I speak to you today with feelings of profound gratitude and thankfulness for 70 years of ADEC’s heartfelt service and support to the families and individuals we serve and the employees that make it possible. On April 7, 1952, ADEC pledged a vision, enveloped with values, to foster a mission of choice and possibility. That was more than a promise: it was a profound commitment which guides us today.
In the last 70 years, we have seen growth, change, and the advancement of advocacy. Through all changes and challenges, ADEC — of whose talents, traditions and achievements I am so inexpressibly proud — have prospered and flourished.
Affection, respect, equality, support, unparalleled warmth, and an unerring ability to see the best and the potential in everyone, are the hallmarks of ADEC, and our values remain unchanged. 2022 was quite a year – we expanded services in St. Joseph County with the opening of a new day service and therapy facility, published our Principles of Service, integrated Life Course into our programming, celebrated our staff at Wellfield Botanic Gardens, re-ignited Self-Advocates of ADEC, developed the first National Certification for Direct Support Professionals in the state, and so much more.
Our strength of purpose, our life of service, and the abiding love for our clients and communities, together with a fearless embrace of progress, gives ADEC its strength and fortitude. ADEC is more than a person or a place, it’s a legacy and a promise. As we take a step forward into the next 70 years, let us remember and draw strength from the light of Aux Chandelles.*
Donna Belusar, Ph.D. President/CEO
*Aux Chandelles was the name of the Development Center founded in 1966 by our earliest families and supporters. Aux Chandelles in French means ‘into the light.’