May Newsletter
May is Better Hearing & Speech Month!
Community Partners Make Specialized Feeding Treatment Area Possible
Wyatt displays his Christmas tree made with cheese, tomato, peppers, and salami. Activities like these help care recipients enjoy food again.
Did you know that May is Better Hearing and Speech Month? According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Better Hearing and Speech Month provides an opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders and the role of ASHA members in providing life-altering treatment. One life-altering treatment provided by Speech Therapy that is often overlooked is feeding therapy.

Many children and adults with disabilities have difficulty eating due to the inability to swallow and other sensory issues. Some may suffer from food-based anxiety due to a previous choking incident or another bad experience with food. The goal of feeding therapy is for care recipients to view food as non-threatening so they can begin to enjoy eating again. Wendell Foster employs two Speech Therapists who specialize in feeding therapy. Until last year, our therapists had little room to conduct treatments in the Green Therapy Building.
Therapists converted unused office space into a makeshift feeding treatment area, but didn't have a fridge for food and beverage storage or a sink to disinfect dishes. They had no other choice but to wash dishes and utensils in the restroom sink. The area was also lacking any cooking appliances beyond a microwave, which made it difficult to cook food to the correct consistency and texture needed for therapy. Needless to say, Wendell Foster was in need of an updated feeding area with the equipment needed to serve our care recipients.

To fund the renovations to the feeding area, Wendell Foster applied for the 2022 WHAS Crusade for Children Grant. The WHAS Crusade supports children with disabilities through life-changing grants, and has been a gracious partner of Wendell Foster's for many years. Wendell Foster was thrilled to find out that we were a recipient of the 2022 grant! The WHAS Crusade would help fund new cabinets and countertops for the space, along with updated appliances such as a fridge and microwave-air fryer combo, a sink to disinfect equipment and supplies, and adjustable-height tables! As costs for the project grew from what we originally expected due to inflation, the Women's Guild of Owensboro stepped in to fund the remaining costs of the project.
Therapists, care recipients, and their families love our new Specialized Feeding Treatment Area! Updates include: beautiful new cabinetry and countertops with a sink for convenient disinfecting, a microwave-air fryer combo and fridge for food storage, and adjustable-height tables.
We are excited to unveil our newly updated Specialized Feeding Treatment Area! The new kitchen is used 30 hours a week for therapy, and is a huge hit with both care recipients and our therapists. Katlyn Lee, a Wendell Foster Speech Therapist with a specialty in feeding therapy, said the improvements have made all the difference for feeding sessions. "The new feeding room has been incredibly helpful with creating a more realistic environment for our patients who may have difficulty tolerating the kitchen setting," Katlyn said. "We are now able to make food in the feeding room, so they are tasked with the smells and sounds associated with a kitchen. The patients can be hands on so they are experiencing making foods themselves."

The updated appliances and cabinetry have also made feeding appointments more efficient and effective. "We now have enough storage space to store necessary items in the kitchen. We can access certain utensils or cups and bottles to trial with our patients without having to leave the room," explained Katlyn. "We now have a microwave and a refrigerator with a freezer that allows us to store and cook a larger variety of foods. This allows us to work on exploring and introducing different textures and fresh foods like fruits and vegetables. The adjustable-height tables provide our patients with comfortable seating, so we can provide services to those of all ages."

As we celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month, we recognize that without the contributions of our community partners, these essential therapies would not be possible. Thank you, WHAS Crusade for Children and the Women's Guild of Owensboro, for supporting our mission of empowering people with disabilities!
Check out this calendar with hearing and speech activities you can complete all month long!
Whitesville Lions Club Pie Auction
A Sweet Night! 🥧
We had so much fun at the Whitesville Lions Club Chili Supper & Pie Auction on Friday, April 21st! We were amazed at the number of yummy desserts up for auction (17 of which were made by Wendell Foster residents with our Recreation Department). From cupcakes to cookies, to pies and even dirt cakes, there were plenty of sweet treats for bidders to choose from! Four Wendell Foster residents, Mary, Jay, Gary, and Charity, enjoyed attending the auction, along with members of our Aktion Club. This event is a Wendell Foster favorite every year, and we are so grateful to the Whitesville Lions Club for continuously supporting our mission.
Thank you, Whitesville Lions Club, and all who helped make this event a success! 💙
Gary's Big Surprise! 👮
Wendell Foster resident, Gary, had an exciting month!

If you know Gary, you know he loves police officers. He even has a police hat that he proudly wears daily. In April, Gary was able to attend Coffee with a Cop. Gary had a great time being out in the community and having coffee with some of his favorite people, police officers! He especially enjoyed his time chatting with Officer Jason Goddard.

Pictured: Gary enjoying Coffee with a Cop in April.
A couple of weeks later, Gary answered the door to his cottage and was surprised to find Officer Goddard waiting for him with his favorite lunch, McDonald's! Gary and Officer Goddard enjoyed lunch outside before hopping into his police cruiser for a ride to the police station. Gary had the opportunity to tour the police station and meet some new police officer friends! We love moments like this and are so grateful to have such awesome community support to make things like this possible. Gary is definitely the honorary cop of Wendell Foster! 🚔🚨
Thank you so much to Officer Jason Goddard and the Owensboro Police Department for giving Gary this memorable experience!
Gary was shocked to find Officer Jason Goddard at his door!
Gary and Officer Goddard having lunch before taking a ride in the police cruiser.
Gary meeting new friends at the police station!
Aktion Club Springs into "Aktion"
This month, Wendell Foster’s Aktion Club heard the call to “aktion,” and were ready to help! The Daniel Pitino Shelter was in dire need of donations, so the Aktion Club held a food drive. They accepted food and monetary donations from the community. Once donations were collected, the Aktion Club went shopping for additional groceries to donate. They were able to deliver two truck loads of groceries to the Pitino Shelter. What an awesome group! Members had a great time shopping and were able to work on practical skills while serving their community.
Learn more about the Aktion Club on our website!
WFHM & 5K Wins Best Running Race 🏆
It's a "four-peat" for the Wendell Foster Half Marathon & 5K! Wendell Foster was honored to accept the Platinum award for Owensboro's Best Running Race for the fourth year in a row at the Best of Owensboro Living Awards! We are so grateful for everyone who has supported our race over the years by volunteering, participating, and cheering on our runners! We'd especially like to thank the Owensboro community for embracing the race and our mission of empowering people with disabilities. We are ready to be back and better than ever for the 2024 Wendell Foster Half Marathon & 5K on March 23rd, 2024. It's sure to be an unforgettable race! 🏃

Thank you, Owensboro! 🙌

Are you ready to run in 2024?! Registration is now open for the 2024 Wendell Foster Half Marathon & 5K!

Grillin' and Chillin' 🔥
Did you know that Wendell Foster offers residents in our Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) various classes based on their interests? Whether a resident is interested in arts and crafts, making mocktails, or even paranormal investigation, there is a little something for everyone! Classes meet weekly and are let by Wendell Foster staff who also have an interest in the subject material.

One class in particular that has gained popularity is the Smokin' and Grillin' class, led by Sarah Poole, Vice President of the ICF. In this class, residents learn how to smoke and grill various foods. So far, they've made kabobs, chicken fried rice, breakfast (eggs, bacon, hash browns), pork tenderloin sliders, burgers, and grilled corn on the cob. Their latest culinary creation included made-to-order grilled cheese sandwiches with extra toppings like eggs and ham!
The yummy ingredients the class used for chicken fried rice!
Sarah Poole said the classes have been a positive addition to the ICF. "The ICF classes are something that I have wanted to start up for some time now," commented Sarah. "They are a great way for staff to use their skills and hobbies in order to offer residents activities and opportunities to learn, or simply be engaged with each other."

At Wendell Foster, our goal is to give those we serve the most fulfilled lives possible. Thank you to our staff who make it their mission to support our residents in achieving whatever they set their minds to! You are #WFDifferenceMakers!
Here's What's Happening at WF!
At Wendell Foster, we always find a way to keep our schedules jam-packed. Check out what we've been up to this month! 😎
(1) Residents enjoyed a fun filled day at the park.

(2) Members of Owensboro’s local chapter of the Knights of Columbus deliver a generous donation.

(3) Marcus enjoying the exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Evansville.
(4) John taking on the runway at Wendell Foster’s Fashion Show.

(5) Channing shows off her ribbon at the Special Olympics.

(6) Brandon shows off his fancy hat and sport coat at the Derby Party.
Celebrate with us in 2023! 🎉
For 76 years, our focus has been to provide children and adults with disabilities with the tools, education, therapies, and support to reach their dreams and potential.

As a leader in serving those with disabilities, we provide cutting-edge support to over 2,000 people in 37 counties across Western Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Our Vision is to be the premier provider of rehabilitative, community-based, and residential services.
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