Issue 7 | Fall 2012
Making A Difference Living with a disability is not a life-sentence, but rather a life-style!
Sharing Personal Insights: A Perspective For Others Cindy Carpenter, President & Founder
Board of Directors Cindy Carpenter President & Founder
Jim Carpenter Vice-Chairman
Benée Hilton – Spiegel Chairman of the Board
Laurie Blair Director
Tom Boothby Director
Rob Cimato Director
Melissa Lehman Director
Director, Communications Chair
Director, Nominating Chair
Justin Ogburn Director
Director & Council of Record
Staff Donnette Hermes
Chief Operating Officer
Circle Of Friends Tom Lehman
PGA Tour Professional
Jon Flora, President Fry’s Food Stores
Retired MLB Player
Tara Hitchcock, Host TV Personality
Just recently we were faced with a life threatening medical emergency with our daughter Cortney, one that makes you take a step back and gain perspective. I wanted to make mention and share this most personal moment, because I am a firm believer that communication is a key for understanding the needs of the disabled. I clearly remember sitting in Cortney’s hospital room in the early part of the summer as the doctors and nurses were fighting to figure out what was wrong with her. I remember thinking about the many challenges she has had including not being able to say when things hurt. It was at that moment when again I realized how fortunate we were as a family. I realize I can draw upon the strength I was born with and also the strength of my friends and family. Together, we can be their voice, we express what they cannot themselves, and we are sensitized to their intrinsic needs. Having the strength and support of people around one makes daily life for a parent -- a parent of any child -- much easier. But when a child has disabilities, parents of such children are in even greater need, and are often stressed in unimaginable ways. Perhaps the child has difficulties, pain, confusion, sadness, but is unable to speak, to communicate those feelings. That can be tragic, both for the child and for the caregivers as each struggles to understand the other. Not all parents are equipped to handle that kind of challenge and that is why a day program such as Cortney’s Place is so important. It’s perhaps not too much to say that the ‘time off’ provided can even help keep families intact. Respite care is a different kind of care. Respite care provides trained individuals who can come into one’s home and help with the daily care and needs of the disabled child or adult child -- or indeed any loved one. It is a wonderful service and I wish there were many more qualified respite care givers from which to choose. That just might be one of my next goals – to hire and train people to do respite care. It’s a win-win because it would provide jobs, and it would also fill a pressing need that is so important for families and guardians with Special Needs adults. I recognize however, how difficult it is to find people to do respite care on a regular basis. Even trained individuals get worn down by the day to day challenges they face with individuals such as the students we serve at Cortney’s Place. For ourselves, when Cortney had her latest medical emergency, we were fortunate that we were able to place her in the pediatric wing of the local hospital. There, though she is an adult, Cortney was helped by those who are trained and equipped to handle children. The doctors and nurses also understand the Special Needs of young people with disabilities. Some have minds like a child and though they are adult in size, these individuals do not have the capacity to do things or respond in ways that a typical adult would. The caregivers understand those differences. Each day I think about how fortunate and proud I am to be able to provide Cortney and other individuals with Special Needs a place where they can experience wonderful things, a refuge that is safe and home-like, a place where they can learn, grow and develop to the best of their abilities.
Lessons Learned From A Collaboration
Our Program’s Value Statements
John Moore, CFO & Chief Administrative Officer for Marc Center of Mesa, Inc.
Marc Center’s success at meeting community needs is in part attributable to our collaborative service partnerships like the one we have with Cortney’s Place. While collaborating with other agencies can be a more complicated strategy to grow services, it also has the great potential that the unique strengths of each agency will be shared and leveraged, making each entity stronger and more innovative.
At Marc Center, our mission is to provide opportunities for people to be actively involved in determining where and how they live, learn, work and play. This mission enthusiastically embraces the concept that every person (with or without a disability) has a fundamental right and basic need to influence their environment, pursue passions, engage in relationships, participate in meaningful activities and acquire knowledge and experience that promotes the greatest level of self-sufficiency and independence possible. While few people would disagree with Marc Center’s core values, the realization of our dreams for individuals with developmental disabilities can be severely challenged by external forces. Federal and state fiscal priorities and inadequate service funding create some very unpleasant choices. The state’s rate of reimbursement was already unacceptably low before funding was further reduced by 15% over the last couple of years. To stay in business, most agencies that provide day service programs have done the predictable: reduce direct care compensation that was already below a living wage, reduce or eliminate community activities and settle for what amounts to all day babysitting. While I don’t blame these other agencies for hunkering down into survival mode, it begs the question—is there another option? Marc Center’s relationship with Cortney’s Place reminds us that there is another way, although not necessarily an easier way. Fueled by the passion of Cindy Carpenter, the Cortney’s Place program is a reflection of an uncompromising desire to provide the types of life experiences that maximize a person’s potential and quality of life. In essence, this is what every family should expect and what every agency should deliver. The program is bright and cheerful, creative in its use of adaptive and education-enriching technology and filled with facility and community based activities. To accomplish this, Cortney’s Place harnesses the energy and creativity of Cindy, her board and staff as well as the incredible generosity of local citizens and businesses. Make no mistake about it,the fundraising efforts to provide the participants of Cortney’s Place with relevant and robust education and experiences is very hard work. As evidenced by the lack of similar programs, most agencies simply opt to accept an imperfect world with all its injustices and misplaced priorities and simply reduce their expectations for program design and corresponding outcomes for the program participants. Marc Center’s vision statement includes a line that says “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Cortney’s Place lives this vision statement each and every day and reminds us that there is always another way if we are willing to work harder. Given what is at stake, do we really have an option? Marc Center is the Premier Service Provider for the Day Program at Cortney’s Place. Marc Center also provided the lead gift for the recent expansion at Cortney’s Place.
We support each
individual to actively participate in community enriched experiences as part of his/her daily life.
We ensure that
families are actively engaged with the program in support of the individual.
individuals with a modern innovative environment providing stimulation in order to procure growth and development.
We empower the
individuals to have control over their environment.
We create a positive
and nurturing environment where individuals are treated with compassion.
We focus on the
desires, preferences, strengths and choices of each individual first and foremost.
Cortney’s Place Launches New Communications Committee
Our Program’s Value Statements
Stephanie Lyons, Communications Chair
Over the past five years, Cortney’s Place has grown by leaps and bounds. With all the new opportunities presented to us, the Board of Directors has been busy laying the foundation for long term success. This includes creating a Communication Committee to help spread the word about our wonderful organization and the impact we’re making in the community. After moving to Arizona last July from Massachusetts, I was introduced to Cortney’s Place and the Carpenter Family. Cortney’s Place holds a special place in my heart because my mother suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and is wheelchair bound. I understand some of the difficulties disabled adults face and feel it’s important to bring attention to this cause. With my background in non-profit communications, I was excited to lend a hand to the organization and start a working group to handle the various communications needs, so I offered to chair this new committee. The overall goal of the committee is to better communicate the community impact of Cortney’s Place. With consistent effort, we hope to increase donations to the organization and awareness of disabled adults and their needs. By positioning Cortney’s Place as a top charity of choice for Phoenix area donors and supporters, we can ensure that more Special Needs adults will be able to receive services from our organization. There are a great deal of talented professionals who support Cortney’s Place and several have stepped up to serve on this new committee. From writers and photographers to marketers and web developers, our team will continue getting the word out about the important work we do. If you haven’t already, please be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you won’t miss any new announcements! If you are interested in serving on the Communications Committee, please contact me. Note: Stephanie Lyons is a Board Member for Cortney’s Place and Chairperson of the new Communications Committee. She can be reached at email@example.com
individuals to build relationships with family, peers, friends, and community.
We support and
encourage individuals to discover new interests and activities and to try new skills.
selfworth and individualized accomplishment.
Fran Wiesenberger, Cortney’s Place Volunteer Coordinator “Doing the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can.” (author unknown) I believe that volunteering gives you an opportunity to change lives including your own.I began my involvement with Cortney’s Place about four years ago as part of the Pet Therapy Program. I instantly bonded with the students and knew that I wanted to do more. Over the years as the Day Program at Cortney’s Place has flourished, the population has grown and the need has become greater. During that time I have become a much more active participant and leader for the organization. In addition to Pet Therapy, which I do weekly through a wonderful organization called, Pets On Wheels, some of the things I’ve experienced at Cortney’s Place are listed here but this is only a partial list of the many incredible experiences I’ve had over the years. I’ve accompanied the group on various outings, shared birthday and holiday celebrations, helped with art projects and cooking, have taken walks with the students, held their hands and shared many hugs……whatever is needed at the time. No matter what I am engaged in, it is always meaningful and I always feel appreciated and fulfilled. As I reflect on my time at Cortney’s Place, I can tell you that the students have taught me to live in the moment, savor the small accomplishments, be supportive and kind to one another and have a joyful spirit. One of my greatest hopes is that I have impacted them with unconditional love and acceptance, encouragement and friendship. Sharing my time and talents at CP is without question one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done, and I hope that I have enriched their lives as much as they have mine. A few months ago I agreed to help coordinate the new Volunteer Program at Cortney’s Place. The many opportunities we have for volunteering are in three (3) categories and I invite you to please get involved! The volunteer areas are listed below: 1. Working with the students at the Center in Scottsdale and/or assisting with Community Outings. 2. Being on a Committee to either help with a project or assist with a Special Event. 3. Administrative office support to help with clerical projects, assist with grant writing and other office- related duties. For more information about Cortney’s Place or to hear about the exciting Volunteer Opportunities, please call me anytime, 480-694-6576 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We maintain an
ongoing awareness of the evolving individual needs of those with disabilities.
We support the rights,
worth and dignity of all individuals.
We support each
individual to achieve their highest level of personal independence.
The Evolution of the Cortney’s Place Calendar
By Jeannine Weindorf, Staff
The monthly calendar began over 5 years ago when Cindy Carpenter came to ask me if I could design a calendar for a new and unique program for those with Special Needs. Cindy explained her vision of this new program and that the calendar would be a valuable cornerstone and reflection of this. She wanted the students to participate in educational & meaningful activities. Cindy was specific in what types of activities as well as community outings she would like to have on the calendar. Her focus was on a program that would provide all aspects of programming for the students at Cortney’s Place, no matter what their disability, to provide daily meaningful, fun and exciting life experiences. Together we brainstormed and came up with the following list of objectives that we felt would be essential to the program she envisioned: Furthering Education, Community Awareness, Culinary Arts, Arts & Crafts, Physical Fitness, Independent Living Skills, Health & Nutrition, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Music Therapy, Computer Skills, Relaxation & Recreational Activities, Social Interaction Skills and use of all high technological advancements available. Through the fundraising efforts and the generosity of many wonderful people who give their time, knowledge and experience, all of these objectives have been met and Cindy’s vision became reality. The calendar also encompasses all the objectives in the student’s weekly schedule.
Programs & Outings Coffee Talk – led by students (both verbal and non-verbal) they discuss Grocery Shopping - Groups are scheduled to visit the grocery store to each day’s topics including the daily schedule, upcoming events, current events, weather, sign language, Spanish word of the day, and reiterate our monthly class goal.
Small Group Choices - students’ work with staff on their goals, which
would include continuing education, physical fitness, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech, independent living, computer skills as well as relaxation and recreational activities. Students play manipulative games and puzzles that encourage use of reading, math, money, computers & time telling skills.
shop for items needed for both our Healthy Cooking classes & special lunches so they can work on goals such as communication, socialization and money exchange as well as learn about items on the shelves to develop their cognitive skills.
Volunteer Program - Students take turns going to Pueblo Norte Assisted
Living Facility to volunteer their time in the dining room. This is a great opportunity for students to increase job skills, build self-esteem and have an opportunity to give back to the community.
Bowling - Each week groups take turns going to a local bowling alley. The Snoezelen Room Activities - take place in a room that creates an en- students enjoy competing with their peers and practicing their game to prepare vironment that is either stimulating or relaxing depending on each student’s for the Special Olympic bowling tournament. needs. Sensory integrated equipment and therapeutic techniques are used in this special room. Students are scheduled to use this room as a small group with trained staff.
Crafters Corner - students work on a variety of different arts & craft projects. Some of the student’s art has been auctioned at our Cortney’s Place fundraising events. Each year the students compile their own personal scrapbook using pictures of themselves participating in activities throughout the year.
Hydro-Therapy - The
hydro-therapist works specifically on each student’s needs and abilities. Being in the water gives the student’s a sense of freedom, exhilaration and relaxation and provides many therapeutic benefits. All students can participate in hydro-therapy
Music Therapy - we have a certified music therapist who comes weekly to work with the students using a variety of techniques using musical instruments, singing, movement & dance. We also have a volunteer who comes monthly to teach the students how to play harmonica. We are grateful to the people from Ear Candy Charity for providing us with a variety of musi- Friday Fun Days - Friday outings are set up to visit various venues. cal instruments. Students enjoy going to the mall, out to lunch, to the movies, local museums, the zoo, sporting events and various tours such as the fire department, grocery Healthy Cooking - Our nutritionist comes in and teaches the students store, restaurants, factories, and the airport. This program allows them to work about healthy nutrition and shows the students how to make healthy on many skills that we all take for granted. choices as well as a nutritious snack for the day. Special Events and Outings- These outings are made possible through Weird Science - is a class where students have fun experimenting with a variety of donations from our community. It is through the generosity of our a variety of different “chemicals” found within typical kitchens. They learn Board Members, Circle of Friends and others in the community that allow our about science and nature through compelling hands-on experiments. program to enrich the lives of the students at Cortney’s Place. Students go to events such as Disney On Ice, Harlem Globetrotters, Diamond Backs Games, Smartboard® Activities - students are able to access the internet, the Circus, Productions at Phoenix Theater & Valley Youth Theater. Students play interactive games, view videos, listen to music and participate in an have even had the opportunity to go to: Amazing Jake’s Indoor Amusement endless array of other activities. The students are able to do this by simply Park, Wild Life World Zoo, Broadway Palm Dinner Theater, The Historic Mintouching the Smartboards® surface to enable navigation throughout activi- ing Camp Restaurant, Sea Life Aquarium, Arizona Science Center and more. ties. These special outings are so fulfilling and we are grateful to all the sponsors and donors of these fun and exciting tickets and passes. Pets On Wheels - Therapy dogs provide an uncomplicated, nonjudgmental, non-threatening, and emotionally safe interaction between the students and the dog. *If you would like to sponsor a location the students can visit, please call Cortney’s Place!
We are so appreciative of the generosity and hard work of all the people who have helped make Cortney’s Place the finest adult day program ever.
Together WePlease CanAccept Make A Difference My Donation o $100 o $250 o $500 o $1000 o $5000 o Other Donation: o In Honor Of o In Memory Of
Credit Card #:
is a 501 (c)3 not for profit charity. Tax id #42-1745079
Phone: 480-419-5852 Fax: 480-451-1506
Facebook.com/CortneysPlace Twitter.com/CortneysPlace Contributors: Kay Ziplow Tyler Ludwig Editor Design
Karen LaDouceur Colleen Katz Photography
Detach and Mail to: Cortney’s Place • 7000 E. Shea Blvd. Suite #1430 • Scottsdale, AZ 85254
A Parent’s Perspective By Cheri Short
PANIC! Is what I felt as we prepared for our son’s High School graduation. What were we going to do? What comes next? We knew Spencer was not yet ready for the working world, but what were my options? I set out on my journey as many other parents of handicapped kids before me, looking for the perfect day program. I seriously had no idea what to expect when I went for several tours of facilities in the Phoenix metro area. HORROR! I could NEVER leave my son there I thought as I walked into one program. Spencer wouldn’t even go in past the waiting area! I was so disgusted after seeing all these unsatisfactory programs I just wanted to cry! And then a friend told me about Cortney’s’ Place. She said it was such a great place for our young adults. I called right away to set up a tour. One problem, they were FULL! Apparently there was a 1 year waiting list. How could I have not known about this terrific place and now my son can’t get in! After many phone calls we were finally able to get an interview. The place was fabulous! The students were alert and smiling. It was CLEAN!!! They squeezed Spencer in and I was thrilled. I can’t express our gratitude for the program at Cortney’s Place. Spencer was so excited to make new friends and he continues to learn something new every day. Thanks to the community donations, the students go on various outings as well as volunteer in the community so they can work on their social skills and goals. And as parents are involved in all aspects of Cortney’s Place. We have scheduled meetings where the parents and the staff discuss upcoming events and ideas. During one meeting the staff was expressing the difficulty of getting the students to meet their goals, outcomes and getting involved with volunteering at the nursing home. I suggested an incentive plan that would also help the students sharpen their financial skills. Spencer is very money oriented so I thought a cash rewards program might work. Let’s call it “Cortney Cash”. Here’s how it would work. “Cortney Cash” would be awarded everyday as an immediate reinforcement to ALL students based on meeting their daily goals. For example, being kind and considerate of others, setting the table, making juice and volunteering at the nursing home – there are a variety of ways to praise their good deeds. My husband and I have always stressed to Spencer that “Good things happen to people who act well”, a simple concept. The students were excited to try out the new program. The program has been a hit and the students are now able to purchase items from the Cortney Store or they can choose to save for a larger purchase thus learning budgeting skills. Currently they can purchase like colorful folders, make up, coloring books, beads, snacks, games, puzzles, CDs, DVDs and more. We are looking for donations of new items that our students would like to save for and eventually spend their hard-earned cash on. This is Cortney’s Place, a safe place where students can thrive, friendships can blossom and parents can relax in knowing their adult child is happy. Isn’t that what we all want?
What is Cortney’s Place?
Cortney’s Place 7000 E. Shea Blvd. Suite #1430 Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Cortney’s Place is dedicated to providing physically & mentally challenged persons an array of opportunities through education and programs for life.
Acknowledgements & Recognitions The MASK Unity Award for Mother’s Who Make A Difference Cindy Carpenter, President & Founder was 1st Runner Up
Cortney’s Place received the “12 Who Care” Award Sponsored by Channel 12 and The RoomStore
“It was great to see what you have been able to accomplish in 4 years with your efforts and hard work. It is individuals like yourself that inspire me to be a better person. I appreciate your friendship and the time you took for Brian and I today. I look forward to assisting you with all I can through my connections and friendships.”
“Think what life would be like if you could never improve Your Handicap? You can enrich the lives of the students at Cortney’s Place by participating in this year’s Golf Event on October 29th.” -Tom Lehman, Professional Golfer
- Kent Greenhalgh, Arizona Wholesale Supply Co.
Your Support Makes All the Difference!