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THIS MONTH’S ISSUE The View From My Chair


Garden Center Family Spotlight


Starbucks and Garden Center


Around Garden Center



The View From My Chair a message from our Executive director

love they conveyed for Garden Center, was A fantastic event was held at the agency very real and inspirational. on Friday, April 29th. It wasn’t a fundraiser, a social club dance, or a dedication I hope all of us have this same passion ceremony. It was a RALLY to demonstrate for the importance of agencies like ours against the proposed budget cuts that were in the lives of persons with developmental being discussed by the Illinois legislature. disabilities. It appears likely that we will be And what was so fantastic about the event? incurring some cuts to our funding for this It was the excited and active coming fiscal year beginning participation of so many Though we are July 1st, and I appeal to you of the consumers as they not yet sure what for your understanding and stood or sat out by State impact our advocacy support of any necessary Road holding up the signs changes we make that will that they had made, and efforts will have, the allow us to continue serving as joining in the chants of “No many individuals as possible. experience of our More Cuts!”. Additionally, your generous consumers feeling Though we are not yet participation in and donations sure what impact our empowered and to any of our fundraising efforts advocacy efforts will speaking out on their is vitally important. Please join have, the experience of us this Saturday for our annual our consumers feeling own behalf is worth Walk ‘N Roll-A-Thon. Please empowered and speaking review the agency’s Wish List its weight in gold. out on their own behalf is on the back page and consider worth its weight in gold. Of donating any of these items. If the many lessons and skills we attempt to there’s any benefit to times like these, it’s teach at Garden Center, I would suggest that they bring people together to protect that none is more important than helping and sustain those entities that are most individuals to know and use their own voice, essential to them. however it is they communicate. At the rally it was evident that they understood Thank you for your support! what was at stake, and the frustration they expressed towards the State, as well as the

OUR MISSION Garden Center Services’ mission is to do everything in our power to improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities.

A 5 0 1 (c ) ( 3 ) Nonprofit organi zation

Garden Center Family Spotlight Steven VanWie has been with Garden Center for over 20 years! He works in the back work area at Garden Center’s Main Building. Steven is involved with several projects at the agency including a job in which he assembles ceiling installation hardware for Chicago Metallic Corporation. Steven likes his work, but his real passion is music. He enjoys playing several instruments including drums and the Glockenspiel. Recently, Steven began taking piano lessons with Stephanie Burrow, Garden Center’s Music Instructor. After a lesson last week, Stephanie declared Steven “a natural”. Steven also loves listening to musical artists from The Clash to his current fav, The Backstreet Boys. His favorite show is Don’t Forget The Lyrics, where contestants compete to remember lyrics to popular songs. Steven is a huge fan of the host of the show, Mark McGrath, who also has a radio show and is the lead singer of the band Sugar Ray. Steven takes time everyday to watch clips from Don’t Forget The Lyrics and Mr. McGrath’s other shows on the computer in his work area.


In addition to music, Steven is also a hockey fan. Last year through Garden Center’s Wish Program, he had the opportunity to attend a Blackhawks game with some of his friends. Steven made such a positive impression on the man sitting next to him that the man gave Steven a hockey jersey and a puck! Steven has made a pretty big impression on us too and we are glad to have him as a part of our family.

Michele Hula joined Garden Center this past March to head up our staff recruitment and volunteer programs. Michele is also helping to market our many programs, services, and the growing array of Garden Center support businesses. Before coming to Garden Center, Michele worked for Everest College in Career Services. She learned about Garden Center while networking with local companies to develop employment opportunities for Everest students. When she visited Garden Center to discuss student employment, Michele found a place she might like to be herself. “I loved it! Everyone was so nice I didn’t want to leave.” Although Michele had no intention of leaving her job with Everest, when Garden Center posted an opening a few weeks later, she decided to apply. Since then, Michele has been busy recruiting staff positions for Garden Center and helping get our new Planned Giving Program off the ground. Her favorite thing about Garden Center? Visiting with the people we serve. “I love when people stop in my office to talk with me. It makes my day!”


Do you want to support Garden Center by volunteering your time, know someone looking for employment, or want to learn more about our new Planned Giving Program? Give Michele a call at (708) 398-6506 or better yet stop by her office at the Wesbrook Program. It will make her day!

Garden Center Artist’s Work to be Featured in Art Show

Mike Dahms has worked in Garden Center’s Art Program since 2010. He already has had great success. Mike’s work has been featured at Lewis University’s Caterpillar Gallery, in local Starbucks stores, and most recently, Mike was a part of the GCS artists group who created a bench for Tinley Park’s Benches on the Avenue Project. His medium of choice is usually paint, but when Beth Kopf, Garden Center’s Resident Artist, suggested Mike move out of his comfort zone to create a threedimensional piece, he agreed to give it a try. Mike used nuts, bolts, beads, and other small items to create a sculpture of a person. It was a huge success!

Mike’s sculpture will be featured in the open show, Art of the Stick Figure, at Vogt Center for Visual Arts in Tinley Park throughout the month of June. A special reception for the event will be held June 10th from 7pm to 9pm. Light refreshments will be served and there will be a jazz concert in the gazebo. Come out and support Mike at this great event! Mike’s sculpture will be featured in June art show

Vogt Visual Arts Center is located ½ block east of Oak Park Avenue at 174th Street in Tinley Park.

Starbucks and Garden Center...a Great Combination!

You may not know this, but Garden Center Services has a tasty relationship brewing with coffee giant Starbucks. About two months ago, Starbucks employees approached Garden Center as a part of their interest in local philanthropy. After a tour and a meeting, it was clear we had a recipe for a great connection. Since that meeting, Starbucks employees volunteered their time helping Garden Center with remodeling our storefront, soon to be Garden Gallery and Studio, in downtown Tinley Park. Volunteers tirelessly pulled up old carpet and removed damaged ceiling tiles to make way for the ongoing renovation.

Starbucks employees assist with the demolition at Garden Center’s Garden Gallery and Studio in Tinley Park

Three Starbucks locations are currently displaying artwork from Garden Center artists in their stores. Patrons can view the artwork and soon will be able to purchase those works, as well as others, through Garden Center’s website.

Garden Center’s NEEDS List Pool table

Large flower pots Picnic tables Zoo passes

Event tickets New dishes

Flat screen TV Bookshelf

Vacuum & attachments New gardening tools Laptop computers Craft supplies Wall art

Frames for artwork

Starbucks also generously donates baked goods, which Garden Center’s community-based group picks up twice a week, to deliver to local foodbanks and shelters. In addition, Starbucks donated ceramic mugs and other supplies for our cafe’ which will be housed in the Garden Gallery and Studio when it opens later this year.

Blank canvases

Please stop by one of these Starbucks locations to check out Garden Center artist’s work and thank the Starbucks employees for their support of Garden Center Services.

Club dues

Living room set Xbox Kinect

Gym dues/passes Living room set

8021 South Harlem in Burbank 7888 South Cicero in Burbank 6768 West 95th in Oak Lawn THANK YOU STARBUCKS!

X-Box & dance games

If you have an item to donate, please email Anne McFerron at

Garden Center artists pose for a picture on demolition day at the Garden Gallery & Studio

GCS BULLETIN BOARD Join us at Five Below in Orland Hills

to do some shopping and raise money for Garden Center Services Date: June 24th, 25th, and 26th Time: Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm and Sunday 10am-6pm Where: Five Below in Orland Hills, IL (708)403-2185 Download a flyer from our website www., give it to your cashier and 10% of your receipt will be donated to Garden Center!

Garden Center’s N N’ ROLL-A-THO ANNUAL WALK 11 20 4, Saturday, June 10:00am-1:00pm ing rvices Main Build Garden Center Se ue en Av n 8333 S. Austi 60459 Burbank, Illinois

AROUND GCS Where we grow

dignity and

independence phone 708.636.0054 email web

Board of Directors President

Barbara Clarke

1st Vice President

Scott Hardek

2nd Vice President

Doug Combs


Shelly Scinto


R. Pat Ballis


John J. Kunkes

Michael takes a work break

Carla and Lynn relax at the bowling alley

Frances Mientus Linda Stearns Daniel Wenzler

Gerry and Jonathan tear out some tile at Garden Center’s Garden Gallery

t D ate s

an I mp o r t Ju ne 4 t h

Sherri gives the camera a big smile


-Th o n

‘N R o ll-a G C S Wa lk

h rt Sh o w Ju ne 10t Fig u re A k ic t S e Ar t o f t h 6t h , 25 & 2 E BE LOW Ju ne 24 e r at F IV is a r d n u E! G CS F H IS IS SU INSIDE T DETAIL S gardencenterservices gardencenterservices

My Legacy? I need to provide for my loved ones. But like my family, I want Garden Center to carry on for generations to come. What can I do?

It’s easy to do both. Talk to us about your options, like… • Designating your retirement plan • Leaving a life insurance policy • Making a bequest through your will • Making a gift now, and receiving income for life • And much more Any of these options could help you now and provide for your family in the future. Some you can even put into place today without losing any income. Want to learn more? Call Michele Hula at (708) 398-6506.

The Leaflet: June 2011  

Garden Center Services Newsletter June 2011

The Leaflet: June 2011  

Garden Center Services Newsletter June 2011