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Willows Way to Host Art of Wine Fundraiser Oct. 5 Showcasing the Artistic Talents of Area Adults with Developmental Disabilities

The artists receive 100% of the proceeds from their art sales

There is no question that art can evoke a variety of feelings and emotions, both in the artist and in its audience. But for an adult with a developmental disability, learning to make a brush stroke, mix paints, focus a camera and see the world through the eye of an artist can have a profound impact.

On Thursday, Oct. 5, St. Charles-based non-profit Willows Way will showcase artwork from adults with physical and developmental challenges participating in its innovative Mentor Arts Program and St. Charles Photography Club at its fourth annual "Art of Wine" fundraising event at EdgeWild Restaurant & Winery in Chesterfield, MO. Tickets to the event cost $40 each and are available for purchase online at willowsway.org.

Read more: Willows Way to Host Art of Wine Fundraiser Oct. 5

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Brian Brooks Appointed to Willows Way Board of Directors

Willows Way, an organization based in St. Charles, MO that supports adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has appointed Brian Brooks, 41, of Town and Country, MO to its Board of Directors.

Brooks, who has an 18-year-old son with autism, says he plans to use his experiences raising a child with a severe developmental disability to help others within the Willows Way organization.

Read more: Brian Brooks Appointed to Willows Way Board of Directors

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Willows Way Clients Photograph Anheuser-Busch Brewery for Art of Wine Event

Members of the Saint Charles Photography Meetup group, organized by Willows Way Associate Director of Independent Living Melodee Benton, took a tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery on Tuesday where its members, which included Willows Way clients, took photos of the sights around the brewery. Mentored by professional photographer and volunteer Kathy Curry, Willows Way clients were encouraged to take photos to be exhibited and sold at Willows Way's annual Art of Wine event scheduled for September.

Read more: Willows Way Clients Photograph Anheuser-Busch Brewery for Art of Wine Event

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We are moving right along...

We are making much progress on the extensive renovations to our facility. Last month, we moved our business offices and some program offices upstairs to our newly renovated space, now connected to the lower level via a new elevator and staircase.

With the offices moved upstairs, construction is now underway to renovate the lower level to accommodate our extremely popular, and expanding, day services program. The renovations will enable 25 -30 additional individuals to participate in the program, which we have renamed RISE - Reaching Independence Through Social Engagement. Current services provided on the lower level will not be interrupted by the construction, and will continue as scheduled.

Read more: Willows Way Construction Update

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Local Resources Available to Plan Summer Fun Activities for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Summer can be a fun time of the year, but for adults with developmental disabilities, finding summer programs and activities that accommodate their special needs can be challenging.

Melodee Benton, Associate Director of Independent Living at Willows Way, says there are many organizations and resources available locally that offer summer activities catered specifically for adults with developmental disabilities, which may include autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, pervasive developmental disorders, cerebral palsy, and intellectual disabilities.

Exploring the world around them, and socializing with others in meaningful activities can often times have a profound, positive affect on a person with a developmental disability, said Benton.

"Art and music, physical exercise and outdoor exploration are ideal activities for strengthening social relationships and improving the emotional and physical well-being of us all," said Benton.

Read more: Local Resources Available to Plan Summer Fun Activities for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

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Willows Way Sponsors People First of Missouri Conference, Several Clients Attend

Willows Way clients Johanna, Victoria and Stacey were among the many attendees at the People First of Missouri (PFMO) 2017 Conference, April 21-23 in Osage Beach, MO.

PFMO is a statewide organization that promotes equality for people with disabilities so they can live the life they want in the community.

Willows Way was also a sponsor of the conference. Sponsorships, advertisers and exhibitors help to keep registration costs to the event affordable for self-advocates and provide a limited number of scholarships.

Read more: Willows Way Sponsors People First of Missouri Conference

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We're on the move!

Over this past weekend, we moved our business offices upstairs to our newly renovated space, now connected to the lower level through a new elevator and staircase. The next phase will be remodeling the lower level to expand our RISE - Reaching Independence Through Social Engagement and Realities programs!

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Happy Easter from Willows Way

Ellen, Arlie and Ryan, participants in our Project HEART program, had an "eggcellent" time on April 13 expressing themselves through decorating Easter eggs.

Read more: Happy Easter from Willows Way

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K.C. Realizes Joys of Independent Living Through Willows Way Realities Program

Willows Way provides independent living services in numerous ways. The Developmental Disabilities Resource Board of St. Charles County supports our Realities service which provides approved adults up to eight hours of individualized services in areas such as teaching menu planning and personal budgeting; assisting in roommate and house searches; help with doctor's visits and improving self-advocacy skills. 

Read more: K.C. Realizes Joys of Independent Living Through Willows Way Realities Program

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Project HEART Participant Boosts Her Confidence Hosting Monthly Craft Club

E.W. is a very active lady who regularly participates in Project HEART – a Willows Way program of evening educational classes that focuses primarily on health and/or safety-related topics such as cooking and nutrition, exercise and personal hygiene, driver’s education, building healthy relationships, improving problem-solving skills, health and the human body, and internet security and privacy issues, to name a few.

Read more: Project HEART Participant Boosts Her Confidence Hosting Monthly Craft Club

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RISE - Reaching Independence Through Social Engagement Program Helps Client Improve Reading Skills

As part of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March, we will be sharing stories of Willows Way clients and their personal achievements through participation in our various programs. This week, we would like to introduce you to 61-year-old S.H., a participant in our RISE - Reaching Independence Through Social Engagement program.

Read more: RISE - Reaching Independence Through Social Engagement Program Helps Client Improve Reading Skills

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