Local News Saturday May 29th 2010
Meeting the community's needs
Vision Becomes Reality For Local Charity Group
CSCL helps developmentally challenged people in the community
Craig Hill/Voice photos
CSCL Executive Director, Brenda Gillette, speaks to a rapt audience at their AGM last Tuesday at City Hall.
he Chilliwack Society for Community Living had their annual general board meeting Tuesday at City Hall. The meeting was chaired by Helen Tolmie, who mentioned that her board member husband, Brent Tolmie, was away due to illness.
Executive Director, Brenda Gillette, was awarded a plaque in recognition of her 35-years of service.
"Some days it seems like a really long time and other days it feels like a really short time," Gillette told the packed chamber. "When I started here I was 25 and now I've turned 60."
"Here I am 35-years later, what I have seen and haven't seen is nothing short of amazing, it really is quite surprising and one of the trends that I think we see is difficult at this point, is if you look around the room tonight we have a tremendous number of self-advocates and staff here but not very many family," said Gillette.
"I think that some of the changes we see are quite significant in terms of community acceptance and change that we're working on and this has been a community that has been truly welcoming for the most part around those issues," said Gillitte. "People will always look and people will always ask questions if there is a difference in somebody, whether that's appearance, or the way they walk, the way they talk. I mean how often do we stop and listen to folks who have an accident simply because it sounds so nice to us we like it. The reality is that most of the time when people look it's only because something is a little different and it's not because they don't accept and I think we need to remember that."
"We've strengthened a lot of ties in the community, we've developed a lot of supports and services and a lot of them now are more individualized than ever rather than group things in the past and I'm happy to have been a part of that and I'm happy continuing to be a part of that," she said.
The CSCL has been providing services to children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities and their families since 1954. Over the years the Society's programs and services have expanded and now include a wide variety of supports to individuals of all ages who have developmental issues.
For more information visit the CSCL website: www.cscl.org
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