Food, fun, and fellowship – Thanksgiving Celebrations

We recently had the opportunity to express our gratitude towards our clients as well as community members and organizations that have had a great impact on us. We spent a Friday afternoon at our Muncie and New Castle locations sharing food, fellowship and entertainment! Clients and staff enjoyed eating a traditional Thanksgiving meal and dancing with friends. These get-togethers also gave us a chance to recognize individual organizations/people for their contributions to Hillcroft. Take a look at the fun we had in the photo albums below!
Muncie Thanksgiving Celebration
New Castle Thanksgiving Celebration
We also were able to donate our extra Thanksgiving meals to other local organizations including Motivate Our Minds (MOMs), the Buley Center, and the Boys and Girls Club!
FotorCreated (2)
Here is a list of those clients, individuals, and organizations that were recognized at these celebrations:
Community Partnership Award.  This year the award goes to the Indiana Banker’s Association. Pat Burch with Star Financial Bank; Adam Goller and Mindy Bobay with Community State Bank; Cindy Swope with Farmers Bank; Laurie Rees and Laura Wilson with IBA will be accepting this award on behalf of the association.  Indiana Bankers Association is a group of banks from across the state of Indiana. Each year they select a non-profit they would like to make a difference for. This group of bankers created a carnival theme event at our Streeter location and over 200 clients attended. They passed out tokens to purchase cotton candy, had a picture booth and duck pond.  They facilitated a soft ball game and of course there was dancing.  It was pretty amazing and the clients loved it.  Each financial institution also gave a monetary donation to the agency.  They have also indicated that they are committed to doing the project again next year as well.  This partnership showed their desire to enhance the lives of the people we serve and is why they are this year’s Community Partner.
Community Service Award.   This year the award goes to Kappa Delta Sorority. Alise Vuskalns and Haylie McCracken will be accepting this award on behalf of the sorority.  The last few years the Kappa Delta sorority sisters have had a twister fundraiser and given the money raised to a non-profit of their choice. Hillcroft was the recipient of their efforts this last year. They donated $5,700.00 from the event proceeds and have selected Hillcroft to receive the fruits of their twisting again this year.  Look for the twisting sisters again this November and be sure to sponsor them.  Thank you for supporting the clients we serve.
Industrial Services Award.  This year the award goes to Lifetouch.  Accepting this award is Mark Wallace and Deb Maloy.  For over 75 years, Lifetouch has been capturing the spirit of today and preserving memories for tomorrow with quality photographs.  For several years the Lifetouch facility in Muncie has partnered with Hillcroft Services in a win-win relationship that has provided excellent opportunities for many Hillcroft Industries workers.  We remain honored to continue the partnership with Lifetouch and this allows us the ability to provide a great deal of paid work for the clients we serve in Muncie.  As one of the nation’s premier businesses, Lifetouch has been an outstanding partner again this year.  We thank Lifetouch for all they have done for our agency and look forward to building on this relationship for many years to come.
Community Employer of the Year.   This award is being presented to Mancino’s.  Accepting this award is Jeff Carrigan.  Hillcroft Services would like to recognize Mancino’s for their continued commitment to employing individuals with disabilities.  Hillcroft has been working with Mancino’s for several years and sincerely appreciates that this relationship continues to thrive each year.  By providing a place for our clients to gain meaningful community employment, Mancino’s certainly stands out as a business with heart.  Thank you Mancino’s for all that you do on behalf of the community and the clients we serve.
Volunteer of the Year Award.   This year the award goes to Katie Campbell.  Katie came up with the idea of teaming up with Hillcroft on Tuesday events.  The concept was for clients to help make crafts for Hospice patients.  We began making items for hospice patients that could brighten their day & also know that other people do care about them. Katie volunteers her time to come to this group every month.  Hospice provides all the materials for the craft ideas that she comes up with. Katie always comes prepared and enjoys her time with our clients. She has also been known to come to the Cheerleading events and talent shown just to support our clients because she loves them so much!  When asking clients how they feel about Katie, they reported:
Development Partnership Award.  This year we have 2 award winners in this category.
Our first recipient is Roy Dabbs.   Roy is a member of several local motorcycle clubs and the last couple of years Roy coordinated an all summer fundraiser from June to September for Hillcroft with his club buddies. Last year over $600 was raised and this year they raised close to $700 that they donated to Hillcroft. This past year, the group even took the time to drop by one of our group homes with their motorcycles and a few of our clients were able to sit on the bikes.  They were so excited and one of the bikers even gave a client his sunglasses and I don’t think he took them off for a month. This group took the initiative to get to know our guys and spend some time with them.  I believe it was a wonderful experience for all.  Thank you for your efforts and your financial support.
Our second Development Partnership Award goes to Bartlett Corporation/Trim Masters.  Accepting this award is Jamie Doughty and Ceressa Underwood.  There is longevity with Bartlett Corporation/Trim Masters in our community as well as with Hillcroft.  For many years we have partnered with this company.  Years ago they contracted with us and had our workshop clients employed cutting leather samples for their catalogs.  In the past they have also funded sidewalk repairs on our behalf and most recently Bartlett Corporation/Trim Masters was one of our $5,000 Marquee sponsors at our Hillcroft Masters golf outing. This is a huge commitment for local companies and we are blessed with this partnership.  Due to the continued support and the most recent significant financial donation, we are proud to award Bartlett as one of this year’s Development Partnership Award winners.
Client Awards:
Creativity Unlimited Participant of the Year:  This year’s winner is Janie Groves.  The staff in the CU program had the following comments to share:  Janie is a bright star that always walks into the CU room with a smile on her face. Janie always says “good morning” or “good afternoon” to her peers & staff. She has come a long way from when she started in the CU Department. Janie now can write her name & address and is learning new things on the IPad. She is always willing to challenge herself in any project staff may give her. We are happy this year to give the CU Participant Award to Janie Groves…congratulations Janie for doing a great job!
HILLCROFT INDUSTRIES TOP PERFORMER OF THE YEAR:  We have two recipients this year, one from our Streeter workshop and one from our Seymour workshop.  Our Streeter award winner is John “JJ” Rolfs.  The Hillcroft DSP’s nominated JJ because he has improved so much in several areas.  His attitude is usually very positive and he is polite to everyone.  He voluntarily offers to help without being prompted.  JJ has worked harder than he has in the past.  He is ready to assist if his coworkers and trainers need anything.  In this last year his productivity has increased by 10%.  We are proud of JJ’s accomplishments and congratulate him on being the recipient of the 2014 Hillcroft Industries Top Performer of the Year Award.
Our Seymour award winner is Jason Walls.  The following are staff comments about Jason.  Jason moved from the Walnut Street facility to the Seymour Avenue location when the need to vacant that facility became apparent for growth of our ABA Clinic.  He embraced the change not only in where he worked but also who he is as a worker.  This change has had Jason ask to do a new job he had never tried before and he is doing amazing at it.  This last year Jason’s productivity level has increased by more than 11%.  We are also proud of Jason’s accomplishments and congratulate him on being one of the 2014 Hillcroft Industries Top Performers of the Year.
COMMUNITY EMPLOYMENT EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR:  Kyle Irvine is our award winner this year.  In June 2012, Kyle made a commitment to find community employment while continuing to work with Hillcroft Industries.  After gaining employment through Walgreens as an associate, Kyle quickly caught on and has remained an invaluable asset with their company.  His hard work and determination are greatly appreciated by the staff and management of Walgreens and made choosing a recipient for this year’s award very easy.  Congratulations Kyle on being our Community Employment Employee of the Year.  
RESIDENTIAL OUTSTANDING LIFE SKILLS ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:  We will be presenting three of these awards this year.  Zack Dinklage.  Zach has really done fabulous at his new community job this year.  Zach enjoys going to Walgreens and interacting with his coworkers, while taking on and learning new skills.  He also likes living at the group home and has done a great job reaching some personal goals with different daily living skills.  Staff always get a good laugh from Zach’s sense of humor and love seeing the initiative he takes at the house.  Due to the progressive changes, goal achievement and growth Zack deserves to be the one of the recipients of the Residential Outstanding Life Skills Achievement Award.  Congratulations Zack!
Jerry Smith, Jerry Smith, 80 years young!  Jerry has stayed in good health this past year.  He is still going to as many football and basketball games that he can get too.  Jerry is also still the biggest bearcat fan in Muncie.  Everyone treasures Jerry coming into our Hillcroft facility. He speaks to everyone he sees and makes us all smile and he is always willing to say a prayer for you!  Jerry is a joy to see and be with.  Because of his desire to be integrated in his community and his concern and compassion for others Jerry deserves this award.  Keep it up YOUNG MAN and congratulations Jerry!
Deb Sawyer. Deb has been an inspiration for others who want to become more independent and self- sufficient. During the past year, Deb has done an amazing job adjusting to additional and new staff who work with her.  She strives to maintain a neat and orderly home, all while working full-time in the workshop. She’s worked hard on making healthy choices to improve her overall wellness. Deb has become more involved in participating in social gatherings.  She also demonstrates excellent independent skills in her home and the community. She very much enjoys her time with her staff and her best friend. Deb certainly deserves to be recognized for her achievements over the past year. It is a pleasure to witness her growth and accomplishments and also to acknowledge her as one of this year’s Residential Outstanding Life Achievement Award winners.  Congratulations Deb!
The award goes to Jamie Henry.  Jamie is a true Hillcroft success story! Jamie became part of the Hillcroft family in 2007.  He and his roommate have lived together in Anderson since that time.  Jamie was born with the ability to see, but overtime he lost his vision due to medical issues. He adjusted to not being able to see and because of this, his hearing is impeccable.  Even though Jamie cannot see – has lived in multiple placements – and faced many medical issues – he has kept a happy spirit. His wonderful smile is the highlight of the day!  He attends the Creativity Unlimited program in which he loves to listen to music, make crafts and talk about how many cookies he has eaten. Over the last few years, Jamie has been able to develop positive relationships with staff as well as open up to new experiences. Jamie has successfully been able to transition into day programming breaking his old routines as well as spending the day with different peers.  He has shown amazing improvement, and happily participates in activities provided.  His perseverance through multiple challenges and overcoming maladaptive behaviors has earned Jamie the Positive Growth Award.  Please join me in congratulating Jamie.

Hillcroft Halftime
A Day With the Boilermakers

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