Enjoying fall is as easy as jumping into a pile of leaves. Fall marks new beginnings as well as endings. Last Wednesday we ended this year's weekly visits to the River Camp at Trent. We used that day to celebrate our wonderful memories as well as honor the many volunteers that make it happen year after year.
At the camp, individuals take a wagon ride around the countryside and stop to hand feed hungry cows. They can drive a tractor that has been modified to be accessible to anyone and enjoy a camp style lunch. Participating in a sing-a-long and playing instruments is the happiest way to end the outing. The memories will last all winter and we are already looking forward to next year.
Direct Support Professionals Week
DSP Week (Sept 12-18) was so fun! Every day was a themed costume contest. We had western day, tacky tourist day, favorite sports team day, and thrift store finds day. We had a very exciting ping pong tournament with the champion being Chris Gooch. Friends and family members participated by sending notes of support and gifts. The week culminated with the announcement of the DSP of the Year. And the winner is.....
Dawn is an amazing DSP. She has worked for DakotAbilities for over 31 years. Her nomination stated that she exemplifies everything a DSP should be. She is a strong advocate for the people we serve and knows of the opportunities available to them in the community. Dawn received $250 and will attend The Simply the Best conference this month in Chamberlain. Congratulations, Dawn!
Melanie Makes Every Person Served A Winner
Melanie DeBates is our Director of Program Services. She was recently nominated by a Conflict Free Case Manager for her advocacy for people with disabilities. As a result, the South Dakota Conference on Developmental Disabilities awarded her their 2021 Distinguished Service Award. Melanie is the person that makes sure every person who wants and needs our services gets the best possible care and support. Pictured are Joey Younie, Director for the Division of Developmental Disabilities, Melanie, and Julie Dresbach Johnson with the Department of Human Services. Thanks for all you do, Melanie!
Jennifer Smith Hoesing has been hired as our new Director of Development. Jennifer has 15 years of experience with nonprofits including her most recent position as Chief Development Officer for EmBe. Before that she worked to open the Stockyards Ag Experience Barn at Falls Park. Jennifer is originally from Marcus, IA and she and her husband have two sons. She takes over her new position later this month.
Now It's YOUR Turn!
You know we love to celebrate important events. Your support and friendship has earned you the right to your own spotlight. Do you get birthday cards from us? You should!
Just click on the spotlight and tell us your birth month and day. For example: Mary Smith is June 2 and Tom Smith is Sept 21.
Your Guide to Fantastic Fall Fun
The next time you walk past an enormous pile of leaves, instead of thinking, "That looks fun.", ask yourself, "Should I jump in or throw handfuls in the air?"
Experience joy this fall!
MISSION Working together, we create opportunities and meaningful lives for people with disabilities