65 years ago, a rebel band of parents with rare and courageous spirit came together and created something truly special for Elkhart County. They dared to dreamed of a world where children with disabilities did not spend their lives shut away at institutions, but rather became an integral part of their own communities.

The first steps were small, but mighty as ADEC grew to meet the needs of this small band of parents and children. First came a school, then came Boy Scout troops and home ec clubs. And then, in the blink of an eye, these children grew into adults who wanted to continue to learn, hold down jobs and live independently of mom and dad, just like their brothers and sisters.

ADEC added employment services and day services. In 1974, ADEC once again braved new frontiers by opening Indiana’s very first group home for people with disabilities. Since then, the dreams of our founding families have only continued to become true. With the additions of Guardianship, Summer Camp, Supported Living and Therapy programs, ADEC clients continue to have access to the best this community can offer.

If ADEC’s founding parents could see us now, they would be blown away. From the things we take for granted now, such as mainstreamed education, to people holding down jobs in our community as valued employees – people with disabilities are experiencing choice and possibility on a whole new level. And ADEC is proud to play a part in that.

On Thursday, Oct. 26, we are taking a night to celebrate these dreams, breakthroughs and the people we have the absolute pleasure to serve each day. ADEC’s Annual Celebration at the Lerner Theatre will be a night of joy and reflection, and we want you to join us.

We’ll hear from award-winning author Rachel Simon, and we’ll honor five ADEC clients chosen by our staff members to receive our signature awards – Weekday Warrior, Heart of the Game, World Changer, Creative Spirit and Dare to Dream.

Mark your calendars and come join us as we celebrate our successes of this past year and look forward to the excitement of the new year. Tickets are on sale now at www.adecinc.com/celebrate.