Portland, OR. The Edwards Center’s Annual Luncheon Celebrate Success drew 400 guests to the Multnomah Athletic Club. The benefit on October 11th raised Over $350,000 to help enhance the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities. Eva Norland posed with participants Tuanne Deklotz and Marla Kleinheinz. Behind them, stood staffer Cassie Cretian. The nonprofit offers training, education, employment, housing and social opportunities. (Photo credit, Andie Petkus)
Pat Reser, Reser’s Fine Foods and her husband Bill Westphal. Pat was the Keynote speaker for the event.
New Executive Director, Allen Cress, with founder Dr. Jean Edwards and Art Pascuzzi, Milwaukee Crane
Founder, Dr. Jean Edwards, Jean Uzelac and sister, Marlene Burns
Ann Perrins, Board Member and family guardian to sister Dee Yerke with Allen Cress, Executive Director, Edwards Center
Elizabeth Austin, Founder EC Dr. Jean Edwards and Sean Kuni, Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation
David Butler with wife, Michelle Neiss Butler and Richard and Mary Norgart, who have a sister, Sue, in the program.
Craig and Linda Hannum offered a $100,000 matching grant to honor their daughter Amy, who benefits from the Edwards Center program.
From the Edwards Center:
We live every day in support of these core values
Providing the best to people with developmental disabilities.
Encouraging decision-making and expression of choice.
Emphasizing an optimistic and compassionate attitude in supporting participants as they overcome challenges.
Facilitating dignity and respect for all individuals through personal and environmental safety, cleanliness and privacy.
Encouraging productiveness and engagement, whether through employment, artistic expression, socializing or other activities.
Fostering and creating opportunities for participating in their communities with people without disabilities.
Portland, April 3rd, 2013. Excited supporters of the Edwards Center dedicated the new Aloha Community Center. The singers of the Voices Unlimited choir performed in the Community Center’s “Great Room”. The new center, dedicated by special guest Washington County Commissioner Dick Schouten and Edwards Center founder Dr. Jean Edwards, hosted over 100 supporters, families, funders, and community members for a lively open house and dedication ceremony. Portland jazz pianist Tom Grant (a family member of one of Edwards Center’s clients) performed, as did opera singers Janet Chvatal and Marc Gremm. Chvatal and Gremm then introduced the Voices Unlimited choir to unveil the new Edwards Center theme song to the packed house.
Exterior of Edwards Center’s Aloha Community Center
A longtime dream of its founders, this community center is a place where people with developmental disabilities can take part in a variety of activities including adult education, job training, nutritious meals, and community events. The building was built with a barrier-free philosophy, featuring accessibility accommodations for people with a variety of abilities, well beyond ADA requirements. However the vision for the center isn’t just a place where adults with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and other conditions can feel welcome, but a resource for the wider community as well. By opening its services beyond its usual clients, Edwards Center is creating a place where people across a wide spectrum of abilities can interact and learn from each other.
Dr. Jean Edwards prepares her remarks before the dedication.
Janet Chvatal and Marc Gremm, two internationally known opera singers, perform during the dedication ceremony.
A packed open house proceeded the event.
About the Aloha Community Center
The 11,000 sq. ft. Aloha Community Center features four classrooms, a meeting space for community groups, a kitchen and dining room that serves nutritious, low-cost meals in partnership with Meals on Wheels People, and a cafe to enable job training for adults with developmental disabilities. Open 7 days a week, the center provides meaningful daily activities for people with developmental disabilities and increase interaction with the wider community. The center is part of a larger neighborhood development planned by Edwards Center called the Aloha Project. Later this year ten homes will be built on the adjacent property to support life-long, multi-generational family living for adults with disabilities.
About Edwards Center
Edwards Center has served adults with developmental disabilities since 1972, when there were few services outside of the state institution, the Fairview Training Center. Edwards Center began as a day program that served just 6 individuals and in 1975 opened the first group home in Washington County housing disabled adults in the community. Today they provide homes, jobs, and recreational opportunities in 18 locations serving over 300 Oregonians with disabilities in Washington and Clackamas Counties.
Edwards Center’s mission is to enhance the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities by helping them reach their highest potential through training, education, employment, housing and social opportunities in safe, healthy and stimulating environments.
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