Live – October 2021

Odd wildflowers are popping up all over New Danville’s grounds. They aren’t really flowers, but they are a sign of new developments.

The red, yellow, and orange plastic marker flags that flutter in the wind actually mark underground utilities. Knowing where they are is critical when it comes to how much work is soon to take place as a variety of drainage projects are underway at New Danville. “Some of the projects have been necessary for a while, and some are in preparation for plans we have for the future. It only makes sense to fix all the issues since we now have the opportunity to do so,” said Randy Smyth, Director of Operations.

Residents, parents, guardians and day program participants are happy about the changes that will change water flow on the campus and eliminate the puddling issues in Meadowbrook, as well as minimize standing water in other areas.

“As we envision a future with more facilities for residents, classrooms, gathering areas, and more, we need to begin changing the shape of our terrain. The changes are important first steps,” CEO Eva Aguirre said, “and we are blessed to have the resources to begin making these changes.”


Live – September 2021

Living on site and working at New Danville has helped both Anthony’s and Morgan’s careers, but in ways different than first expected. The decision to move to New Danville sounds like something from an HGTV show.

Antony and Morgan

Anthony was attending nursing school and working with a Wrangler when, in 2017, a coincidence of conditions brought him to New Danville as a staff member. New Danville’s leadership wanted to find someone who would be available to the Wranglers in the evenings and weekends, and could provide some basic medical assistance when needed. While attending a Parent Night meeting on behalf of his client, Anthony learned of the plan and, of the just-vacated home. 

He called his then-girlfriend, Morgan, and told her of a housing opportunity. “It’s a bit different of a situation,” he said.

“We were looking for a place to live,” Morgan said. “As soon as he brought me out here, I fell in love with it. It was unconventional but nearly perfect. After we walked through the house, I asked, “Can we do something with those cabinets?  That color has to go. Can we paint them?’ They agreed and here we are,” she said with a smile.

Anthony graduated from nursing school in 2019 and now works in an ICU unit, and Morgan recently graduated with a psychology major and human services minor. Morgan provides assistance to a few Wrangler residents.

Both observed that working at New Danville has helped their career experiences by teaching them better communications skills and patience.


Live – August 2021

“He doesn’t like stopping for anything,” Kathy said about her son, Kenny, who has lived at Meadowbrook for ten years.

“He always takes the brakes off his bike. Always. Always has, always will.”

Kenny certainly likes to be “going”…going bowling, going into town, going to New Danville’s day programs, going around Meadowbrook to say hello to all his neighbors… When he does slow down, he enjoys sitting on his front porch, enjoying the view of New Danville’s hills and neighboring cattle.

Kenny cited several things that he likes about living in Meadowbrook, New Danville’s residential community. When asked what his favorite thing about living on site was, he quickly responded.  “My friends.  Definitely my friends.”

Kathy explained that Kenny had an injury as a child that changed life. As a teacher, she learned about various programs and opportunities available to adults with special needs after they graduate from high school. “New Danville was still new,” she said, “but Kenny and I liked the environment here.  And it was affordable.” An opportunity presented itself whereby she could pay for a house to be built in Meadowbrook so Kenny would have a place to live. Her support and philanthropically minded contractors enabled her to have a house built, which she donated to New Danville. She remains active as a parent volunteer in support of the Wranglers.

He admits to wanting more things to do in the off-hours, though he keeps himself busy by brushing the animals in the animal therapy program, playing video games with his friends, and exploring the campus, usually by bicycle.  Kenny said he hopes New Danville has a community center someday with a pool table. He demonstrates the motion of stroking a pool cue, grinning at the thought of shooting a game of pool. In the meantime, he will remain on the go.

He loves riding his bike.  When asked how he stops without brakes, he said “I use my feet.” 

“Like Fred Flintstone?”  Kenny nodded with a big smile.  “Yes, yes.” As his mom reminds, Kenny lives on the go and in the moment, and usually with his warm grin.


The Social Club is back in business

It’s baaaaaccccck…and no one could be happier than the Wranglers. The Social Club is back in business, taking two social excursions per month so Wranglers can take in pizza, movies, mall trips or dining out. But, the Club is not just about having fun, enjoying each other’s company, eating yummy food, laughing, and all that good stuff.  “The Wranglers get to showcase their independence as individuals,” said Jennifer Mauboules, who now runs the program.

New Danville clients (Wranglers) enjoy Social Club visit to Cane’s for chicken dinner

2020 threw a wrench in the works of the Social Club’s plans, but the long-standing tradition has been re-engaged under new leadership after the retirement of Sherry Franklin who ran the program for years. Jennifer put a notice on the lunchroom wall at noon and by close of business the same day, all the seats for the upcoming trip were filled, she said. Of course, if a Wrangler cannot get a seat on New Danville transportation, they can have their parent/guardian provide transportation to and from the meeting place.

The group meets twice a month. As with everything at New Danville, the empowerment of the Wranglers is paramount. “They get to apply everything they’ve learned in day habilitation programs, under the guidance of staff. It helps us see other areas that we can help them learn and develop.”

Wranglers don’t attend all the activities, thus a range of offerings. Many will find the trips they like and learn how to save money for the excursion. “They learn how to save and budget, how to pay for their purchases, how to tip and so much more,” Jennifer added.

If you would like more information about the Social Club, contact Jennifer at Jennifer.Mauboules@NewDanville.org.


Kristen’s spirit

 

Her favorite miniature horse at New Danville is named Perfection. The name closely matches Kristen’s spirit. A resident at Meadowbrook since its opening in 2010, she first became familiar with our little community in Willis when she began attending the day programs in 2009. A few minutes with Kristen, her toy horse Brownie, and her mom Connie shed light on life in Meadowbrook. 

Kristen learned about horseback riding thanks to some of the people her dad knew early in his career. Her love of horses was just one of the attractions for her to New Danville. “As soon as I saw Perfection, I felt connected to him. And him to me, too,” she added with a smile. She and another New Danville resident ride horses at a stable in Magnolia once a week. 

While holding her toy horse, Brownie, Kristen said the top reasons she likes living here are the ability to walk to the day programs and the ability to see Perfection whenever she wants. Connie added, “I believe what she is getting at is that living here gives her a sense of independence while feeling safe, secure, and happy.” 

Kristen laughs by adding, “A swimming pool would be a nice addition, too.”

Connie, who volunteers with Legally Authorized Representative Alliance (LARA), a group of people who support New Danville and the Wranglers, smiled her affirmation. “I’m glad that the plans including adding more for the Wranglers to do on evenings and weekends. That will be nice.”

Hopefully, Kristen will have some new neighbors in the not-too-distant future.

New Danville’s leadership has undertaken a three-year capital initiative that will bring new residences, a recreational facility, assisted living options, and a variety of other enhancements to the campus and for the programs. For more information on how to support the Wranglers, contact Dion McInnis, Development Director at either Dion.McInnis@NewDanville.org or 936-253-5757 x 1008.

 




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