Carl worked tirelessly to get programs and services established. The County Commissioners were approached for funding. When meetings were held where civic leaders or politicians would be in attendance, Carl made it a point to be there to present his questions. Other parents were contacted to join in. Wherever and whenever opportunities were available, he would be there. It seemed unlikely, however, that Carl could have predicted what was to follow after he approached Father Dennis Blaney for help.
In 1977, under the direction of Father Blaney, a group of parents of the other-abled joined together to form the Protective Services Board. The main purpose of the board was to find ways to provide help and services to the other-abled and their families. In the following year (1978), the Friends Club was started. Over the years, this organization has been a major source of funding for various programs and activities of many agencies. Even today, their timely newsletter arrives promptly at the start of each month, informing members of the lucky winners for that month. More names are added to the membership roster each year. According to Father Blaney, “the friends in the Friends Club are the best friends in the world”.
Our Summer Camps are held each June and July in five weeklong sessions. Traditional camp activities such as barbecues, arts and crafts, and dances provide the other-abled with socialization. Other-abled campers are comprised of culturally diverse groups of men and women, further enriching their camp experience. Most significant, however, are the values discussion groups that allow campers to tap into their most private emotions concerning issues like “forgiveness”, “trust”, or “self-esteem”.
The one constant behind the movement has been the leadership of Father Blaney. Setbacks, disappointments, frustrations, and concerns about funding have confronted him, yet he has persevered through it all. To take that one first step and travel such a great distance in so short a span of years seems almost miraculous. That is, of course, unless one is traveling alongside Father Blaney. He seems to take it all in stride, solving problems that come his way in a sure and steady manner.
Pier is added to Hog Lake for fishing and boating.
Construction begins on gazebo overlooking Hog Lake.
The Coleman Gazebo, overlooking Hog Lake is completed. Road is constructed leading to 5th village. Construction begins on 5th village.
Village of St. Mary & St. Joseph is opened.
Memorial Garden is constructed at Sharing Meadows
Preliminary plans are drawn for the Senior Center at Sharing Meadows
Ground is broken for the John Largura Family Senior Center
The John Largura Family Senior Center is constructed and dedicated
Sharing Meadows has a current value of over $2,000,000! That’s Progress!