaine, Executive Director
December 13th, 1967 a “steering committee” met at the American Trust and Savings Bank and decided to “incorporate in order to be able to perform services for retarded” and so began what would become Area Residential Care. Members of that original committee included: Glenn Lyshoj, Ann Ernst, Dominic Goodman, Frances Melvold, Leona Jessen, Donald Claussen, Ann M. Cody, Benny Leonard, Marvin Stitzman, Rev. Thomas Rhomberg, Richard Von Talge, and Dr. Robert Melgaard. While many of us won’t recognize these names, it is important to mention them because of the legacy that goes with what they had the foresight and courage to begin. Some were parents of persons with intellectual disabilities, some were involved in education, and some were just concerned and involved citizens. Apparently what they had in common was a recognition that we could do better with how we treated our differently-abled citizens; even though such a term would not come into vogue for a long time to come. As we move through this 45th year of what that steering committee created so many years ago, it is also important to note the changes and progress that has occurred. Governments, federal, state, and local have expanded their involvement in how people with disabilities get treated. Funds for organizations that work with persons with disabilities have ebbed and flowed from these governmental entities, often creating “new” programs, regulations, licensing bodies, and accreditations. More money is appropriated for these types of services than was ever dreamt of back 45 years
ago; and of course persons with disabilities are better off than they were back then. Educational programs in the public schools continue to increase inclusion with non-disabled peers and help transition students with disabilities into their adult lives. Communities have accessibility guidelines and entities that help persons with disabilities get around in the community just as well as those without mobility impairments do. Employers are looking more and more at the nontraditional employee and showing a willingness to “carve out” job tasks for workers with disabilities in order to meet their ever growing demand for workers as we baby boomers age out of the employment scene. And most importantly, us average Joes are much more aware of, and open to, full inclusion of differentlyabled people into our communities, seeing the value that each brings as an individual rather than focusing on the help that may be needed in order to realize that value. Much has changed since 1967 for people with disabilities. What probably has not changed is the need for people like those who started this organization
back in 1967 to step forward. That is the only way someone will be able to look back 45 years from now and say “Look at all the positive things we can thank those people back in 2013 for.”
Welcome, Brandi Reisdorf Please welcome Brandi Reisdorf to the Area Residential Care team. Brandi is our new Vocational Supervisor, Individual Program Coordinator, and Staff Trainer. This is actually somewhat of a re-welcome for Brandi. Working with individuals with disabilities has been a lifelong passion for her, and Area Residential Care is where she got her start in the field in 2004 as a direct care staff at our Kennedy Point apartment complex. She then moved to Iowa City to complete her BA in Psychology at the University of Iowa. During that time, she worked at both Systems Unlimited, Inc., and REM Iowa Community Services in various leadership roles in their supported community living, vocational, and hourly programs. She moved back to Dubuque to be closer to her family and she is currently working on her master’s degree in Leadership and Executive Coaching. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her dog Oliver, watching movies, and shooting pool. Welcome back, Brandi!
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With Your Assistance... The following list of items are currently needed in our homes and offices. Please contact the Marketing & Public Relations Department at 563-556-4743 if you would be willing to donate. Office Equipment • Laminator • Projector for TV • Heavy Duty 4-wheel cart. • Delivery Carts Furniture • Folding Banquet Tables (2) • Folding Chairs (15) • Lobby Furniture • Dining Table and Chairs for 8 People • Large couch
Electronics • Digital Cameras (4) • Projector for TV • DVD Player • Electric Piano Keyboard • Wii System and Accessories • Flat screen TV
Appliances • Commercial Grade Vacuum Miscellaneous • Production Tools and Tool Box. • Large Art Pieces for Walls • Exercise Bikes (2)
Medical Items • Otoscope • Oximeter (finger tip pulse)
Leifker Earns Woman of Achievement Award On April 18, Cindy Leifker, Area Residential Care’s Community Services Director, was awarded a Women of Achievement Award in the category of “Organizational Impact” by the Women’s Leadership Network of Dubuque. This award was designed to recognize and honor women in our community for significant contributions in their professional, personal, and volunteer roles. The award focuses on contributions which address significant issues, are a positive influence in the community, apply creativity or innovation in solving problems, overcome challenges, mentor colleagues or others, and sustain a record of accomplishments in and contributions to her field. Cindy’s contributions to Area Residential Care, and therefore our community, are excellent examples of all these qualities. As Community Services Director, Cindy and her excellent day habilitation staff are charged with assisting individuals in developing or maintaining life skills and community integration. Services are designed to enhance the individual’s intellectual functioning, physical and emotional health and development, language and communication development, functional skill development, responsibility and selfdirection, daily living skills, self-advocacy, mobility, and socialization. Cindy also oversees and was instrumental in developing Area Residential Care’s Life Choices Adult Day Center, which provides a safe place for adults who would like to remain in the community and with their family, but cannot be home alone during the day due to physical, social or cognitive impairments. The Women of Achievement Awards are awarded annually to twelve women based on nominations from people in the community. This year, a total of
70 nominations were received recognizing 53 women. The winners were presented at the 6th Annual Women of Achievement Awards Banquet, which was held at the Grand River Center. Congratulations, Cindy, and thank you for the contributions of you and your staff!
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Don’t Let the Weather Get You Down Dubuque, Dyersville, and Manchester had some odd weather this spring. When it wasn’t chilly, it was rainy, and usually it was both. Area Residential Care’s Life Choices Adult Day Center, however, refused to let the weather get them down. With the goal of providing a place that promotes well-being, and enjoyable experiences for aged people in our community who cannot be home during the day, Life Choices often brings in guests to make the days even brighter. One such guest is Patrick Sterenchuk. Patrick is a spiritual teacher who specializes in an exercise called laughter yoga. In a group setting, Patrick leads groups in a series of tension-relieving laughter exercises that he combines with yoga breathing techniques. Laughter yoga builds on the physical and mental benefits of laughter. Though Patrick is an amusing person, laughter yoga does not rely on humor or comedy. It relies on the idea that the body does not differentiate between voluntary laughter and spontaneous laughter. However, once participants get into the playfulness of it all, it is impossible for anybody to deny that voluntary or not, the laughter is genuine. People in Life Choices love the experience, and many find themselves chuckling hours after Patrick has gone.
Another exciting guest to Life Choices is Maxx. Maxx is an Alaskan Malamute, which means he is a very, very big dog. At 125 pounds, Maxx certainly was a conspicuous presence in Life Choices, but don’t let his size intimidate you. Maxx is one of the sweetest guys in the world. In fact, you may have seen Maxx and his owner, B.J. Schwartz around town in grocery stores, visiting with shoppers and dwarfing the children who come up and pet his thick coat. Maxx is the star of a series of children’s books written by Schwartz, The Adventures of Maxx and I, but as his visit to Life Choices proves, people of all ages love Maxx. On the musical side of things, Life Choices also had a visit from Forrest Carter. Music is always a part of Life Choices, with instruments, a karaoke machine, and devices to listen to music, but having a live performer as engaging as Forrest was amazing. Most musicians have a serious problem with people getting up, grabbing a mic, and singing along, but not Forrest. He actually encouraged it and made it fun. A big “Thank you!” to Patrick Sterenchuk, Maxx the Alaskan Malamute, and Forrest Carter for helping make Life Choices the wonderful place it is.
Clockwise: Patrick Sterenchuk, Maxx the Dog, and Forrest Carter.
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Bringing Home the Bacon! Barring religious or dietary restrictions, who in their right mind doesn’t love bacon? Nobody, that’s who. No matter where you look these days, there you’ll find bacon. Bacon-flavored salt; bacon-flavored mayonnaise; heck, even bacon-flavored breath mints. And it is in that spirit that we are proud to announce a very exciting new fundraiser for Area Residential Care. Dubuque Area Baconfest! On October 10 from 5pm-9pm, at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds, chefs from all over the tri-states will gather to showcase their very best recipes featuring the smoky, delicious goodness that is bacon! Awards will be given for the top recipes. There will be live entertainment for the whole family and a healthcare professionals on hand to test your blood pressure. There will also be a bacon eating contest where the mightiest eaters in the tri-states can enter to see who can be the first to eat three whole pounds of bacon without having a...ahem...”reversal of fortune.” Tickets are $25 for general admission, and $40 for VIP tickets, which gets you early entrance to the event.
For more information, or to order your tickets, please visit www.dbqbacon.com. Bacon!
University of Dubuque Provides Jobs Part of Area Residential Care’s mission of empowering people with intellectual disabilities is helping them find employment. It is always rewarding to see someone take the skills they’ve gained at Area Residential Care out into the community at their new job. Recently, four people served by Area Residential Care were hired by Aramark in the Cyber Café at University of Dubuque’s new Heritage Center building. Their duties include bussing and cleaning tables, washing dishes, and restocking plates, trays and silverware. After gauging the interest of consumers who were seeking independent employment, tours were given to show what the jobs would entail. After that, four excited and qualified people applied for the jobs and were hired in April. They worked very hard learning the tasks associated with the new building and the café and continue to remain employed throughout summer break. A big round of applause is owed to Aramark’s Executive Chef, Andrew “Chef Andy” Mettert” for this opportunity. Area Residential Care and Chef Andy have enjoyed an excellent relationship in the past, having worked together to also provide independent employment for consumers in the university’s Underground Café. Upon hearing about the new Cyber Café, Area Residential Care staff contacted Chef Andy to explore new opportunities. Chef Andy jumped at the chance. Andy has always been a strong advocate of independent placement and has even empowered one
consumer with a brain injury, who previously worked as a chef, to try and build up his chef skills so that he may some day be able to work in a kitchen setting again. With the advocacy of Chef Andy, four people have taken a huge step towards independence. Toques off to Chef Andy for empowering people with disabilities to achieve their highest quality of life!
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20 Years With Stonehill As stated earlier in this issue of Accolades, 2013 marks Area Residential Care’s 45th anniversary. This year also marks another impressive milestone. For the past 20 years, Area Residential Care started a partnership with Stonehill Franciscan Services, to provide work opportunities and training for people with intellectual disabilities, and to better serve the residents who reside in Stonehill’s retirement and care community. Since 1993, Stonehill has contracted with Area Residential Care’s vocational service program to provide services for residents. A crew of approximately eight people with disabilities, who work with varied levels of support, earn a living wage, obtain valuable job skills, and gain work experience by working in the laundry department, as well as performing janitorial tasks such as cleaning tables and filling water pitchers. This, along with the friendliness of the crew members and their supervisors, serves to make Stonehill a wonderful place for residents to live. “This relationship has been mutually beneficial for everybody involved,” said Jon Romaine, Executive Director of Area Residential Care. “Stonehill has been a model for our community in terms of accessibility and inclusiveness, and for what can be accomplished when we work together.” The men and women who work on the crew often take the skills they gain with Stonehill and Area Residential Care and gain employment in the community, becoming more independent and increasing their quality of life. Congratulations to Stonehill and all of our staff and consumers who have made this partnership a success.
FRONT: Sue Flachmeier, Zach Breckon, Scott Schadle, Brandi Reisdorf. MIDDLE: Kelly Meyer, Bobby Lipstock, Joleen Recker. BACK: Jamie Maus.
Kelly Meyer and Scott Schadle.
Bus Canopy Construction Complete In our previous issue, we featured the construction of the City of Dubuque’s bus transfer canopy. We are proud to announce that construction has been completed! The canopy, which was built by Murphy Construction and is attached to Area Residential Care’s main building at 3355 Kennedy Circle, will protect riders from the elements, and serve as the west end transfer point for the Grey Line, Red Line, Green Line, and Shopping Circular bus routes.
As many of the people served by Area Residential Care depend on city busses to get them to where they need to go- including home, work, and doctors appointments, we are proud of the added benefit the location of the transfer point will provide to them, and the entire community. The public will be invited to see the new transfer point at an open house and ribbon cutting. Keep watching our facebook page for the date and time of this event.
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The following people and organizations have contributed to Area Residential Care this fall quarter. Their contributions allow us to continue fulfilling our mission of empowering people with intellectual disabilities to achieve their highest quality of life. All gifts, no matter the size, are always welcome and are greatly appreciated. If you are interested in learning how you can contribute to our cause, please contact our Marketing & Public Relations Department at 563.556.7560 or go to www.arearesidentialcare.org. Contributions are deductible for income tax purposes to the full extent provided by the law.
Area Residential Care 3355 Kennedy Circle Dubuque, IA 52001 [P] 563.556.7560 [F] 563.556.7565 www.arearesidentialcare.org firstname.lastname@example.org
Benefactors ($1000 and up) Longshadow Foundation New Melleray Abbey
Patrons ($500-$999) Carolyn Gantz in memory of John J. Gantz
Advocates ($250-$499) The Butler Foundation
Board of Directors
Companions ($100-$249) Dubuque Home Improvements Terry and Paula Friedman Kevin & Mary Kisting Deanna Koopman in memory of Josh Koopman Robert Lacke in memory of Karen McCrea Stuart & Vallyn Proffitt in memory of
Karen McCrea Janet Rhomberg Sidney & Janice Scott in memory of Josh Koopman
Associates (Up to $49) Hylene Anderson in memory of Josh Koopman Margaret Bakey in memory of Josh Koopman Joan & Rudy Bellmann Nancy Dolan in memory of Karen McCrea Frank & Carol Duehr in memory of Josh Koopman Alan & Susan Hattel in memory of Josh Koopman Larry & Marrha Kasemeier in memory of Karen McCrea Ronald & Barbara McDermott in memory of Karen McCrea
Pat & Darlene O’Neill in memory of Josh Koopman Dennis & Mary Pfeiffer in memory of Karen McCrea Carol Postel in memory of Karen McCrea Stephen & Kathleen Reisdorf in memory of Karen McCrea Robert & Barbara Schonhoff in memory of Karen McCrea Karen Sisler in memory of Josh Koopman Donna Slatts in memory of Karen McCrea Andrew & Lisa Wickham in memory of Josh Koopman
In-Kind Donations Dubuque Museum of Art McKesson
Executive Director | Jon Romaine Associate Executive Director | Christina Steel-Lietz Quality Services Coordinator | Susie Freese Financial Director | Tammy Hendricks Marketing and PR Director | Shelby Wartick Human Resources Director | Teri Pitzen ICF/ID Services Director | Dara Fishnick Residential Services Director | Elly Day Community Services Director | Cindy Leifker Dubuque Vocational Services Director | Jean Wuertzer Facility Operations Director | Karl Stieglitz Manchester/Dyersville Services Director | Michelle Steege
Northeast Iowa Community College Sedona Staffing
The agency’s Board of Directors is a group of volunteers dedicated to promoting the vision and mission of Area Residential Care. For more information about them, please contact our Executive Director. President | Kevin Stevens Vice-President | Karen Dorshkind Treasurer | Roger Hoeger Secretary | Virginia Von Talge Chuck Davis Rick Dusil Duane Frick Guy Gard Teresa Johannsen Kandice Kerr Tim O’Brien Jim Schilling
Foundation Board Kevin Stevens | Foundation Board President Chuck Davis Mike Duggan Duane Frick Cheryl Kramer Marv Mulert Tim O’Brien Jim Schilling
“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart, and not in the mind.” -Lionel Hampton Page 77 Page Spring 2013 Newsletter.indd 7
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3355 Kennedy Circle | Dubuque, IA 52002 www.arearesidentialcare.org Accolades Spring 2013 Edition
Another Successful Games The 12th Annual Corporate and Community Games were held Wednesday, June 20th. Even though we’re still recovering from the physical toll taken by putting on such a huge event, and even though the beans are still being counted, we can safely say that this has been the biggest and most successful Corporate and Community Games ever. The Games Committee set themselves the ambitious goal of having 70 teams compete this year, 15 more than we’ve ever had. We had 72. At last count, we raised over $27,000 to empower people with disabilities, and that number is only going to get higher. A big thank you to all the teams and volunteers who made this year’s “Silly Games For A Serious Mission” absolutely amazing! Look for a full recap in the next issue of Accolades!
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