Date: October 2011
CRSI celebrates 35 years of community service
By LINDA D. SMITH, Public Relations Director
Champaign Residential Services, Inc.
Marian Bowers turned 85 on September 29 and her favorite color is red. One of the eldest consumers of CRSI services, Ms. Bowers has been a customer since 1983 when she was referred to the agency by the Champaign County Nursing Home (now Vancrest of Urbana). She is the daughter of a former county probate judge from Christiansburg, Frank Clement Bowers, who passed away in 1951. Her mother, Grace Dibert Bowers, a homemaker who died in 1977, was originally from Terre Haute…and Marian didn’t belong in a nursing home.
Marian represents what Champaign Residential Services, Inc. is all about; and while celebrating her recent birthday, the agency also celebrates 35 years of providing community services. In addition, she shares a common bond with CEO Than Johnson who arrived at CRSI just one month prior to Marian in 1983.
“I was in my first months at CRSI when I first met Marian. She was a ‘corker’ who had numerous sayings and offered much advice, which I quickly learned to accept with gratitude,” says Johnson. “Marian knew almost everyone in the county and everyone was her friend. When I needed a ‘date’ for local political fundraisers, I asked Marian and she was the life of the party. I can remember, then Ohio Governor Candidate Bud Brown, conversing with Marian on a variety of topics at these events. Her sense of humor, interest in local activities and wonderful quips will always be appreciated.”
Marian resides in a CRSI-owned group home, specially equipped to serve her daily living needs. She is provided with 24/7 personal care services by direct support professionals who are employed by CRSI. Marian also participates daily in the agency’s Adult Day Services program. She is provided with transportation to and from the CRSI corporate office where she enjoys daily leisure activities with people she knows and with whom she is comfortable. She may paint pictures or make an Easter basket in art class or she may prefer to just sit and rock while watching the fish in the huge aquarium. She loves to make rhymes and one of her favorite places to eat is Ponderosa, where her support staff took her for dinner on her birthday.
CRSI is a not-for-profit, private corporation originally organized by concerned citizens and parents to provide support services for individuals with developmental disabilities (DD). It is currently governed by a sixteen-member, volunteer board of trustees. The stated purpose, when incorporated on August 24, 1976, is "to promote, plan and provide services that support citizens with disabilities."
Since its beginning, CRSI has stood for the rights and choices made by individuals with disabilities in its commitment to provide quality services. In doing so, it has expanded over the years to more than thirty Ohio counties. It has also opened regional or satellite offices in Allen, Auglaize, Clark, Defiance, Franklin, Logan, Lucas, Madison and Miami Counties to help carry-out those services to the nearly 800 current customers of CRSI. Services are coordinated through each county board of DD in each county where services are provided; and can range from 24 hours a day/seven days a week to only a few hours each week.
Recently voted among the top ten businesses in Champaign County by Discover the Dayton Region magazine, CRSI employs over 1300 people throughout counties served with over 650 employed in Champaign and its surrounding counties of Clark, Logan, Madison, Miami, Shelby and Union. The agency also employs consumers with disabilities.
In celebration of its 35 years, CRSI is hosting the Champaign County Business after Hours event on Thursday, October 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the corporate office at 1150 Scioto Street in Urbana. The public is invited however, the agency is asking for an RSVP no later than October 13 by calling 937-653-1320.