The thrum of the engine of the baby blue Cadillac filled the air of Main Street in Goshen and rattled the chests of the spectators.
Goshen’s Cruisin’ Reunion on July 6 was a flashback to when Goshen was named the Cruising Capital of the USA — except for one difference. You wouldn’t have seen people like Ricky Garcia in the crowd when teenagers started the tradition after World War II.
Back then, before ADEC was founded, people with disabilities like Ricky were sent away to institutions and hidden from the community.
But because of ADEC and the support of people like you, Ricky and his friends were enjoying a night on the town, sipping root beer floats and chatting with friends and strangers.
The guys from ADEC’s Terrace Park group home sat along the curb on Main Street, sipping root beer floats and chatting with friends and strangers.
Ricky’s face lit up when he spotted a friend he made at the ADEC Ball, and he greeted her with a giant hug. He later laughed as he approached a stroller and found a cat resting inside.
Meanwhile, Charlie Long — a fountain of classic car knowledge — spouted off facts about every car that motored past and Riley O’Brien, ADEC’s resident magician, wowed spectators with his sleight-of-hand card tricks.
Frist Fridays in Goshen is the epitome of a community event, and the Terrace Park guys were at its heart. Strangers nodded hello as they walked past on the sidewalk and no one hesitated to plop a lawn chair down next to the group.
Before ADEC was founded, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities were segregated from their communities, and now, with the help of people like you, they are included and embraced.
At ADEC, we value COMMUNITY. We support the people we serve as they become involved in their community. You’ll find them working in your office building and living in a home in your neighborhood. You might spot them in the bleachers at a NorthWood High School basketball game rooting for the Panthers, or see them volunteering at a local cat rescue. You may pray with them on Sunday morning at church.
Or you might run into them in downtown Goshen during any First Fridays celebration.
Many times, community outings are not fully funded. It’s because of generous supporters like you that the people we serve can enjoy a game of bowling or catch the latest blockbuster. It is because of you that the people we serve have found a place in the world and in their community.
Who knew ADEC’s founding families would one day see their children included in and embraced by their communities? Because of you, the people we serve get to experience outings to special events. It is because of you that the people we serve have found a place in the world and in their community. Thank you.