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THIS MONTH’S ISSUE The View From My Chair


Garden Center Family Spotlight


Someone You Should Know


Around GCS



The View From My Chair a message from our Executive director

A Time of Pruning & New Growth

OUR MISSION Garden Center Services is committed to supporting and empowering persons with developmental disabilities through innovative and person-centered services. Our commitment to the excellence of our programs is surpassed only by our devotion to the people we serve and the communities in which they live.

additional programming to our consumers next Several weeks ago the convent that we week. Our plan is to serve rent from St. Albert’s Parish and have consumers at the location for used as program & office space for the a few weeks to allow them to acclimate and past three years was broken into and feel comfortable before opening the “front ruthlessly vandalized. Administrators of door” to the gallery, café, and gift shop. the parish have expressed their belief Soon the studio will be offering classes that this heinous act was perpetrated by a for painting and ceramics to children and group of individuals with some contentious adults from the surrounding neighborhoods. issues with the church, however it is our We are excited about this new venture, consumers and staff that and hope the vision of have been negatively a community creating Several weeks ago “ affected. Due to the and celebrating art & self the convent that we expression together will intensive damage brought on by the vandalism, we to many positive rent from St. Albert’s lead have been forced to vacate outcomes for individuals the building. Every consumer Parish and have used as with developmental continues to receive services Look forward program & office space disabilities. and staff are making to the Gallery’s Grand due with temporary work for the past three years Opening which will be stations, but this is taking held during the month was broken into and of May. We will send out place in very cramped quarters. I and key staff are ruthlessly vandalized. for the event once ” notices working fiercely to identify a we have determined the new space that the agency exact date and time. would lease and/or purchase to occupy as soon as possible. The costs related Additional new growth is the opening of to our damaged property, removing & a home in Oak Lawn that will support 5 storing salvageable furniture and supplies, women. It’s a lovely home and location, and moving into a different location are and we have found the village and our significant, and any donations to the agency neighbors very welcoming. Opening these that will help offset these expenses would two new sites is certainly a fitting way to be greatly appreciated. observe March which is designated the developmental disability awareness month! On a much more positive note, the long awaited Garden Gallery & Studio located in Tinley Park, will begin providing art and A 5 0 1 ( c ) ( 3 ) N onp r of it o rg ani zati on

Garden Center Family Spotlight Colleen has been with Garden Center for over 20 years! She lives at the Burbank ICF and works in the workshop at the Main building. Colleen says she enjoys her work assembling ceiling installation components for Chicago Metallic Corporation. She regularly attends Friendship Circle group where members discuss feelings and relationship building skills and she is also a member of a new prayer group at Garden Center that meets every other Monday.


Colleen is a news junkie and when she has computer time at Garden Center, you will find her checking out the latest events on the CNN website. She also loves animals, especially birds. Her favorite bird is the Cardinal and Colleen collects anything with a Cardinal on it. She has shirts, pictures, puzzles, and more, all emblazoned with the red bird’s image. When visiting her parents, Colleen also loves caring for the fish in the pond her dad built behind her family’s home. There is one other thing Colleen loves as much as Colleen says she can’t do without it and goes for a cup at her favorite Dunkin’ Doughnuts any time she can.

Jackie joined the Garden Center family almost two years ago. Jackie’s mom, Yvonne, also works for Garden Center. Jackie saw how much her mom enjoyed her job and decided to start volunteering at the agency. Jackie said she applied for a position not long after because, “I loved it so much!” Jackie works at the Burbank ICF on the overnight shift where she supports the residents with anything they might need in the evenings. Jackie says, “I love being around the people I work with everyday. They are so interesting and fun. I never know what is going to happen next!”


In her free time, Jackie loves to hang out with her friends and family. In the summer, you can find Jackie playing softball with her team, The Kermies.

Garden Center Joins RR Donnelley to Help Area Children

In January, representatives from RR Donnelley, a Chicago-based international provider of print and related solutions, visited Garden Center to discuss ways we might partner to make a difference in the lives of others. Less than one month later, Garden Center staff and consumers joined RR Donnelley in what we hope will be the first of many collaborative efforts.

RR Donnelley’s Kamala Martinez and Shari take a break to pose for the camera

Eleven Garden Center consumers, three staff, and one volunteer worked alongside RR Donnelley staff to make blankets for Project Linus. Project Linus, whose mascot is Linus of the Peanuts cartoon, is a national organization that creates blankets for the comfort of children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. The group made 45 blankets the day we visited. RR Donnelley staff, Jennifer Sharp, said it set a record for the most blankets made at one session since RR Donnelley started the project. Great job volunteers!

Someone You Should Know... John Frega

John Frega, a long-time and generous supporter of Garden Center Services, is the owner and operator of Frega and Associates, a full-service architectural firm specializing in municipal, institutional, educational, healthcare, residential and commercial projects. John grew up in the industry carefully watching his father who was a general contractor. He acquired a lot of building experience as an officer in the Naval Reserves SeaBees where he managed and directed a 500 man construction force. John retired with the rank of Captain in 1977.

Garden Center’s NEEDS List Umbrellas

Bar-type stools

Free-standing shelf units Printer Phone John Frega, AIA Principal-In-Charge Frega and Associates, Ltd.

During this time John also worked for civilian construction firms where he helped design the Illinois Tollway System and projects such as the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 1972, John established Frega and Associates, Ltd. and has since designed several local Metra Stations, major municipal buildings, city halls, police and fire stations. Included in this list are the Burbank Fire Station, Stickney Village Hall and Police Station, and the Oak Lawn Village Hall. John was recently appointed to the Regional Transportation Authority Board of Directors. When he isn’t working or supporting a good cause, John likes to travel and downhill ski. John became involved with Garden Center Services when it was time for us to renovate the roof at our main building and he has been a staunch supporter ever since. John and his staff always attend our annual Fashion Show luncheon and he has been very liberal with his donations towards our art program and gallery. Our agency is sustained through our relationships with many good people, and John is at the top of that list.

Office desk Microwave

Small refrigerator

Large coffee maker Books

Electronic keyboards (music)

Event tickets

Laptop computers Craft supplies

Frames for artwork Blank canvases X-Box games

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

Frega Associates, Ltd.

Architects. Engineers. Planners h t t p : / / w w w. f r e g a a r c h i t e c t s . c o m


GCS BULLETIN BOARD 2nd Annual r Services Garden Cente ing Party Pott

April 6th @

115 Bourbon St. t 7pm - Midnigh


For more information on: AGAIN!

Support Garden Center by purchas ing Carson’s Coupon Books. 100% goes to Garden Cen ter and get fantastic discounts for yourself! Purchase books from GCS volu nteers at Carson’s in Chicago Ridge at the following dates and times: Saturday March 10, 4pm- 6pm Saturday March 24, 4pm-6pm Friday April 20, 10am-noon

or contact Michele Hula to make arrangements to purchase a coupon book at Garden Center (708 ) 398-6506.

PROJECT LINUS Visit http:www.


Visit www.rrdonnelley. com

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


R. Pat Ballis


John J. Kunkes

Rusty, Sherri and Amy share a laugh

Frances Mientus Linda Stearns Daniel Wenzler Linda Sherwood

Impo rt ant Date s! MEETING GCS MEMBERSHIP Main Building March 15th, 7pm at Everyone Welcome! GCS Potting Party ight on Street 7pm-midn April 6th 115 Bourb

http://gardencenterservices. gardencenterservices gardencenterservices

Lavender poses in front of the polar bear exhibit on a recent trip to the zoo

Muffin poses with Gerry after winning an iPad from GCS’s Facebook contest


Come see Garden Gallery & Studio artists in Tinley Park’s Irish Parade!

iGive has given GCS even more time to earn as much as we can through signup bonuses! Just go to GardenCenter to take advantage of this easy way to help Garden Center today! GCS has already earned over $150 in bonuses so far. Please sign-up to earn $5 for GCS at no cost to you!

WHEN: March 11th at 2pm WHERE: Oak Park Avenue in Tinley Park

While your there, stop in and visit us at the Gallery, 17459 South Oak Park Avenue, for hot drinks, snacks and children’s face painting.


SECOND CHANCE THRIFT SHOPPE SUPER SALE Check out our Easter Section & Spring/Summer Clothes!

March 11th 12pm-4pm HALF OFF EVERYTHING IN THE STORE! 44 Stephen Street Lemont, IL

GCS Newsletter The Leaflet ISSUE March 2012  

Garden Center Services Newsletter