Friday, November 27 , 2015, 4:24 am | A Few Clouds 44º

Devereux California Hosts ‘Garden Party’-Themed Family Day

John Watson, right, secretary on the Devereux California Advisory Board, and Josh, an individual served, at this year’s Family Day.
John Watson, right, secretary on the Devereux California Advisory Board, and Josh, an individual served, at this year’s Family Day.  (Veronica Arenas-Soto / Devereux photo)

By Cassi Noel for Devereux California |

Devereux California hosted its annual Family Day for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, family members of the individuals, staff and volunteers from the Goleta Rotorac Club.

Each year Devereux hosts a family day so that family members can spend an extended amount of time with their loved ones, get to know staff better and enjoy quality time on the Devereux campus. Most family members live out of town, or even out of state. So coming to Devereux Day is a big deal! Individuals look forward to this day all year long, and family members plan their summer vacations around it.

This year’s theme, "A Garden Party," brought out the beauty and creativity of many individuals, guests and staff. It was a beautiful scene — from handmade moss basket flower arrangements for decorations to beautifully laid out delicious foods by Rincon Catering on the buffet to homemade flower hats worn by many female attendees.

There were also many booths offering different kinds of fun, from face painting to bug and butterfly tattoos to games with prizes. The fabulous Lois & The Boys played delightful music that was fun to dance to. The Garden Party spirit was alive and well.

Some added excitement this year included a visit by Devereux CEO/President Bob Kreider and a high attendance by the Devereux CA Advisory Board. Members attending included Melissa Fitch, acting chair; John Watson, secretary; Michael Harris; LaShon Kelley; Clara vanMeeuwen; Alex Duran and Angela Ettinger.

Jacqueline and Alex Duran, a Devereux California board member and chairman of the Marketing & Public Relations Committee. (Veronica Arenas-Soto / Devereux photo)

According to Devereux California Executive Director Amy Evans, “We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity for families and staff to strengthen their relationships on an annual basis. It’s just a simple day of friendship, food and fun that all the folks seem to really enjoy and appreciate.”

Established by Helena Devereux in 1912 in Pennsylvania and in 1945 in Santa Barbara, Devereux has provided services to thousands of individuals with a wide range of disabilities, from mental retardation and neurological disorders, including autism, to emotional behavioral disorders and mental health issues.

Devereux California provides adult residential and day programs on its Santa Barbara campus, and Independent and Supported Living Services for adults in the communities of Goleta, Santa Barbara and Lompoc, serving 80 individuals with developmental disabilities.

As the largest nonprofit provider of behavioral health care in the country, Devereux operates 15 centers in 11 states, with approximately 6,000 staff serving 15,000 individuals in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. Devereux California will celebrate 70 years in California in 2015.

— Cassi Noel represents Devereux California.

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