In recognition of her leadership and dedication, Sheila Bobay-Singh, Safe Place Coordinator, received the 2018 Indiana Safe Place Individual Achievement Award. The award was presented by Robin Donaldson, COO of Indiana Youth Services Association, at the December 6 annual meeting in Indianapolis. The Individual Achievement Award also honors Bobay-Singh for efforts to ensure that youth in Harrison and Crawford Counties have access to immediate safety and resources. In presenting the award, Donaldson said Bobay-Singh singlehandedly provided information to 54% of the youth population (ages 10-17) in her two-county service area. “She is an invaluable resource and support to other Safe Place Coordinators in the state,” said Donaldson. “I am pleased to announce the first recipient of the Indiana Safe Place Individual Achievement Award goes to Sheila Bobay Singh.”
Every fall, the Supervised Group Living residential picnic has become a staple and a Halloween theme has become tradition. Held October 31 at United Methodist Church in Palmyra, the inside venue was a last-minute change after massive rain hit the area, but it didn’t take away from the annual event that brings all 48 of Blue River Services’ group home residents together for a day of socializing, food, games and friendly competition.
Of course no Halloween celebration would be complete without a costume contest. The men at Summit View Group Home who stood out for their costumes and expression of roommate camaraderie. Dressed simply in white pants and blue shirts, it was a distinct hat and one cloaked member of the group who brilliantly depicted The Smurfs and their human nemesis Gargamel. The group won first prize in the costume contest, taking home the coveted “Hulk” trophy, which now resides in admiration at the home until it is up for grabs again at the next major contest.
Each of the seven group homes also made their own chili to share. Maybe a chili cook-off is fated for next year’s event?
Summit View residents, from left, Jerry Beverly, Lowell Norskov, Eric Miller, Rodney Wilson and Colin Mikel show off their winning group Smurfs costume.
The ladies at Oak Drive group home, from left, Carol Stocking, Stephanie Ladd, Lisa Schultz, and Dianna Dixon enjoy some Halloween fun.
As you shop online, you can support Blue River Services through AmazonSmile! It is the same Amazon you know with the same products, prices and services, but Blue River will receive .5 percent of your purchases when you select us as your charity. Please bookmark the Blue River Services-supported page, smile.amazon.com/ch/35-1101603, and share it with family members and friends. If you visit www.smile.amazon.com and sign in as usual, you can also type Blue River Services in the “pick your charitable organization” box, and select Blue River Services from the list of choices.
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The Community Resources Department at Blue River Services, Inc. hosted its eleventh annual prom with celebrity flare October 13 at Southern Hills Church in Salem, Indiana. More than 60 Blue River consumers and their dates enjoyed an Evening at the Oscar’s, which was this year’s theme.
Staff and volunteers rolled out the red carpet for adults with disabilities who arrived to camera-clad “paparazzi.”
After pictures, everyone hit the dance floor. DJ Allen Grant kept the crowd entertained and even made an appearance as Elvis. As he swayed, shook and shimmied, lip-synching the King of Rock and Roll’s greatest hits, he had some competition from prom-goers who belted out the tunes as they danced along.
The royal prom coronation was announced by Tammy Seitz, Director of Community Resources, with the help of Donna Davis, Habilitation Manager, and Seitz’s daughter Bailey, who volunteered. Chad Vandeventer was crowned King, and Jasmine Orndorff was this year’s Prom Queen. Jon Combs and Stephanie Ladd were named Prince and Princess, and David Edwards and Samantha Holt were the Duke and Duchess. The sweethearts of the prom were Junior O’Neal and Annie Gilstrap.
At the end of the night, everyone left with a beaded necklace or a key chain as a memento of their special night.
“Several volunteers came together to make this a night to remember,” said Seitz. “We had a wonderful turnout and look forward to continuing this tradition for many years.”
A special thanks to all our staff and volunteers: Charity and Jeffrey Ash, Liz and Jess Pendygraft, Sonja Oakes, Darius, Destiny and Cynthia Porter, Bailey Seitz, Ashley and Malania Hubbard, Elizabeth Johnson, and Donna Davis.
Blue River Services, Inc. leadership hosted Trey Hollingsworth, Rep. in Indiana’s 9th congressional district, at Blue River Industries sheltered workshop in Corydon October 9 to discuss employment choices for individuals with disabilities and the threat they face under proposed changes to legislation.
Hollingsworth, Blue River Services President and CEO Daniel J. Lowe, and longtime board member Bill Harrod, President and CEO of First Harrison Bank, toured the workshop with Kim Perry, Director of Industries, who showed the group just how meaningful sheltered workshops – and the opportunities they provide -- are for individuals with disabilities.
Just ask Michael Ashabraner, who recently celebrated 30 years with Blue River Industries. He greeted the group, shared his excitement to celebrate his birthday with friends and staff at the group home where he resides, and was interested in meeting everyone. He also didn’t hesitate to tell Hollingsworth he loved his job, and he has been doing it for 30 years. It’s certainly not a sentiment everyone can relate to, but it is a clear indication Blue River is fulfilling its mission to help people – no matter the challenges they may face – to live happy, healthy lives in positive environments.
“Most of the people we serve,” explained Lowe, “are people with developmental disabilities.” “Our goal is to place the person into a job in the community. We even have an Employment Services Department that goes out into the community to work with the person as a job coach, but it isn’t realistic in some cases.”
As the sky grew dim above Country Trace senior housing September 21, a team of volunteers shrugged off the humid air. It was Metro United Way’s Day of Action, and it made a huge impact for the residents at the affordable living community in Palmyra.
Together with volunteers from accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in Louisville, Metro United Way’s Kim Lansdell, community giving manager, and Blue River housing staff helped transform the eight-acre property in just three hours. After flooding earlier in the year, Blue River Services staff have dedicated their time and efforts to rehabilitating the apartments and getting tenants back home. The assistance of volunteers to complete work outside was much needed and greatly appreciated by agency staff and residents.
Even after a torrential rain, the group continued working to lay landscape fabric, spread rock, shovel dirt, mulch, and plant grass and trees. Dirt also was used to fill in any dips, holes or indentations, especially around sidewalks, to help eliminate tripping hazards.
Metro United Way Day of Action is an opportunity for employers to help meet a need in the community hands-on. The event included more than 500 volunteers in seven counties and more than 30 organizations impacting 5,000 children and more than 20 non-profits in one day.
From the energy of high-flying comic personalities, to spirited staff, consumer accolades, guest speakers and awards, the 2018 Blue River Services All-Staff In-Service was shrouded in superhero distinction.
When the agency’s nearly 400 employees gather in one room, as well over half did at Lincoln Hills Christian Church in Corydon September 12, the magnitude and impact of teamwork is palpable. It’s then that everyone is not only reminded of Blue River’s mission, but shown.
“As we grow up, we have a choice to make as to what we will do with our working lives,” said Daniel J. Lowe, President and CEO, who welcomed everyone to the mass agency training event. “You have chosen to work to help others live complete and fulfilled lives. Giving one’s own being to the service of others … People Serving People … To me, that is one definition of a hero.”
His words resonating with this year’s theme, “Be Someone’s Superhero,” Lowe also acknowledged the dedication of staff and their passion to serve.
When summoning the crowd to stand if they had been with the agency at least five years, a wave of people responded. To the surprise of many, as the ante went higher –10, 20, even 30 years – there were still people standing. Something Lowe called a true testament to those "who have chosen to dedicate their lives and careers to improving the lives of others and making our world better for all.”
Although there are 151 employees who have been with the agency more than five years, the most notable milestones this year included those of Brian Bowen and Phillip Spaulding, who both reached 20 years with the agency; Kim Perry, Director of Industries, who celebrated 25 years of service; and Julia Baylor, Director of Children’s Services, who marked an astonishing 35 years. Even President Lowe, the agency-equivalent of Batman’s Commissioner Gordon (minus the trench coat and fedora hat), has been working, behind the scenes, manning the BRS Bat-Signal to summon a beacon of service for the last 34 years.
As Blue River Services helped the Washington County Community Foundation (WCCF) celebrate at its 25th Anniversary dinner, agency leadership also got to meet with more than 300 community members and dignitaries.
“We have a strong presence in Washington County with more than 12 programs and services,” said Daniel J. Lowe, President and CEO of Blue River Services, Inc., who attended the dinner with several other agency leaders. “This annual event was a great opportunity to showcase those services and all the ways Blue River, and partners like the WCCF, are helping residents lead independent, healthy lives, no matter the challenges they may face.”
The annual event, held at Cornerstone Hall in Salem, also included an information session for the first time this year. Non-profits set up displays to help bring community awareness to their missions and compete for a $25,000 endowment.
Even though Blue River Services did not win, it was not a bleak moment of defeat to lose to the cutest guests in attendance – kids from a local STEM program dressed in lab coats who could recite the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics responsible for making a banana light up with a laptop.
Following a decision by the State of Indiana to contract with an outside transportation broker, Blue River Services, Inc. and its Southern Indiana Transit System (SITS) will no longer be providing transportation to Medicaid participants.
Effective June 1, 2018, Southeastrans will be the designated non-emergency medical transportation provider for fee for service Medicaid members.
All Medicaid recipients who live in the four-county SITS service area, which includes Crawford, Harrison, Scott and Washington Counties, and need non-emergency transportation for medical appointments or treatments, must call Southeastrans at 855-325-7586 to schedule a ride on or before June 1, 2018. The toll-free number will be active on May 14, 2018, if you need to speak with customer service prior to June 1.
Southern Indiana Transit System, a Division of Blue River Services, Inc., is the largest and in some cases, the only transportation provider in the rural Indiana counties of Crawford, Harrison, Scott and Washington. The rural public transportation system will continue its fixed-deviated and demand-response routes for seniors, people with disabilities, children with special needs and the general public. Current transportation schedules will be maintained by SITS Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information about public transportation, including routes and times, please visit our Blue River Services Transportation Page.
Blue River Services, Inc. received the Outstanding Family-Friendly Business Award from the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County at its 84th annual meeting held April 4 at Horseshoe Southern Indiana. The 14th largest non-profit in the Louisville metro area, Blue River Services received the award in recognition of its programs benefitting families in Harrison County and beyond.
“It is their passion for improving people’s lives by providing the opportunity to succeed and the support to make it happen,” said Jason Copperwaite, Chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County, in presenting the award. “They continue to find solutions to support the people and communities they serve. Please join me in congratulating the 2018 Outstanding Family-Friendly Business Award recipient, Blue River Services – People Serving People.”
Daniel J. Lowe, President and CEO of Blue River Services, Inc., second from left, accepted the award, presented by, from left, Copperwaite, Lisa Long, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County, and Jeff Shireman, previous Board Chair.
Happy Birthday Sharon Chumley!
Sharon Chumley, book keeper in the Fiscal Department and a 17-year veteran of Blue River Services, Inc., celebrated her 75th birthday today. Surrounded by colleagues (and food), it was obvious that she is an inspiration to many and clear why she is a two-time nominee for this year’s Spirit of Blue River Awards! Another highlight of the day was calls from several consumers who serenaded her with a round of “Happy Birthday to You.”
There is no doubt – Sharon is special.
Thank you for keeping us humble and letting us share your day!
Now Hiring SGL Life Skills Instructors
We have several positions open for Supervised Group Living (SGL) Life Skills Instructors. Full- and part-time positions are available at Blue River Services group homes located in Corydon, Salem, Palmyra, New Albany, and Milltown. Second- and third-shift positions, as well as first, second and third weekend shifts are available. Blue River Services also offers “substitute” status in this position, in which you can work as needed, as available. Most shifts are weekday evenings and weekends, because residents are out in the community during the day, either working at jobs or attending day services at BRS workshops.
Each group home has up to seven adult residents with developmental disabilities living at the home. This is their home and in some cases has been their home for most of their adult life. Each home is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is a great opportunity for college students to work outside their school schedule and medical students who need internship hours. No experience is necessary; training is provided. Must be eager to help others with a compassion for all individuals and a desire to be a positive role model and companion for residents. Examples of duties include assisting residents with grocery shopping, preparing meals and general housekeeping. Must be able to lift 50 lbs. Must possess an accredited high school diploma or equivalent and a valid driver’s license. Drug testing required. Health benefits are available for full-time employees working 30 hours or more. Dental, vision, life, 401k and other benefits, including paid time off, are offered to employees working 20 hours or more in this position. BRS is an equal employment opportunity employer and a drug-free workplace.
For more information on specific openings at each home, please see below.
- Corydon (McGrain and Summit View homes & Sub status) – Contact Tim at 812-738-4996
- Salem (Oak) – Contact Bailey at 812-883-4852
- Salem (Nichols) – Contact Holly at 812-883-1528
- Palmyra – Contact Jamie at 812-596-1455
- New Albany – Contact Barb at 812-734-4310
- Milltown – Contact Eric at 812-365-2751
For a complete list of all current job openings and an application, please click on the “Careers” tab.
EASTER MARKS ANOTHER SEASON OF FUN AT BLUE RIVER Services
Fiscal Department’s Angie Wyman Celebrates 30 Years with BLUE RIVER SERVICES
Angie Wyman, fifth from left, celebrated 30 years at Blue River Services, Inc. with colleagues at the administration building on March 30. The celebration included a beach-themed luncheon and tribute to her many years of dedication.
Wyman, who joined the agency in 1987, started out in accounts receivable, but quickly transitioned into payroll, where she has worked ever since. In response to what has kept her around all these years, Wyman said it’s the agency’s mission to help people with disabilities and “good people.”
Where the Pinwheels Grow
If you have driven along Old Highway 135 in Corydon in April, chances are something shiny and whimsical has caught your eye. That’s because every year, Prevent Child Abuse Harrison County, sponsored by Blue River Services, Inc., plants a pinwheel garden in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month and the council's commitment to making sure all children have the great childhood they deserve.
Whether through early education and intervention, tutoring, mentorship, social development or specialized care for children with disabilities, Blue River Services has played an important role in children’s lives since its inception more than 58 years ago. In fact, caring for children with special needs is the very heart and founding premise of the agency, which emerged from the determination of six families who believed everyone is capable of learning when given the opportunity.
Surprisingly, Harrison County has more cases of substantiated abuse and neglect than in surrounding counties, even those with much higher populations. That’s why we encourage and challenge other agencies, organizations, groups, community partners and individuals to join us as we support the Pinwheels for Prevention movement, a grassroots campaign of Prevent Child Abuse America. By raising awareness, we are one step closer to prevention.
If you would like to get involved or learn more, please join us Thursday, April 27, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the YMCA of Harrison County pavilion. Harrison County Prevent Child Abuse, in collaboration with Harrison County DCS, will host a community awareness event highlighting the importance of child abuse prevention efforts. County Prosecutor Otto Schalk and local foster parents also will share their knowledge and discuss the community’s role in prevention.
Annual Resident Christmas Luncheon Marks Eight-Year Tradition at BRS
Residents from Blue River Services, Inc. group homes enjoyed an early Christmas celebration December 13 at KingFish Restaurant in Jeffersonville, where the agency’s Supervised Group Living Department held the annual event, now in its eighth year.
Nearly 100 residents and staff filled the riverfront establishment for an afternoon of food, fun and fellowship, including an enthusiastic game of bingo that scored several lucky residents entertaining prizes, such as motion-activated Christmas figurines, ornaments and a singing tie.
Perhaps still in the Thanksgiving spirit, many residents noted things for which they are thankful -- family, friends, church and being a part of Blue River Services.
“That’s always good to hear,” said Tim Beitzel, Director of Residential Supervised Group Living. “Our job is to help consumers live fulfilling lives and every day work toward goals that will further their independence. When we receive a compliment from the people we serve, it’s very rewarding.”
Beitzel also recognized Nona Besendorf, BSW, Social Service Liaison, who coordinated and emceed the event.
Blue River Services President and CEO Dan Lowe also attended the event as he has done most every year since it began.
“This is a very important and special day,” said Lowe. “It gives me a chance to step away from my administrative duties and interact with our consumers, who I am proud to come to work for every day. Events like these are a good reminder of why we are here.”
Other leadership in attendance included properties manager Lea Mosier, who entered to a shout out and subsequent applause from consumers who obviously appreciate her dutiful service ensuring their homes are properly maintained.
To that, the 17-year veteran humbly responded, “after being with the agency so long, and in my position, you see the clients a lot, and they get excited when they see a familiar, friendly face.” “That’s why when my schedule allows, I try to participate in special events like this.”
After lunch, consumers exchanged gifts and sang songs.
“We sang We Wish You a Merry Christmas and even celebrated a birthday; it was a festive afternoon,” Beitzel said.
In what was perhaps the perfect end to the day, Beitzel received the ultimate commendation.
“As we were leaving, a patron approached me and asked about the agency,” Beitzel said. “He said what we were doing was great and complimented our caring staff. It’s great to make a positive impact in the community like that.”
Spirit of Blue River Pervades All-Staff In-Service
It’s been a while since all 400 plus Blue River Services, Inc. employees gathered in the same room, but the November 3 all-staff in-service was just cause for the 13-department agency to shut down for one afternoon. The meeting showcased the spirit of Blue River and the remarkable transformations that bud and flourish there.
From the grave shift workers who make sure consumers are safe at night to the patron saints of child care, transportation, habilitation, family services, and even the ladies (and one gentleman) upstairs in the administration building who balance the books, one thing resounds – we are all working toward one collective mission to serve our community and those in it who need us most.
Daniel J. Lowe, President and CEO of Blue River Services, Inc., kicked off the jungle-themed meeting at Lincoln Hills Christian Church by welcoming and thanking employees for their passion and dedication.
“No matter what area you work in, no matter what group you serve, no matter your model of serving people, the common factor is, we are all trying to help our friends and neighbors become more independent and self-sufficient … to lead happier and healthier lives in positive environments,” Lowe said.
“What we give people is the opportunity to succeed and the tools to make that happen,” he continued. “Make no mistake, you and Blue River Services are making a huge difference in our community as a whole and for 18,000 plus individuals and families that you serve.”
“Today is a celebration… it’s a celebration of you. Because you are what makes it happen and what makes Blue River services a vital part of the communities we work in.”
Another highpoint of the day was seeing firsthand the agency’s mission in action. Simply called “success stories” on the agenda – nothing could have prepared attendees for the magnitude of those two words.
Bound by small-town poverty but bonded in mutual interests that surpass the typical schoolyard clicks, a group of fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Medora Elementary School was one of the afternoon highlights. A nod to Children’s Services’ Reach for a Star extended day learning, the after-school program offers participation in clubs and other enrichment activities in addition to homework assistance. One program that stood out to 12-year-old Julie Bartley was the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). Bartley, who now serves as sergeant, called the program “amazing” and credits it with helping her build self-confidence and deflect bullying. After addressing the crowd, Bartley and the group of cadets marched to the stage and impressed with a synchronized drill twirling wooden rifles.
Another inspiring success story was that of a man whose radiating enthusiasm and determination legitimize Blue River Services’ mission. The journey of Jerry Beverley, profiled by Tim Beitzel, Supervised Group Living Director, was clearly a personal point of pride for the entire room.
Since moving into Corydon-Ramsey Group Home 12 years ago, Jerry, who now resides at Summit View Group Home, has developed a knack for working with pea gravel, leather and jewelry boxes – skills that have made him a tremendous asset at the Corydon Blue River Industries workshop where consumers earn competitive wages fulfilling light manufacturing contracts for local businesses. Jerry also is part of the janitorial team that cleans several agency facilities each week.
In the community, he works at Goodwill, volunteers at the animal shelter, is an active member of First Capitol Church, and enjoys competing in the Special Olympics and bowling.
“I have known Jerry since he started here, and it is an honor to recognize his achievements,” said Beitzel, noting that his success stems from the teamwork of staff at Corydon Blue River Industries, Employment Services, Habilitation and Supervised Group Living.
Described as a “kind, active and energetic person,” Jerry was then called to the stage.
“I like my job at Goodwill,” Jerry said. “I like my church… I like Faye,” he continued, speaking about Faye Wilburn, his advocate who he lovingly refers to as “Mom.” He even pointed her out to the crowd before summing up by saying, “Thank you.”
His brief but poignant speech prompted tears and a standing ovation.
“Without Blue River Services, he may have never realized his full potential and grown in so many ways,” said Beitzel. “He is truly an example of how anyone can achieve success with some help and a great attitude.”
Indeed, from the youngest minds to the biggest personalities, Blue River Services impacts people’s lives, but the lesson was that they profoundly impact ours as well.
Perhaps that’s why nearly half of Blue River Services’ employees have been with the agency for five years, a staggering 21 percent are celebrating tenure of five years or more, and six percent are at least 20-year veterans.
Or maybe it’s because such devotion doesn’t go unnoticed.
“As part of this celebration, we recognized the valuable contributions you make and how long you have been making them,” said Lowe.
Extended to employees on their five-year anniversary with Blue River Services and every five years thereafter, this years’ Service Awards recognized 35 employees for their dedication and service.
The most significant milestone was that of Donna Davis, habilitation manager in the Community Resources Department, who was honored for her 35 years of service. Davis also won this year’s Donna J. Gettelfinger Spirit of Blue River Award in the Day Programs Division.
Named in honor of former co-worker and friend Donna J. Gettelfinger, who played a major role in establishing them, the Spirit of Blue River Awards recognize the outstanding qualities of employees who far exceed the call of duty and are bestowed upon those who are the true embodiment of the agency’s motto “People Serving People.”
In addition to Davis, Heather Richard, manager of the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program, and Dawn Pigg, regional manager of In-Home Services South, both took home Spirit of Blue River Awards in their divisions.
Other employees with notable milestones included Nona Besendorf, social service liaison with Residential Supervised Group Living, who was recognized for 30 years of service, Patty Satterfield, executive assistant to the president and CEO, who was recognized for her 25 years of service, and Murie Medlock, in-home services and structured family manager; Teresa Long, fiscal accounting manager; and Penny Donaldson, life skills instructor at Klerner Group Home, who all celebrated 20 years with the agency.
Amidst door prizes peppered throughout the event to keep the crowd excited were several engaging guest speakers, including Milltown Police Chief (Marshal) Ray Saylor, who detailed the importance of partnership in his drug awareness discussion, and Michael Harper with TeamWorx, who led attendees in a series of amusing team building activities.
Blue River’s IT guru Bryan Block, dubbed the Jungle Hacker, also shared his knowledge and important insights on how to keep confidential information and computers safe; and Rhonda Elrod, employment services manager, and Sharon Chumley, bookkeeper, lent their musical talents to a whimsical rendition of HIPAA compliance.
As the event came to a close, something Lowe said in his speech resonated.
“I often say that Blue River tries to weave itself into the fabric of the community,” he said. “Everything we do adds up to supplying the opportunity and the tools to be independent and self-sufficient. What comes with independence and self-sufficiency is the self-respect and dignity that each human being deserves, no matter the difficulties and challenges they may face.”
Lowe then summed up the day’s purpose with one keen point.
“Much of your success is measured by the success of others, and what could be more noble than that?”
Photo: Daniel J. Lowe, President and CEO, welcomes employees at the all-staff in-service.
Human Resources Director Bonnie Woertz Highlighted in WorkOne Employer Spotlight
Since 1959, Blue River Services, Inc. has provided people of all backgrounds and levels of ability opportunities to grow and thrive at home, work, and in the community. Serving 32 Indiana counties, Blue River's extensive reach and rich history in the state continue to have a significant impact. In fiscal year 2016, Blue River Services, Inc. served more than 23,000 people through essential programs such as First Steps, Healthy Families, WIC, low-income and transitional housing, youth services, education, employment services, and much more.
Bonnie Woertz, Human Resources Director, has embraced the opportunity to gain extra help in order to benefit the community by utilizing WorkOne's Work Experience Program. This program allows young adults to gain experience in a career field of their interest for 6-8 weeks and is free of cost to the employer. This allows an employer to gain additional help while also mentoring a young adult in our community.
"Blue River Services is always looking for individuals who want to work in a caring environment of 'people serving people.' That is our motto and it truly sums up what we do. Whether a BRS employee works in a direct care position or an office position within the Human Resources Department, we all play an integral part in making someone's life better. This is an awesome responsibility with an equally awesome reward," states Bonnie.
Blue River Services has hosted interns in areas such as clerical, human resources, direct support professionals, and data entry. These are wonderful opportunities for our young adults to develop skills and explore opportunities that are in line with their career goals.
If you are interested in learning more about the Work Experience Program you can contact WorkOne at 812-948-6102.
Second Annual Blue River Services Job Fair
Now the 14th largest non-profit in the Louisville metropolitan area, Blue River Services, Inc. held its second annual job fair in hopes of recruiting even more caring individuals to help further its mission. The October 19 event drew dozens of applicants to the community room at the Harrison County Community Foundation in Corydon, where interviews were conducted on the spot.
“The job fair was a big success,” said Bonnie Woertz, Human Resources Director who organized the event. “We had several participants who are in the process of filling positions as a result.”
Blue River Services’ mission is to further the independence of people with disabilities and, when appropriate, the general public. In sight of this goal, the agency annually serves more than 22,000 people in 32 Indiana counties. To learn more about job opportunities, please contact Human Resources at 812-738-0776 or click on the “Careers” tab at the top of the page.
Pictured above: Dean DeKemper, First Steps System Point of Entry Supervisor, right, and Sandy Puckett, Human Resources Administrative Assistant, review an application during the job fair.
Pictured top right: Staff, including Becky Watters, Youth Services Manager, left, and Jennifer Sieber, Manager of Rainbow's End Child Care Center Corydon, interviewed candidates at the second annual job fair.
BRS Joins Nationwide Effort to Keep “Lights On Afterschool"
Blue River Services, Inc. Children’s Services staff sponsored a booth at Corydon’s annual Trick or Treat at the Track event held October 31 at the Harrison County Fairgrounds, where nearly 3,000 children received treats from local organizations and business. But for Blue River Services, the event was twofold. Staff not only provided essential information about educational opportunities for children, including afterschool programs and preschool at the agency’s four state-licensed child care centers, but it also promoted “Lights on Afterschool,” the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs.
“As a provider of Reach for a Star after-school programs at six public schools, Blue River Services knows firsthand the importance of engaging students with hands-on learning opportunities after school,” said Julia Baylor, Director of Children’s Services at Blue River Services. “Our programs are designed to not only provide students and families with safe afterschool environments, but also to inspire learning and give students the essential supports they need to succeed in school and beyond.”
Launched in October 2000, the Lights On Afterschool effort has become a hallmark of the afterschool movement and annually sees more than one million Americans celebrate at more than 8,000 events nationwide.
Pictured: Kayla Stone, Afterschool Coordinator for Morgan Elementary School, passes out information and treats.
Blue River Services Shows Appreciation for Structured Family Caregiving
In appreciation of those who dedicate their time and support, Blue River Services, Inc. hosted a carnival-themed Structured Family Caregiving Luncheon July 29 at Southern Hills Church in Salem, Indiana. Yvonne Meadows was named Householder of the Year for her commitment to providing exceptional care for people with extensive needs, and Emma Waldridge was selected as Resident of the Year for her tenacity in overcoming several physical obstacles.
With vibrant colors, activities and food prepared by volunteers, the event also recognized 15 program residents for the goals they achieved over the past year.
Structured Family Caregiving, part of the Community Resources Department at Blue River Services, Inc., offers a unique solution for adults with disabilities who can’t manage their own care. Made possible by the U.S. government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Indiana’s Aged and Disabled Waiver, the program matches consumers with responsible, caring families who provide programming and services in their home. In fiscal year 2016, 86 percent of consumers who participated in the program reported a positive experience, and all parents and guardians of consumers placed in a family caregiver’s home responded positively.
Since no carnival would be complete without balloon animals, college student Bailey Seitz volunteered her talent as a balloon artist crafting everything from giraffes, puppies, cats and bears to parrots and an amusing but functional hat, which seemed to be a crowd favorite.
Structured Family Caregiving Manager Murie Medlock wrapped up the luncheon with a photo presentation marking the great strides, as well as a few adventures, residents had throughout the year.
Blue River Services Prom A Night to Remember
Surrounded by pastel hues of blue, pink, green and yellow, adults with disabilities and their guests danced the night away October 1 at Southern Hills Church in Salem, Indiana. More than 100 guests attended this year’s Blue River Services, Inc. Prom – a record turnout for the annual event.
Now in its ninth year, the prom organized by Blue River Services staff and volunteers inspired a night to remember with a Kentucky Derby theme. But instead and red rose garlands, attendees anxiously awaited another type adornment.
During the Royal Court ceremony, the most coveted titles of King and Queen went to Patrick James and Carol Stocking, respectively, who both participate in Blue River Services’ group habilitation at the Washington Center in Salem and reside at two of the agency’s seven group homes.
Donald Kost and Tracy Carpenter were crowned Prince and Princess, Bill Polokoff and Linda Wilson were named Dutch and Dutchess, and the sweethearts of the Prom were Dennis Martin and Cindy Lawson, who chose to make the event their first official date.
After photographs, prom goers enjoyed cupcakes and lemonade at tables decorated with flowers, LED candlelight ambiance and champagne glasses each guest took home as a memento.
With some help from DJ Paul Dinklocker, the dance floor was packed from the beginning of the evening until the last song.
“Guests do not pay to attend and are guaranteed a night to remember,” said Tammy Seitz, Director of Community Resources at Blue River Services, Inc.
Staff and consumers are already gearing up for next year’s event – the prom’s tenth anniversary – which Seitz suspects will draw even more participants.
If you would like to contribute to next year’s prom, in-kind and monetary donations are accepted at any Blue River Services location. Please call 812-738-2018 for more information.
$100,000 Capital Campaign is at 95% of goal!
Thanks to the generosity of the Harrison County Community Foundation and the individuals and businesses in the community we have raised $95,000 for our Capital Campaign. Blue River Services, Inc. would truly appreciate your gift or pledge to support our $100,000 capital campaign to obtain the $100,000 Challenge Grant from the Paul Ogle Foundation.
The Plaza Building on South Capital Avenue in downtown Corydon that houses the Rainbow’s End Child Care Center and our First Steps of Southern Indiana staff is in need of renovations to make our building energy efficient. We are just $5,000 away from reaching our fundraising goal. And we are just two weeks away from the deadline of December 1, 2012 to raise the remaining funds to secure the $100,000 Challenge Grant from the Paul Ogle Foundation.
The combine efforts of the Capital Campaign and the grant from the Paul Ogle Foundation will give us $200,000 for the renovations at the Plaza Building in Corydon. To learn more about our Capital Campaign and to download a donor/pledge card please click on the link below to help us reach our fundraising goal.
If you are unable to make a donation now, then please consider making a pledge to the campaign. You would have until June 1, 2013 to pay the pledge to the Capital Campaign. All donations are tax deductible. Please contact Evelyn McPherson the Director of Community Relations & Fund Development at (812) 738-4196 for additional information or questions.
ALL PROCEEDS Benefit THE MISSION OF BLUE RIVER SERVICES, INC.
The 14th Annual Golf Scramble at Old Capital Golf Club took place Friday, August 12.
Thank you to all our sponsors and players!
Lucas Oil Products, Inc.
Kintner House Inn
Mid-Southern Savings Bank, FSB
Rodefer Moss & Co, PLLC
Beanblossom-Cesar Funeral Home
Bennett & Bennett Insurance Inc.
Blitz Manufacturing Company
Corydon Computer Center
First Harrison Bank
GKN Sinter Metals
Grace Tabernacle Church
The Corydon Democrat
The Waters of Salem, LLC
Eddie Gilstrap Motors
Bradley & Associates, Inc. CPA's
Butt Drugs, Inc
Carver Body Shop
Community First Bank
Dr. Bruce E. Burton
Dr. Dawn R Durbin
First Harrison Bank
Harrison County Chamber of Commerce
Harrison County Community Foundation
Heritage Ford-Mercury, Inc
Horseshoe of Southern Indiana
Indiana Utilities Corp
John Jones GM City
King's-Quality Restoration Services
Kintner House Inn
L & D Mail Masters
L & N Federal Credit Union
Lanesville Food Mart, Inc
Michell Timperman Ritz Architects
Mid Southern Savings Bank FSB
Rodney V. Seelye
Rodefer Moss & Company PLLC
Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital
Stout Williams Burke Ins Agcy Inc
The Corydon Democrat
Heritage Engineering LLC
Mulzer Crushed Stone, Inc
Ann’s Chem Dry
Jay C Food Store
L & D Mail Masters
Come on out and show your Blue River Spirit at the 5K Run, 5K Walk, One Mile Walk and Splash and Shiver for Blue River! The event will be held on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Buffalo Trace Park in Palmyra. All proceeds will help support the mission of Blue River Services.
Click here for Registration forms:
Become a Sponsor! Click here for a Sponsorship form
To learn more about how to participate or to become a Sponsor, please contact Evelyn McPherson, Director of BRS Community Relations & Fund Development Department at 812-738-4196 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Take the Dash to Raise Cold Cash!”
5K Run/5K Walk/One Mile Walk Awards
5K Run Sponsors
Pacers & Racers
Lanesville Food Mart
Lucas Oil Products, Inc.
Faith Ingle Smith LLC
Lanesville Heritage Weekend, Inc.
Corydon Lions Club
Crandall Lions Club
First Harrison Bank
Kellums Imprints & Trophies
Longbottom & Hardsaw, Inc.
New Salisbury Lions Club
Worley Lumber Company
Access Storage in Corydon
Albin Jewelers, Inc.
Cobb Heating & Cooling Inc.
First Investment Professionals
Fredericksburg Lions Club
Harrison Co. Community Foundation
Jacobi Sales Inc.
Jay C Food Stores
Laconia Lions Club
Lanesville Lions Club
Lincoln Hill Insurance Agency
Northgate Urgent Care
St. Michael Church
Gehlbach & Royse Funeral Homes
Mary Jane Hochstetler
New Middletown Lions Club
Robert S. Mattingly DMD
Salem True Value Hardware
Thomas E. Scifres, Attorney at Law
Culver’s of Corydon
Derby Dinner Playhouse
Hypnosis by Randy
The Fun Farm
Bennett & Bennett Insurance, Inc.
Frisch's Big Boy
Mortenson Family Dental
The UPS Store #4193
Department of Natural Resources
Harrison County EMS
Harrison County Parks Department
Harrison County Sheriff Department
Indiana State Police
Boy Scout Troop 412
Horseshoes “HERO” Volunteers
Palmyra Volunteer Fire Dept.
Tony & Jeanette Nolan