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HOLMESVILLE -- The Holmes County Board of Developmental Disabilities will host the 41st Annual Spring Festival on the grounds of the Holmes County Training Center, 8001 Township Road 574, Holmesville, on Friday and Saturday, May 12-13.
Activities to benefit children who receive services from the Holmes County Board of DD begin Friday evening from 3 to 10 p.m. They include a bake sale, soup and sandwiches, open volleyball and entertainment.
Festivities continue Saturday morning with a breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. The bake sale continues until all items are sold.
A craft and furniture auction begins at 9 a.m. with children's games beginning at 10 a.m. until noon, and again from 2 to 4 p.m.
A chicken barbecue will be from 11:30 a.m. until all is sold. A special auction takes place at 1 and at 2 p.m. there will be a quilt auction.
"The Spring Festival is the primary fundraiser of the Holmes County Association for Handicapped Citizens (HCAHC), a parent-run organization, that funds a multitude of services and supports for individuals with disabilities and their families in Holmes County," said DD Superintendent Marianne Mader. "Last year, this organization provided funding for 3,900 hours of respite (paid care from a experienced caregiver so family members get a well-deserved break), mileage reimbursement for 22,500 miles (family members taking their loved one with a disability to medical appointments or attending functions at the Training Center), financial support to medical clinics that specialize in genetic/metabolic disorders, grants for classroom supplies to teacher at the HCBDD school, disability-related equipment for children and adults with disabilities, and supports the Holmes County Special Olympics teams.
"The Spring Festival is a celebration of the strong community support here in Holmes County for individuals with disabilities and their families," Mader continued. "Everyone who attends the Spring Festival can expect excellent food, deals on a wide array of auction items and a display of beautiful, meticulously-crafted quilts."
The roots of the Association go back to the early 1960s when children with mental disabilities were excluded from public school services. Parents banded together to create schools in church basements or wherever they could get donated space. Parents provided transportation and raised funds to pay the teachers.
Jennifer Fair was the first teacher hired by the Association in Holmes County. The old Bunker Hill School was purchased in 1965 through fund raising projects by parents. Through the efforts of concerned parents, Ohio created County Boards of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (MR/DD).
The Holmes County Board of DD has grown to include early intervention services, preschool services, the school program, the Habilitation Center and Lynn Hope Industries for adults, family support services, transportation from anywhere in the county, residential supports and group living homes.
Since the 1960s, the Association has changed its name several times but their support for services for people with disabilities has never wavered.
In 1977, the first Spring Festival was started. Through raffles, donations, bake sales and games, parents raised $4,000.
The HCAHC is a nonprofit organization. Anyone who supports the mission of the association is welcome to be a member. Annual family membership costs $8. Life memberships are available for $100.
Past Projects funded by the Association include a Horse Shelter, HCTC sign, Lynn Hope Building, Pavilion, including five expansions, and the Nature Trail.
Everyone who helps with the festival is a volunteer and all auction items are donated.
Reporter Kevin Lynch can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.