BigNews.Biz - Jul 16,2009 - Amidst all the bad news of human services budget cuts for adults with autism, Down Syndrome, and other developmental disabilities, Garden Center Services gives a glimmer of hope to its participants who are rehearsing for their big Variety Show. “Being Mistress of Ceremonies is the highlight of my life!” exclaims Mary, a program participant, who will announce the evening’s events at 7:00 pm on Thursday, July 23, 2009 at Shepard High School at 131st and Ridgeland in Palos Heights. Tickets are $5, but seating is limited to 300.
“Many dream of being actors and actresses. This Variety Show is something they look forward to all year, and helps them to accomplish their dreams,” says Jenna Kopf, Garden Center’s Day Program Assistant and producer of the show. Last year, the participants performed Grease to a sell-out crowd. This year’s show features acts impersonating the Blues Brothers, Cher, scenes from Annie and the Wizard of Oz. There will also be cheerleading, magic, comedy, and even spoken-word acts. In the lobby of the theater, t-shirts autographed by the performers will be available for sale, with 100% of the proceeds going towards supporting Garden Center Services programs.
Founded by parents in 1956, Garden Center Services serves 150 adults with autism, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and other developmental disabilities through vocational day programs, supported employment programs, a Thrift Shoppe in Lemont, 9 group homes and 2 intermediate care facilities. Headquartered in Burbank, IL, the agency employs 155 direct support and administrative personnel to ensure adults with disabilities live full, meaningful lives. Over 90% of Garden Center Services’ funding comes through the State of Illinois, and significant cuts would have to be made if the current State budget were passed.
Camera crews, photo shoots and interviews are encouraged!
Carol Hill, Director of Development, Garden Center Services