View our mobile site
Local Environment Agriculture Canadian Press
Sam Macdonald photo
Sam Macdonald photo
A number of displays were set up in the SPAN gymnasium, including ones featuring collages devoted to the various residences associated with SPAN, in the community.
view all photos (-count-)

SPAN 50th anniversary attracts big crowd, educates

Jul 08, 2014 11:30 am | Sam Macdonald

People of all ages from across the community and beyond showed up in sizeable crowds to the St. Paul Abilities Network (SPAN) building for the group’s 50th anniversary barbecue on July 4.

The event featured food, entertainment, and games, along with a number of exhibits set up in the gymnasium, featuring the organization’s history, and the programs that are run through SPAN and its residences.

“The ‘60s was a different time, there were virtually no supports of any kind for people with disabilities. Over the last five decades we’ve gone from small beginnings to this large, successful institution,” said Terry Holmgren, chair of the SPAN Board of Directors, and association president, in a speech to guests.

“We take great care and pride in what we do for the community, and say thank you to St. Paul for your support.”

County of St. Paul Reeve Steve Upham said he was surprised by SPAN’s scale, and how many programs are associated with it.

“This is a great celebration. SPAN takes stigmatized people and gives them value in the community. I looked at the agencies in the gym on display, and it’s amazing to see the depth of the programs here.”

Westlock-St. Paul MP Brian Storseth congratulated members, staff, and the board for their commitment in progressing SPAN to where it is today.

“Fifty years ago, I don’t think the founders would have been able to guess what it has become today. I am thankful and grateful for SPAN leading us into the next 50 years,” he said.

After his speech, Storseth presented SPAN CEO Tim Bear and Holmgren with a commemorative 50th anniversary scroll.

While checking out a timeline featuring old news posts and information put up on the wall in the gymnasium, Mayor Glenn Andersen said, “You have to wonder at how much St. Paul changed how it helps disabled people over time. There’s a contrast now to how we work with them, compared to 50 years ago.”

He added, “There’s a lot of compassion and acceptance here.”

Kassandra Sibley, a resident with SPAN said, “I think the collage we made is my favourite part. I just helped a little bit. I’m pretty impressed with all the guests, it’s a really busy day for us.”

Another resident, Kate Polzin, was surprised and pleased with the day also.

“It’s been a great day, thank goodness. I think everyone is having a good time today. My favourite part is being in St. Paul, I really like being in St. Paul in general,” she said, adding, “I enjoyed the lunch, and am excited for the dinner tonight. I am happy to see all these guests . . . I don’t know their names, but it’s good to see them.”

Comments


The St. Paul Journal welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to delete comments deemed inappropriate. We reserve the right to close the comments thread for stories that are deemed especially sensitive. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Community Events Rss icon

August 2014
Friday
22
S M T W T F S
272829303112
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31123456

Calendar