July 21st, 2024

CORE Association celebrates 70 years supporting individuals with developmental disabilities

By BRENDAN MILLER on June 14, 2024.

CORE Association is celebrating 70 years of service in the community with a variety of events throughout the summer. The nonprofit will also reveal its new branding and logo to the community on June 28.--NEWS PHOTO BRENDAN MILLER


From humble beginnings 70 years ago, CORE Association was founded by a group of parents seeking education for their disabled children in 1954, and now serves approximately 100 individuals living with long-term developmental disabilities.

The nonprofit also provides housing for 35 adults who require continual care, and provides resources, programs and support to individuals and their families, including employment and outreach services.

“We really strive to have the individuals be as active in the community as possible,” says executive director Wendy Eback, who has been with CORE for 37 years. “Some are actively employed throughout the summer and that means a real wage with a real employer relationship.”

To celebrate its 70th anniversary, CORE Association will be hosting a handful of events over the summer, beginning with a celebration event for members and their families at Kin Coulee Park on June 22 at 11:30 a.m.

The family celebration event will include face painting, bouncy castles and food trucks.

Four days later on June 26 the association will introduce new branding and logo during its annual general meeting.

To wrap up the month, CORE plans to introduce its rebranding to the community at an open house celebration on June 28 that will include an official ribbon cutting with members of the Southeast Alberta Chamber of Commerce.

On Aug. 10 the association will also celebrate 10 years of operating the 13th Street residence that provides continual housing and care for adults with developmental disabilities.

Later that month, on Aug. 24, CORE will host a block party barbecue honouring former executive director Rita Bessant, who passed away this year a short time after retiring from the role she held for 42 years.

Aside from living assistance and support programs, CORE also keeps members busy and active in the community by providing several volunteer opportunities. Each year they provide hundreds of work hours for other community organizations, such as the Root Cellar and SPCA.

“We can have them volunteering where they want to volunteer,” explains Eback. “We have a community garden and we do Adopt-A-Park and Adopt-A-Pond. We take part in whatever activities are going on downtown.”

CORE also runs a community kitchen for members and runs several social groups, allowing individuals to learn life skills and become active members in the community.

“That’s the thing I’ve seen the most over the years that I’ve been working in the field,” says Eback. “You went from an expectation that people should go to an institution to the expectation that they will have the best quality of life that they can achieve.”

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