Ameren Missouri helps United Services provide therapy for children
November 4, 2016
A $2,000 grant from Ameren Missouri will help United Services for Children provide pediatric therapy services to hundreds of children.
Ameren Missouri provided the grant through its sponsorship of United Services’ “Field of Dreams” annual dinner auction in August. United Services used the money to support its Uncommon Grace Pediatric Therapy program, which provides physical, occupational and speech therapy for children.
Founded in 1902 as Union Electric, Ameren Missouri is now the state’s largest electric utility. Ameren Missouri provides electric service to approximately 1.2 million customers across central and eastern Missouri, including 63 counties and more than 500 towns. It is the state’s second largest distributor of natural gas.
Bob Whittaker Memorial Golf Outing donates $2,500 to United Services
United Services for Children thanks the organizers of the Bob Whittaker Memorial Golf Outing for generously donating $2,500 of the event’s proceeds to our agency. We will use the money to ensure children of all abilities reach their full potential through programs such as early intervention and pediatric therapy.
Robert “Bob” N. Whittaker, Sr., who passed away Jan. 3, 2016, founded Whittaker Homes in the 1970s. The company became one of the region’s most successful homebuilders. An avid golfer, Whittaker owned and operated several golf courses, including Whitmoor Country Club in St. Charles, where the memorial golf outing was held on Sep. 19 to honor Whittaker’s philanthropic spirit.
Pictured are Shae McCarney, granddaughter of Bob Whittaker, Sr.; Kelly Vetter, Whittaker’s daughter; and Shirley Whittaker, Whittaker’s wife; presenting a $2,500 check to United Services President and CEO Denise Liebel,
NAP state tax credits available for donations to United Services
November 2, 2016:
United Services for Children has $250,000 in tax credits available to benefit qualified donors.
United Services for Children was one of 42 Missouri nonprofit organizations that the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) approved for a total of $8,014,584 in tax credits under the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP). NAP helps nonprofit organizations raise private-sector funds by providing partial state tax credits to businesses that make contributions to approved community improvement projects.
Businesses can donate cash, stocks or bonds. Credits can equal up to 50 percent of the total amount contributed, or up to 70 percent for projects located in the most rural areas.
Nonprofit organizations participating in the NAP program conduct capital campaigns or provide services in the areas of crime prevention, education, job training, physical revitalizations or community services. NAP tax credits are utilized by nonprofit organizations throughout Missouri to make their communities a more desirable place to live and work, as well as pave the way for economic development.
For more information, see:
Letter from President and CEO Denise Liebel
on the possibility of creating a children's museum in St. Charles County
August 2, 2016
These are exciting times at United Services for Children! Because you are important to us, we would like to share some of the changes that are happening at the agency and our dreams for the future.
Since 1975, United Services has met a critical need in our community, providing education and therapy for children with developmental delays and disabilities. When all public school districts were mandated to provide pre-school special education services in 1990, St. Charles County turned to us. We now serve more than 500 children a year. However, by August 2017, schools must provide pre-school special education on site. While we will continue our pediatric therapy, inclusive early intervention, and family support programs, however; the special education of 3, 4 and 5 year olds will shift to local school districts.
Change can be difficult, but it can also mean new beginnings and growth. We know there is more United Services can do to help children of all abilities reach their full potential. As we considered our future, we began brainstorming with our families, partners and shareholders.
Many of you told us you wished there was a place where a family with children with special needs and typically developing children could all go and have fun together. Or a place where parents who have disabilities could go and fully participate with their kids.
The hallmark of United Services is its emphasis on inclusion. Here, children with disabilities and typically developing children learn and play together, in the same classroom. Our dream is to give all families the opportunity to learn and play in a fully-accessible environment, outside the classroom, any day of the week.
To this end, we are studying the possibility of creating a new children’s museum in St. Charles County. Unlike most existing facilities, our museum would be designed from the ground up for universal access. People of any physical or intellectual ability would be able to use and enjoy the museum. For example, the design would take into account children with autism who are overwhelmed by too much sensory stimulation or a father who uses a wheelchair and needs to be able to roll up to an exhibit so he can enjoy it with his children, just like any other parent.
We conducted a market study that shows St. Charles County families are yearning for an opportunity to educate and enrich their children’s lives within their own community. A truly inclusive children’s museum does not exist in the St. Louis metropolitan area, or in the country, as far as we know. A new children’s museum would improve quality of life, enrich the community, and stimulate the economy.
Our research and conversations with key stakeholders have encouraged us to continue moving forward which is both exciting and overwhelming! Good news travels fast, and we wanted to take this opportunity to share our dreams for United Services and its future with you.
There is much work to do before we decide to begin fundraising or construction. So for now, the museum is a dream—one we hope will become reality.
We value you and invite you to contact us with any questions or concerns. In the meantime, we will keep you posted on our progress. We are grateful for your continued support along this transformative journey!
President and CEO
United Services for Children receives $4,000 Cuivre River Electric grant
June 27, 2016: United Services for Children received a $4,000 Operation Round Up grant from the Cuivre River Electric Community Trust to support the expansion of the agency’s Uncommon Grace Pediatric Therapy outpatient program.
“We are grateful for the many ways that the Cuivre River Electric Community Trust supports our organization. Their commitment to investing in young children gives agencies like United Services the ability to help the children we serve to meet their fullest potential,” says Denise Liebel, United Services for Children President and CEO. “In partnership with Cuivre River’s Operation Round Up, we are paving the way for their future success.”
United Services launched the Uncommon Grace program in 2014 to provide affordable private physical, occupational and speech therapy on an outpatient basis to children ages birth through 8 years old. United Services expanded the program in 2015 to include aquatic physical therapy.
“Water provides an ideal therapeutic environment for children with motor delays and other disabilities. It frees them from the encumbrance of gravity and weight, and provides natural resistance to increase strength, endurance and muscle tone. It is one of the only programs in the region that offers aqua therapy delivered by pediatric physical therapists,” says Leslie Tucker, United Services Director of Therapy Services. “But the cost of operating the program made its future uncertain. The Operation Round Up grant has ensured that United Services can continue offering aqua therapy for many years to come.”
Operation Round Up has supported United Services for Children’s mission and programs in St. Peters with more than $110,000 in grants since 1997. “The Cuivre River Electric Community Trust has been a strong advocate of our programs for many years,” adds Tucker. “There is an immense need to provide services for children of all abilities. Our programs support educational needs with a focus on inclusion through specialized programs such as Uncommon Grace.”
United Services is a nonprofit pediatric therapy and developmental learning center specializing in serving preschool-age children with special needs. Approximately 1,000 children attend United Services annually. The agency provides an inclusive environment where children with disabilities learn and play alongside typically developing peers. Services include special education, preschool, speech, aqua, physical and occupational therapies, and family support programs.
Cuivre River funds are made available through Operation Round Up and administered by the seven member volunteer Cuivre River Electric Community Trust Board. These funds help support individuals, families and organizations within the Cuivre River Electric Cooperative service area. The goal of Operation Round Up is to help address needs in the areas of health, youth, education, home weatherization, community and emergency services that cannot be met with other resources. More than $4.8 million has been awarded to applicants since the Operation Round Up program began in 1997.
Cuivre River Electric Cooperative provides electricity to more than 62,500 homes and businesses in Lincoln, Pike, St. Charles and Warren counties. For more information on Operation Round Up and Cuivre River Electric Cooperative visit www.cuivre.com or call (800) 392-3709, ext. 4837.
State honors United Services for positive behavior program
June 13, 2016: State education officials recently awarded a silver-level certificate of excellence to United Services for Children, marking the second consecutive year the state has honored the nonprofit agency for encouraging positive student behavior, according to a press release.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education presented the award June 13 during a ceremony at Tan-Tar-A Resort, in Osage Beach. The department recognized 217 Missouri schools for exemplary implementation of the Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support (SW-PBS) program, a comprehensive approach for improving student behavior and academic performance. More than 700 Missouri schools participate in the SW-PBS program.
United Services for Children, founded in 1975, operates a pediatric therapy and developmental learning center for preschool-age children. Located in St. Peters, it provides services for approximately 800 children.
Rebekah Mundy, a United Services behavioral specialist, said the agency is one of the few early childhood programs to use SW-PBS, a program typically implemented at or above the elementary school level.
“No one has a program like this in our community,” Mundy said. “We did not use an off-the-shelf program. We created most of it from the ground up, adapting it for early childhood.”
The state recognizes SW-PBS participating schools at three levels — gold, silver and bronze. Last year, United Services received a bronze award for establishing a proactive foundation of consistent expectations for all students. This year, it received a silver award for providing more intense intervention for at-risk students. The awards correspond to the three tiers of SW-PBS. The third tier addresses individual students with severe needs, about 5 percent of the student population.
Mundy said the agency is developing a plan to implement Tier 3 intervention strategies. The staff is hopeful their work will earn the agency a gold award, she said.
SW-PBS began in the late 1980s as a federally funded project at the University of Oregon. Today, more than 70,000 schools across the United States use SW-PBS. United Services began developing a SW-PBS program in 2008, establishing consistent expectations for student behavior throughout all departments and classrooms. It began implementing Tier 2–level interventions three years ago.
Staff celebrates life of Tom Schutzenhofer
(March 7, 2016) United Services for Children is celebrating the life of friend and colleague Tom Schutzenhofer, who died Saturday, March 5, surrounded by his family at Progress West Hospital in O’Fallon.
Schutzenhofer worked 12 years at United Services. He began as the special education program coordinator, later becoming program manager, and finally team supervisor.
“Tom brought his professionalism, his sense of humor, and his undying love of the kids. He will be missed,” said Ann Neuner, director of educational services.
Staff gathered Monday morning to pay tribute to their beloved “Mr. Tom.” Throughout the day, they wrote down memories and printed photos that will be used to create a tribute display. United Services will dedicate the center’s outdoor rock garden to Schutzenhofer. Students will paint rocks to add to the garden, which will have a new sign bearing Schutzenhofer’s name.
Heather Ann Jones, program manager, said Schutzenhofer was a man of integrity, encouraging to staff and playful with children. “Tom always greeted you with a smile and genuine care. He made sure every child felt celebrated and loved. Tom was an educator to all; a friend, father and mentor to many; and a lover of life.”
Schutzenhofer, 64, retired from the Hazelwood School District and Special School District before joining United Services. He had a master’s degree in speech pathology. He is survived by his two daughters, three grandchildren, and two brothers.
There will be a visitation from 9 a.m.–11 a.m., Saturday, March 12, at Kassly Mortuary in Fairview Heights, Ill., followed by a memorial service in the Kassly Mortuary chapel.
Memorials can be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or Nurses for Newborns.
Letter to Parents regarding the 2017-2018 school year
April 25, 2016
Thank you for the opportunity to serve your child during the 2015-2016 school year! For over 40 years, United Services has provided the very best in Early Childhood Education and related services to the children of our community and it has been our honor to serve your family.
As you know, our partnerships with local school districts have been a very important part of our delivery system for 3, 4, and 5-year olds receiving special education services. In an effort to make the preschool-to-kindergarten experience more consistent , Fort Zumwalt, Orchard Farm, and St. Charles school districts will be fully implementing Early Childhood Special Education programs on their own campus sites over the next couple of years.
What does that mean for United Services’ families? No change for the upcoming 2016-17 school year! United Services will continue to operate all programs on the St. Peters campus as we have in the past.
When should United Services’ families prepare for change?
Families in Full Day, Preschool and Special Education should plan for alternative care and services at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. The last day of services is anticipated to be around May 22, 2017 (depending on snow days).
Is United Services going out of business? United Services is not going out of business, but will focus efforts in three areas: Uncommon Grace Pediatric Therapy, Family Support Services, and Early Intervention programs (classes designed for children under 3 years old diagnosed with special needs).
We are dedicated to all of the students entrusted to our care, and hope to make any transition as easy and comfortable for our students and their families. Watch for additional information in the fall of 2016.
Thank you for your continued support of United Services for Children.
United Services for Children
Employees Community Fund of Boeing grant supports children with disabilities
(September 2015) The Employees Community Fund of Boeing has awarded United Services for Children $11,580 to assist in purchasing technology vital to the education of children with special needs.
The grant will allow United Services for Children to purchase equipment for preschool-age students in its Early Childhood Special Education program. The equipment includes iPads with specialized apps, a Smart Board table, portable mp3 devices, adapted magnetic gears, touch switches, and wheelchair mounts. These devices are essential for children on the autism spectrum, and children who cannot communicate verbally.
“We are very grateful for the Employees Community Fund of Boeing’s generous support of the children we serve,” said Denise Liebel, president and CEO of Untied Services for Children. “This equipment will enable children to communicate with their teachers and parents, and help them learn more effectively. It will allow them to acquire essential skills that will help them throughout their lives.”
United Services for Children is a nonprofit agency that operates a pediatric therapy and developmental learning center in St. Peters. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the agency serves approximately 1,000 children annually. United Services is a leader in preparing children of all abilities to reach their full potential.
State honors United Services for positive behavior program
(June 2015) State education officials awarded a certificate of excellence to United Services for Children, honoring the agency for its efforts to encourage positive student behavior.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education presented the award June 10 during a ceremony at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach. The department recognized 280 Missouri organizations for successfully implementing the Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support (SW-PBS) program, a comprehensive approach for improving student behavior and academic performance.
Among the 280 honorees, United Services for Children was among the few that were not public schools. The nonprofit agency operates a pediatric therapy and developmental learning center for preschool-age children. Located in St. Peters, it provides services for approximately 1,000 children annually.
The agency is also one of the few early childhood programs to use Positive Behavior Support, or PBS, a program typically implemented at the elementary school level, said Mandy Settle, behavior specialist and chairwoman of the PBS program for United Services for Children.
The state recognized schools at three levels—gold, silver and bronze. United Services for Children received a bronze award. The levels correspond to the PBS program’s three tiers. The first establishes a proactive foundation of consistent expectations for all students. The second provides more intense intervention for at-risk students. The third addresses individual students with severe needs.
PBS started in the late 1980s as a federally funded project at the University of Oregon. Today, more than 70,000 schools across the United States use PBS. Approximately 700 Missouri schools participate in the state-funded SW-PBS program.
Tom Schutzenhofer, team supervisor for United Services for Children, introduced PBS to the agency in 2008. Schutzenhofer said he wanted to establish consistent expectations for student behavior throughout all departments and classrooms.
To better present PBS to children, the agency uses a tiger mascot named Paws. Children learn to observe Paws’ Laws—“be safe, be kind, be responsible.” Monica Wilmsen, early childhood special education teacher, uses a Paws hand puppet to instruct children on safety. For instance, the puppet might tell them to walk instead of run. The children do not want to disappoint Paws, she said.
DONATION ALLOWS CHILDREN OF ALL ABILITIES TO SWING TOGETHER
Three nonprofit organizations have come together to ensure children of all abilities can enjoy something most kids take for granted – playing on a swing.
Sunrise Rotary Club of St. Charles teamed up with Unlimited Play to donate an adaptive swing seat to United Services for Children, a nonprofit agency that delivers pediatric therapy and developmental learning programs to preschool-age children in St. Charles County.
“No child should be denied the fun of playing with friends just because that child has disabilities,” said Heather Jones, program manager at United Services for Children.
The specially-designed plastic swing seat has a high back to support children with low muscle tone, and a five-point harness to hold children in place. It is ideal for children who need extra physical support, Jones said. Swinging is more than just a recreational activity, she said. Children benefit from the sensory and vestibular input swinging provides.
The new swing seat was installed on United Services for Children’s toddler playground. Within minutes, children who could not use a typical swing seat were swinging alongside their friends.
Site Director Ann Neuner said the great thing about the swing seat was not that it could be used by children with disabilities, but that it could be used by all children, regardless of ability. Friends of different abilities will be able to swing alongside each other, she said.
Unlimited Play made the seat available through its Swing With Me initiative. Swing With Me seeks to make every playground more inclusive through the addition of adaptive swing seats. These seats help children improve balance and coordination, enhance core strength and trunk control, and enhance fine and gross motor skills. To receive a swing seat, nonprofit organizations must apply for a grant from Unlimited Play, which finds sponsors to finance the seats.
Sunrise Rotary sponsored seats for United Services for Children and two recipients in St. Charles – Fox Hill Park and Monroe Elementary School. The Rotary club provided $1,000, which was matched by another $1,000 from Rotary International District 6060.
UNITED SERVICES RECEIVES STELLAR PERFORMANCE AWARD
Variety the Children’s Charity has honored United Services for Children with its Stellar Performance Award.
Denise Liebel, president and CEO of United Services for Children, accepted the award Nov. 12 during Variety’s Champions for Children Summit at the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis.
“We are honored and humbled that Variety has recognized our pediatric therapy services and our outstanding therapists,” Liebel said.
Variety’s Stellar Performance Award recognizes agencies that have demonstrated exceptional dedication to the mission of serving children with physical and developmental disabilities. In addition to United Services, Variety presented Stellar Performance Awards to four other nonprofit organizations: Team Activities for Kids (TASK), Central Institute for the Deaf, Academy of St. Louis, and Sherwood Forest.
Founded in 1975, United Services operates pediatric therapy and developmental learning centers in St. Peters and Dardenne Prairie. Children with disabilities and typically developing children learn and play together in an inclusive classroom environment. United Services offers outpatient physical, occupational and speech-language therapies through its Uncommon Grace Pediatric Therapy program.
Variety the Children’s Charity serves children with physical and developmental disabilities in the St. Louis region. It partners with 61 agencies, including United Services, to support programs and give scholarships that directly impact the lives of Variety children. Variety committed to providing $3.1 million in grants to its partner agencies this fiscal year, including a grant to United Services.
Info on Enterovirus:
With so much in the news the last few days about the respiratory virus affecting kids in numerous states, the United Services for Children school nurses wanted to share some information with you about this virus and illness prevention.
The children of Room 516 created this PowerPoint slideshow to explain what Paws' Laws is all about. The voices heard belong to the students. Paws' Laws is a positive behavioral support program that teaches children to "be safe, be kind and be responsible."
Children donate $826 from lemonade stand
(June 2, 2014) Preschoolers at United Services for Children hoped their lemonade stand would make at least a few dollars, but they did not expect to raise $826.
The students on May 20 donated all the money to The BackStoppers, a St. Louis-based organization that helps the families of deceased police, firefighters and emergency services workers.
Teacher Samantha Dorey said she was “totally in shock” at how much money her students’ lemonade stand generated. The children attend class at United Services West in Dardenne Prairie, one of two pediatric therapy and preschool centers operated by United Services for Children, a nonprofit agency founded in 1975. The other center, United Services East, is located in St. Peters.
The children of Dorey’s Room 508 were studying the theme of “community helpers.” They decided to help their community by creating a lemonade stand. Teaching assistants Michelle Shepherd and Megan Beck helped the children organize the project.
The students spent two weeks planning and promoting the lemonade stand. They hung artwork throughout the building to advertise the stand. They created a menu that included donuts and chocolate chip cookies.
The children considered pricing the donuts at $500 each. After some class discussion, they realized few people would pay $500 for a donut, but lots of people would pay 25 cents for a donut, Dorey said.
The stand operated four hours on May 2, with 16 children taking turns serving in the front hallway of United Services West. They sold four gallons of lemonade, 36 donuts and 180 cookies. At the end of the day, the children counted the money and discovered, to their surprise, they had made $313.
A parent donated another $100 and a corporate supporter provided a matching donation, bringing the total to $826.
The students discussed what to do with the money. They considered giving it to teachers, food pantries, police and fire fighters, or organizations that help sick babies. Finally, the class took a vote. Police and fire fighters won.
On May 20, BackStoppers Executive Director Ron Battelle, retired St. Louis County Police chief, visited the children at United Services West. They presented him with a giant handwritten check for $826. Battelle gave the children sheriff’s badges.
United Services among seven agencies sharing $75,000 in GM Foundation grants
(May 30, 2014) United Services for Children is one of seven St. Louis-area nonprofit organizations receiving a portion of $75,000 in grants donated by the General Motors Foundation. United Services will receive $7,500.
The General Motors Foundation on May 30 announced that it would award the grants to seven organizations supporting education, child welfare, community service, and environmental programs.
Besides United Services, the GM foundation awarded grants to the United Way of Greater St. Louis, Make-A-Wish Foundation Missouri, Greenway Network, Earth Force, St. Charles City-County Library Foundation, and Junior Achievement of Greater St. Louis.
“Part of our commitment is to help support local agencies that do so much good work here,” said GM Wentzville Plant Manager Nancy Laubenthal.
Led by team members from GM's Wentzville Assembly, Laubenthal presented the grants to representatives from the seven organizations on May 30 at the Junior Achievement headquarters in Chesterfield.
The GM Foundation has awarded St. Louis-area organizations more than $700,000 in grants during the last seven years.
United Services for Children, founded in 1975, operates two pediatric therapy and developmental learning centers in St. Charles County. The agency serves approximately 1,000 children annually.
In addition to its center-based therapeutic preschool programs, United Services operates the Uncommon Grace Pediatric Therapy outpatient program, providing physical, occupational, speech, and behavioral therapy to children up to 8 years old.
(March 6, 2014) Share a little March Madness and text 80100 keyword UNITED to donate $10 to US! Thanks to our partners Heffernan Insurance Brokers for co-branding with United Services for Children during this weekend Missouri Valley Conference!
Cuivre River Electric grant assists United Services for Children
(March 5, 2014) United Services for Children received a $5,712 Operation Round Up grant from the Cuivre River Electric Community Trust to support the expansion of the agency’s Intensive Behavior Intervention Classrooms (IBIC) program and the newly launched outpatient therapy program, Uncommon Grace.
“We are grateful for the many ways that the Cuivre River Electric Community Trust supports our organization. Their commitment to investing in young children gives agencies like United Services the ability to help the children we serve to meet their fullest potential,” said Denise Liebel, United Services for Children President and CEO. “In partnership with Cuivre River’s Operation Round Up, we are paving the way for their future success.”
The IBIC program at United Services for Children began in 1999 to provide intensive, one-on-one educational services for children ages 3-5 diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or who require a concentrated instruction in a highly structured setting to facilitate their learning process. The children are taught specific skills to overcome difficulties with attention, communication, generalization, perspective taking and understanding of social and behavioral expectations.
“The children who attend our IBIC program are remarkable,” said Julia Crutchfield, United Services IBIC Manager. “Each IBIC student works with a certified Early Childhood Special Education teacher, specialized classroom instructor, occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech therapist and behavior specialist to learn individual skills. They practice group skills with classmates which are vital to successfully transitioning into a classroom with their typical peers.”
Uncommon Grace provides outpatient OT, PT, ST in group and individual sessions to children whose therapy needs extend beyond the educational setting. The grant from Operation Round Up will support the purchase of two speech and language evaluations so that children’s skills can be assessed. Speech and language therapy will target the specific deficits to facilitate improved communication abilities.
Operation Round Up has supported United Services for Children mission, facilities and programs at locations in St. Peters and Dardenne Prairie with over $105,000 in grants since 19 97. “The Cuivre River Electric Community Trust has been a strong advocate of our programs for many years,” added Tucker. “There is an immense need to provide services for children of all abilities. Our programs support educational needs with a focus on inclusion through specialized programs such as IBIC as well as our medically based therapy program, Uncommon Grace.”
United Services is a private, not-for-profit educational and therapeutic center for children with special needs. More than 800 children from 6 weeks to 5 years old attend United Services for Children. Special Education services and therapies are offered in an inclusive environment, with children learning and playing alongside typically developing peers. Services include special education, preschool, speech, physical and occupational therapies and family support programs. For more information on United Services for Children visit www.unitedservicesforchildren.org or call 636-926-2700.
Cuivre River funds are made available through Operation Round Up and administered by the seven member volunteer Cuivre River Electric Community Trust Board. These funds help support individuals, families and organizations within the Cuivre River Electric Cooperative service area. The goal of Operation Round Up is to help address needs in the areas of health, youth, education, home weatherization, community and emergency services that cannot be met with other resources. More than $4.1 million has been awarded to applicants since the Operation Round Up program began in 1997.
Cuivre River Electric Cooperative provides electricity to more than 60,000 homes and businesses in Lincoln, Pike, St. Charles and Warren counties. For more information on Operation Round Up and Cuivre River Electric Cooperative visit www.cuivre.com or call 800-392-3709.
(Feb. 6, 2014) As of today, we have seven snow days to make up. The last attendance day for children will be June 3, 2014. The last day for staff will be June 5, 2014.
(Jan. 31, 2014) As of today, we have six snow days to make up. The last attendance day for children will be June 2, 2014. The last day for staff will be June 4, 2014. If we have another snow day, we will make it up on June 3 for children and June 5 for staff. Should we have more snow days, we will keep you updated on additional calendar changes.
Knights use Tootsie Rolls to help children with disabilities
(Jan. 23, 2014) Tootsie Roll-generated donations provided a sweet surprise for a nonprofit children’s agency.
United Services for Children this month received a $1,372.50 donation from the Incarnate Word Knights of Columbus Council 9981.
Jeanne Palombo, United Services’ director of planned giving, said the agency would use the money to provide vital early intervention support and therapy to children.
“We are very grateful for the ongoing, generous support of the Knights of Columbus Council 9981, who devote countless hours of their time in the Tootsie Roll drive, raising money to help children in our community,” she said.
The 150-member council, based in Chesterfield, has donated a portion of money raised during the Tootsie Roll drive to United Services for Children every year since 2002. Palombo said this year’s donation was more than they had expected.
Don Mueller, grand knight of Council 9981, said the members wanted to support United Services’ mission to assist children with developmental disabilities. “We’ve toured the facilities and seen for ourselves the incredible job United Services does working with the children in their care,” he said.
United Services for Children, founded in 1975, operates two pediatric therapy and developmental learning centers in St. CharlesCounty. The agency serves approximately 1,000 children annually, including children with disabilities and typically developing children.
Mueller joined Andy Dyszlewski, chairman of the Tootsie Roll fundraising drive, Jan. 17 at United Services’ St. Peters center as they presented the check to Ann Neuner, site director, and Diane Wolferding, resource development director.
“Seeing how so many children will be helped by the Tootsie Roll drive is a sweet reward for me and all the other Knights of Council 9981,” Dyszlewski said.
The money was a portion of approximately $10,000 the Knights of Columbus Council 9981 raised during the Columbus Day holiday weekend in October. That is when knights hit the streets and store fronts in their communities to distribute Tootsie Rolls for the annual Drive for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, commonly referred to as the “Tootsie Roll drive.” The knights do not “sell” the candy, but distribute them in return for whatever monetary donation the recipients choose. Donations can range from pennies to hundreds of dollars.
Now in its 42nd year, the annual drive is organized through the Missouri Knights of Columbus State Council, which collects all proceeds from the drive. Half the money is used to manage the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis.
The council returns the other half to local Knights of Columbus councils to distribute to Missouri organizations that serve people with developmental disabilities.
Mueller said the drive tied in with the Knights’ four pillars — charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. He said the Knights were a “benevolent organization of Christian men” who were “humbled” to be able to help children with developmental disabilities by supporting organizations like United Services for Children.