News Tag: community link

First Step Annual Report 2013-2014

September 10, 2014

2013-2014 First Step Annual Report English

2013-2014 First Step Annual Report Spanish

Hemker Named First Step Director

July 15, 2014

Community Link is pleased to announce the appointment of Laurie Hemker as the new Director of Children’s Programs for Community Link’s First Step Early Learning and Family Support Program. In addition to overseeing the First Step program, Laurie is also the Infant Mental Health Specialist for Prevention and Early Head Start. Community Link’s First Step Early Learning and Family Support Program consists of Early Intervention, which is a state funded program of services for children with developmental delays or disabilities; Early Head Start, which is a federally funded program of prenatal services and children’s home-based services; Infant Mental Health Services, which identify children at risk for developmental delays and/or for social-emotional and mental health problems; Child Waiver, which assists families in keeping their loved ones in their own home rather than seeking a more restrictive environment; Community Services, which include free parenting classes on a variety of topics; and Developmental Screenings, which are conducted annually through local school districts and child care centers, as well as by parent or guardian request.

Laurie is a graduate of Mater Dei High School, received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Laurie lives in Germantown with her husband, Jeremy, and their three children.

New Board Member Installed

July 15, 2014

Community Link is excited to announce the appointment of Sandy Harris to its board of directors.

Sandy Harris comes to Community Link with 34 years of corporate accounting and management experience. Sandy retired in August 2013 from Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. where she held the position of Vice President – Tax Administration.

Sandy welcomes the opportunity to help Community Link continue promoting its mission and to provide personalized support services to developmentally disabled individuals. Her brother, Kenny Loepker, was a participant at Community Link and lived in one of its CILA homes until his passing in 2007.

Sandy and her husband, Glenn, currently reside in Freeburg. Originally from Clinton County, she maintains close ties to the region. Her son, John Becker, works and resides in Breese, providing ample opportunity for frequent visits.

Successful Buddy Walk 2014

May 08, 2014

Community Link held their 8th annual Buddy Walk this past Saturday, May 3rd at Carlyle Lake. With over 750 registered walkers, this was the biggest and most successful Buddy Walk yet! This event, which helps raise awareness for people with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities, brought in over $28,000 in gross proceeds. The money raised at this event goes to Community Link to fund local programs and supports for individuals in our community with developmental disabilities and other difficulties, and a portion goes to the National Down Syndrome Society to fund national advocacy initiatives that benefit all individuals with Down syndrome. Thank you to all of the individual teams that raised money on Community Link’s behalf for this year’s Buddy Walk. The top fundraising team this year was Team B.E.S.T., raising over $4,600!

A special thank you to this year’s Buddy Walk sponsors, who made this day possible. The Gold sponsor was Foppe Insurance Agency. Silver sponsors included Henken Storage & Pecan Cracking, FCB Banks, Kelli Gilbert – In loving memory of Linda K. Johnson, and Strano & Associates – Angie Zahn. Bronze sponsors included AKA Concrete, Inc., Clinton County Electric Cooperative, Edward Jones – Jim Kueper, First Bank – Breese, and Peerless-Premier Appliance Co. Thank you to the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, Clinton County Parrot Head Club, First Bank employees, Mater Dei track team, Mater Dei, Carlyle, and Central High School Students, and Community Link staff members for their tremendous help the day of the event. Other donors who made this day possible include Carlyle IGA, CC Food Marts, Excel Bottling Co., Hardees, Peek/Huelsmann Rentals, St. Augustine Church, Taylor Made Signs, Wal-Mart-Carlyle, WSI Vending, and WCXO Radio.

To kick off this beautiful day, John Huelskamp, Community Link’s Executive Director, spoke about Community Link’s new strategic mission, and the dedication to providing increased opportunities for our participants. This starts with identifying the dreams our participants have, and finding ways to realize them. A shining example of someone who identified her dreams and was able to achieve them, is Karrie Brown, Community Link’s special guest at the Buddy Walk. Karrie has Down syndrome, but that has not stopped her from following her dream of becoming a model. Thanks to her mother, the power of social media and her unwavering sense of self-confidence, she was recently flown out to California for a professional photo shoot for Wet Seal. Community Link strives to help the individuals they support to define their own dreams and ways to achieve them, and Karrie’s story is truly an inspiration. Before the walk officially began, Community Link participant Jill Husted took the stage to perform the National Anthem. With a group of her peers behind her holding the American flag, Jill bravely stood in front of the large crowd gathered, and sung beautifully, dedicating the performance to her three younger brothers. After the walk, everyone enjoyed a picnic lunch and various activities. Thank you to all who came out to enjoy this special day.

To view photographs of the day, choose the link to our Facebook page and Buddy Walk 2014 Photo Album, https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.648005845273384.1073741862.206882929385680&type=3

Karrie Brown Buddy Walk Special Guest

April 04, 2014

Community Link is excited to welcome Karrie Brown as a special guest to the 8th annual Buddy Walk on May 3rd. Karrie is such an inspirational young woman, who doesn’t let her disability define her. Karrie has Down syndrome, but that has not stopped her from following her dream of becoming a model. Thanks to her mother, the power of social media and her unwavering sense of self-confidence, she was recently flown out to California for a professional photo shoot for Wet Seal. Community Link strives to help the individuals they support to define their own dreams and ways to achieve them, and Karrie’s story is truly an inspiration. You can help individuals in your community who have big dreams like Karrie by supporting Community Link’s Buddy Walk on May 3rd at Carlyle Lake.

The Buddy Walk consists of a one-mile fun walk from Carlyle Lake Dam West Recreation Area Pavilion #2 on an accessible path on top of the main dam and back to the pavilion for picnic lunch. Check-in and on-site registration begin at 9:00 AM. The $15 registration includes Buddy Walk T-shirt (guaranteed in size of choice for those registering by April 4) and lunch ticket. Walk officially starts at 10:30 AM. Other activities: music, kids' activities, info table, bake sale and sale of crafts made by individuals with developmental disabilities.

You can register online to participate in Community Link’s Buddy Walk and build your own personalized fundraising page to raise funds online by visiting our website at www.commlink.org/buddywalk. Come out for a fun, heartwarming day and meet some of the people who are benefiting from this wonderful fundraiser.

8th Annual CL Buddy Walk

March 31, 2014

Community Link’s 8th Annual Buddy Walk is coming up on May 3rd, 2014. This is a very important fundraiser for Community Link. In addition to raising funds to support the many program offerings at Community Link, this particular fundraiser is also an opportunity to raise awareness for the many individuals with a diagnosis of Down syndrome. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, making it the most common genetic conditions. Community Link recognizes that people with Down syndrome are valued members of their families and their communities, and contribute to society in a variety of ways. We are asking for your help to make this event better than ever! You can help by creating a fundraising page at www.commlink.org/buddywalk and inviting your family, friends, and co-workers to get involved by pledging to donate to your Buddy Walk campaign. All donations are tax-deductible, and the groups with the highest fundraising totals will receive special recognition during the Buddy Walk event. There will also be special recognition for the groups with the most members walking on their Buddy Walk team. We truly appreciate your support of Community Link throughout the years and hope you will join us in making our 2014 Buddy Walk our best one yet!

CL Celebrates World Down Syndrome Day

March 28, 2014

World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated each year on March 21st, symbolic of a third copy of the 21st chromosome that characterizes Down syndrome. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, making it the most common genetic condition. Approximately 400,000 Americans have Down syndrome and about 6,000 babies with Down syndrome are born in the United States each year. Community Link recognizes that people with Down syndrome are valued members of their families and their communities, and contribute to society in a variety of ways.

The value, acceptance, and inclusion of people with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities are celebrated year round at Community Link, but we are inviting the members of our community to join us for Community Link’s 8th annual Buddy Walk on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 at Carlyle Lake to raise awareness about Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities, and to raise funds to support community inclusion and services for people with special needs. We hope you can join us by getting together with your family, friends, and co-workers and forming a Buddy Walk team.

The Buddy Walk was developed by the National Down Syndrome Society in 1995 to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. The Buddy Walk has grown from 17 walks in 1995 to more than 250 walks worldwide in 2013. In 2013, $16,500 was raised by Community Link’s Buddy Walk to benefit programs and support services, as well as the national advocacy and public awareness initiatives of NDSS that benefit all individuals with Down syndrome.

The Buddy Walk consists of a one-mile fun walk from Carlyle Lake Dam West Recreation Area Pavilion #2 on an accessible path on top of the main dam and back to the pavilion for picnic lunch. Check-in and on-site registration begin at 9:00 AM. The $15 registration includes Buddy Walk T-shirt (guaranteed in size of choice for those registering by April 4) and lunch ticket. Walk officially starts at 10:30 AM. Other activities: music, kids' activities, info table, bake sale and sale of crafts made by individuals with developmental disabilities.

You can register online to participate in Community Link’s Buddy Walk and build your own personalized fundraising page to raise funds online by visiting our website at www.commlink.org/buddywalk. Help increase Down syndrome awareness right here in the heart of Southern Illinois by collecting pledges and building a team.

Community Link, a non-profit organization and proud United Way member agency, is dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities through a person-centered approach that promotes self-directed living choices and community integration opportunities. The mission of Community Link is to challenge, teach and inspire both participants and community, linking them in ways that enhance their lives.

CL Receives Grant from Clean Energy Community Foundation

November 14, 2013

2013-11_Illinois_Clean_Energy_Grant.JPGCommunity Link, Inc. is pleased to announce that it recently was awarded a grant in the amount of $29,484 from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation for lighting upgrades to the Breese East and West facilities as well as the Metro facility in Fairview Heights. This grant assisted Community Link in defraying some of the costs associated with retro-fitting current T12 fixtures to hold T8 bulbs that will reduce monthly energy costs by an estimated $15,863 per year. The retro-fitting project will also provide greater task lighting for Community Link’s program participants as they learn work skills in the facilities’ workshops and Recycling Center.

The mission of the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation is to improve energy efficiency, advance the development of renewable energy resources and protect natural areas for people in communities all across Illinois.

Community Link, a non-profit organization and proud United Way member agency, is dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities through a person-centered approach that promotes self-directed living choices and community integration opportunities. The mission of Community Link is to challenge, teach and inspire both participants and community, linking them in ways that enhance their lives.

Facelift For CILA Residence

August 20, 2013

The power of community is witnessed in the transformation of a residence in Germantown. This residence is one of Community Link’s Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILA) and is the home to seven individuals with developmental disabilities. The home’s shrubs were very overgrown, hiding the windows and entry way of the home. The need for the upgraded landscape was recognized by Rodney Friederich of All Green Lawn and Kurt Ripperda of Jerry’s Landscape Nursery. Rodney pulled all of the shrubs in the spring of 2012...then came the heat wave! The ground remained untouched.

This spring, Rich and Marcie Hacker called to express their interest in giving their time and talents to complete the project. A generous donation from the Catholic Holy Family Society’s Hearts and Hands Program got them started, and soon other interested people and businesses offered contributions to this project. In addition to the monetary donation from the Catholic Holy Family Society and the work the previous year from Rodney, Jerry’s Landscape Nursery donated numerous supplies, shrubs, and plants for this project; August Wildhaber Sales & Services donated and delivered a load of top soil; Toennies Hardware & Rental donated the rental of a tile saw to cut the pavers; and Gerry Kohnen disposed of the old planter. Rich and Marcie Hacker donated both money and a lot of time to edge the landscape area with bricks, clean up other shrubs and trees throughout the yard, add a brick seating area with a bench, and plant all new plants. The result is a beautiful new addition which complements the house and gives the residents a nice place to relax and enjoy a bit of nature in their yard. The residents of this home are very grateful for the kindness and support of these individuals, and are very happy with how their home looks.

Germantown_Landscape.jpg

CCPHC Spring Phling

February 15, 2013

2013_CCPHC_Spring_Phling.jpgThe Clinton County Parrot Head Club is hosting their 6th Annual Spring Phling chicken and beer dance on February 23, 2013 at Bretz Wildlife Lodge & Winery in Carlyle, IL, featuring “Jimmy and the Parrots” from New Jersey. Tickets are $25 each, which includes all you can eat fried chicken and draft beer. A silent auction will be held, along with raffles and prizes. The doors open at 6:00 PM. For tickets or more information, contact Todd Peppenhorst, President of the CCPHC at 618-792-6586 or toddpccparrot@yahoo.com. Proceeds benefit Community Link.