By Sarah Boerkircher


For nearly a century, Easter Seals has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives. Easter Seals offers a variety of services across the country to help people with disabilities address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals.

An invaluable resource for people with disabilities and their families...

Almost one hundred years ago, Easter Seals opened their doors in Kentucky. Since the beginning, Easter Seals Cardinal Hill has served as an affiliate of Easter Seals, Inc., one of the nation’s largest nonprofit organizations providing health-related programs.

Through Easter Seals Cardinal Hill’s three signature programs, Adaptive Recreation, Adult Day Health and Creative Beginnings Child Development Center, Easter Seals Cardinal Hill is driven to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability or life challenge, has the opportunity to live, learn, work and play in the community.

The Adaptive Recreation program serves 130 children and adults in central Kentucky. Adaptive Recreation also provides educational opportunities for thousands of students through the school system.

“Our goal is to improve the overall quality of life through exposure to adaptive equipment, provide adaptive recreation experiences in the community, and create social integration opportunities,” said Easter Seals Cardinal Hill’s Adaptive Recreation Program Director Cindy Jacobelli. “Some of our most popular activities include sled hockey, snow skiing, kayaking, outdoor adventure sports and wheelchair basketball.”

The Adult Day Health program currently serves 35 clients with diagnoses including Autism, Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. Elizabeth Faulkner, Easter Seals Cardinal Hill’s Adult Day Health Program Director, explained that the Adult Day Health program is uniquely designed to provide medical and social services to individuals who have developmental birth disorders or have acquired cognitive and/or physical disabilities.

“We offer supervision to these medically fragile individuals, so their primary caregivers can continue to balance their employment and other family needs,” Elizabeth said.

Creative Beginnings Child Development Center currently has 61 children enrolled. Nearly 30 percent of the children enrolled have a special need.

“Our teaching methods give attention to the needs and differences of each child,” said Melissa Hampton, Easter Seals Cardinal Hill’s Creative Beginnings Child Development Center program director. “We strive for excellence, and position ourselves as models of best practice for early care and education. We offer an interactive environment where children of all abilities receive love, security, independence, values, guidance and acceptance.”

The future of Easter Seals Cardinal Hill

With the plan and commitment to expand its services that are offered, Easter Seals Cardinal Hill continues to investigate community and statewide service gaps for people with disabilities.

“Our goal remains steadfast—we will provide exceptional services, so that people of all abilities can live, learn, work and play in our communities,” said Easter Seals Cardinal Hill Executive Director Jenny Wurzback. “As we move forward, Easter Seals Cardinal Hill will use the past as its guide, but evaluate ongoing needs. We realize dreams and goals can become reality when we have the community’s support and shared vision.”

Easter Seals Cardinal Hill is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, so donations are tax deductible. As Fundraising and Development Manager Lauren Monnet explained, funds that are raised in central Kentucky are used for services in the community. To learn more about making a gift or to donate, please contact Lauren Monnet at 859-246-8811 or by email: [email protected] To learn about volunteer opportunities contact Marley Tribble 859-367-7217 or by email [email protected] More information can also be found on the organization’s website:

“As Easter Seals Cardinal Hill continues to develop and expand our services to meet the needs of children and adults with disabilities, we will partner with other stakeholders to ensure that we remain a vibrant and dynamic provider of services in Kentucky,” Lauren said.

For example, this past summer, Easter Seals Cardinal Hill launched a HorseAbility program at the Kentucky Horse Park in partnership with Central Kentucky Riding for Hope and Camp Creative within the Creative Beginnings Child Development Center.

“Easter Seals Cardinal Hill strongly believes, and is committed to the mission, that every child deserves the right to have a summer camp experience,” Lauren said. “We hope you join us as we write a new chapter in the history of Easter Seals Cardinal Hill.”.  

Supporting Our Heroes 

Ben Brown, a Lexington, Kentucky resident, husband and father of two, served in the U.S. Navy. While stationed in Naples, Italy, Ben was injured in a motor vehicle accident in 2002. After his accident, Ben completed months of rehabilitation. Since then, he has learned to overcome obstacles and become very active in adaptive recreation to include whitewater kayaking and alpine skiing. The ability to participate in outdoor activities boosts his confidence and keeps his body in top physical condition.

Ben enjoys downhill skiing and kayaking with Easter Seals Adaptive Recreation. “It keeps me active and engaged in the community,” he said.

Currently, veterans are served directly through Easter Seals Cardinal Hill’s Adaptive Recreation Program, which provides recreational opportunities to veterans at no cost. In addition, Easter Seals Cardinal Hill serves veterans directly through its Adult Day Health program. Families of veterans are also served by Adult Day Health program and Creative Beginnings Child Development Center.

“We are proud of Ben’s service and honored to offer him opportunities to maintain an active lifestyle,” said Lauren Monnet, fundraising and development manager for Easter Seals Cardinal Hill. “We are always looking for ways to expand our offerings to veterans locally.”

Save the date!

Join Easter Seals Cardinal Hill for their Annual Wild Game Dinner & Sport Auction in January 2018. A fabulous evening that’s highlighted by a delicious spread of wild game prepared by local chefs along with a bourbon tasting and live entertainment. The evening is capped off with a “lively” sport auction that is sure to please hunting and fishing enthusiasts. All of the proceeds benefit Easter Seals Cardinal Hill’s three signature programs and future program development.

Please contact Lauren Monnet at 859-246-8811 or [email protected] to reserve your spot today!