Casa Allegra Community Services _CACS__ a nonprofit agency_ has by yaohongm


									                                                                                                                       NoNpRofit oRgANizAtioN
                                                                                                                          u.S. poStAge pAid
                                                                                                                           SAN RAfAel, CA
                                                             35 Mitchell Blvd., Suite 8                                    peRMit No. 150
                                                             San Rafael, CA 94903
                                                             415.499.1116 x 115 • w w w. c a s a a l l e g ra . o rg
                                                             Return Service Requested

DJ Skip Heil with Micahael Vallcour on guitar Holiday 2008

               Staff Blanca Molina & Lupe

                                                                         Kevin & Gavin protest
                                                                         IHSS & Medi-Cal budget
                                                                         cuts in San Francisco
                                                                         January 18, 2009

                                                                         Casa Allegra Community Services (CACS), a nonprofit agency, has been providing
                                                                         supports for adolescents and adults with disabilities and their families in Marin
                                                                         County and SF since 1975.
                   Caitlyn & Michael.                                    Living Services
                                                                         •	 Residential Living is provided in two long-term care homes located in San
                                                                         •	 Community Living Services (CLS) supports individuals to live safely and
                                                                              successfully where and with whom they choose.
                                                                         Adult Day Services:
                                                                         •	 Income	Opportunities	Unlimited	(IOU)	assists CACS participants to earn
                                                                              income though customized employment that may include business ownership
                                                                              or membership in a coopoerative. IOU also offers support for college, adult
                                                                              education and other community activities.
                                                                         •	 Community	Inclusion	for	Adults	(CIFA)	provides integrated education
                                                                              and community inclusion for those who require additional support due to
                                                                              therapeutic and medical needs.
             Staff Judith Decurto & Scarlett

                      Jr & Manette                                               Donna                                   Robin with her friend Mark
                                                                                                                                    MArk	YOUr	CAlendAr
                                                                                                                                    Open House         Monday 4/6/09
                                                                                                                                    Marin Human Race Saturday 5/9/09
                                                                                                                                    Bocce Tournament Saturday 10/3/09

          March 2009 Vol. V No. 1                                                                        415.499.1116

Nominees for Heart of Marin Awards at the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership
Luncheon Jan. 8, 2009. CACS Board President Dale Dutton, Executive Director Chris Bonfiglio
and Board Treasurer Peter Murphy.
                                                                                                                 Open HOuse
Services in Jeopardy                                                                                          MOnday april 6
Call To Action                                                                                                  4 - 7 p.M.
Volunteer, fundraise, advocate                                                                             Casa Allegra Community Services
                                                                                                           Income Opportunities Unlimited
from Chris Bonfiglio, CACS Executive Director                                                               35 Mitchell Blvd., Suites 8 & 11
February 25, 2009                                                                                            San Rafael off Redwood Hwy.

     I begin this newsletter with a heartfelt thanks and                                                  Meet our team of Directors
gratitude for the holiday donations we received in December. I                                     Multimedia presentation and refreshments.
feel so blessed to have you all in our lives. Clearly people saw the                              Learn how Keep MARIn GReen co-op helps
need and responded through giving. I am grateful and touched                                              Marin businesses go green.
by the caring of each and every one of you. You have renewed my
faith in the human spirit.
     As you all know, Casa Allegra Community Services offers Day                                   We’ve moved! After 14 years at our previous location, we
Programs, Supported Living Services and operates Intermediate                                 moved our offices in early December to a layout that promotes
Care Facilities. Eileen Falvey and myself founded Casa Allegra                                an environment of efficiency and professionalism. We thank
in 1975, 34 years ago, a generation ago, at a time when people                                our new landlord, Ron Antonioli. Mr. Antonioli took three
with developmental disabilities were not regularly seen in public.                            separate suites and built a connecting hallway, new office space
I have watched the sense of pride, self worth and self esteem of                              and brought water to the other end of the building. All of
the people we support rise over the years as they increasingly                                this was at no cost to Casa Allegra. We look forward to a long
become respected and valued members of their communities.                                     mutually respectful relationship. We were the beneficiaries of the
This has happened because people were given opportunities                                     previous tenants who gave us some lovely office furniture. Our
and the support necessary to live and work side by side with                                  new offices are home to the administration of Casa Allegra and
those without labels and become productive and contributing                                   also to Income Opportunities
members of their community. We cannot sit by and watch                                        Unlimited, our business
                                                                                                                                What’s Inside:
people who are leading meaningful lives be destroyed by what is                               incubator and work space
                                                                                                                                Staff Appreciation                    2
taking place and the cuts we are being asked to make as providers                             for Keep Marin Green, our Call to Action continued from P. 1            5
of service by our elected representatives.                                                    consumer owned cooperative. Wishlist/Board Members                      4
     With the recent passage of the State Budget, we have                                     The front door of one is the Out & About/Milestones                     4
been notified of a 3% reduction in reimbursement effective                                    back door of the other and Marin Human Race                   Insert Front
immediately. Additionally the Department of Developmental                                     vice versa. Please come by Take Action                       Insert Back
                                                                                              for a visit. Call ahead if you Donations, Grants & In Memory            6
                                                        Continued on page 3                   would like a tour.                In Memory & Volunteers                7
2                                                                                                                                        Casa Allegra Community Services

Maria Uriz, Direct Support Professional with Jamie at his home on Adrian Way that he shares   Salome Romero, Employee of the Year Maria Ramirez and Martha Vazquez. Salome & Martha
                           with Cary, Cathy, Lisa, Michael & Mike.                                                       are direct support staff at Adrian.

     “I’ve been working for Casa Allegra six years,” said                                          CACS Board of Directors and Service Directors honored
Maria Uriz in February, “and from the beginning I worked                                      the direct support professional staff at the historic Falkirk
at Adrian House assisting Jamie.                                                              Cultural Center in downtown San Rafael. A catered dinner
     I’ve been working in this field (people with disabilities)                               by Mangia Nosh was served by CACS Management Team
since I was living in my country, and when I came to the                                      wait-persons. Raffle drawings occurred throughout the night.
USA, I wanted to do the same thing. I enjoyed my job                                          Each direct support staff person received an item in honor
because I do it with love from my heart to help the people                                    and gratitude of the services and friendship they provide to
that I support live life with dignity and respect.                                            the people we support.
     I enjoy spending time with Jamie, and it makes me                                             This year seven employees were nominated for Employee
happy when I take him out for I can tell that he is happy.                                    of the Year. Nominees were Reina Araujo, Blanca Molina,
     Jamie and I go out for walks, to the movies and to                                       Ana Ramirez, Maria Ramirez, Maria Uriz, Jennifer Belsey,
the park. I help him become a little more independent by                                      Javier Miranda and the winner was...Maria Ramirez!
teaching him to do some things for himself, like getting the                                       We are so grateful to our staff whose dedication and
table ready for dinner, pouring his own drink, and taking the                                 commitment to those we support we could not do without.
garbage out.                                                                                       At the Staff Appreciation Dinner, Daniel Reichling,
     I like go for walks with him around the neighborhood or                                  Director of Day Services said, “In Day Services, Maria
help him to buy a smoothie at 7-11, but what I like the most                                  Ramirez has been nominated for Employee of the Year. Maria
is when we are walking inside the park and he laughs a lot, I                                 has shown exceptional commitment to providing learning
can tell that he is happy.                                                                    opportunities for the people that she works with.”
     My favorite hobby is to read, like Readers Digest.                                            In the past year, Maria has been supporting members of
     I’m married for almost five years, me and my husband                                     the Keep Marin Green cooperative started by participants in
have two wonderful daughters. Their names are Maitane,                                        Casa Allegra’s Day Services. She has helped make the business
three-years-old and Leire, three months.                                                      a meaningful and successful experience for the participants.
     Part of my childhood I lived in Lima, Peru and the other                                      She does her best to engage the participants in activities
part in Navarro, Spain. My uncles and cousins invited me to                                   that fulfill Casa Allegra’s mission of giving people a chance
visit with them, so I stopped here [in California] for a short                                to ‘live their lives with dignity as self reliant and productive
visit when I was on my way to Spain. I ended up not going                                     citizens.’
back to Spain and stayed in the US ever since.”
     Said Eny, “Jamie follows Maria around the house and                                                      Service Directors and Nominiees for Employee of the Year
when he wants something, he goes to her and takes her                                         Front: Maria Ramirez. 2nd row: Eny Campos, Theresa Eisenberg, Reina Araujo, Ana Ramirez,
hand indicating that he needs or wants something. He will                                     3rd row: Socorro Gallardo, Maria Uriz, Blanca Molina, Javier Miranda, Back: Daniel Reichling
sometimes just stand right next to her when she’s getting
dinner ready or doing other chores around the house. He
responds well to Maria’s requests whether it is helping to set
the table or putting his clothes in the laundry room.
     Maria has a lot of respect for the residents she works
with and allows them to be active participants in their lives
by seeing each as an individual of importance and value.
Further, she will advocate for the residents because of the
respect and value she has for them as individuals.”
     From an interview with Maria Uriz by Eny Campos,
Director of Residential Living. Translation from Spanish by
Eny Campos.
March 2009                                                                                                                            3
                                                                       VOLUnteeRS                       Holiday party
                                                                                                        Lynn Holbrook’s food helpers
                                                                                                         Diane Gomez
“Dear Chris,                                                                                             Pam Hickox
     I’m sending in a donation                                                                           Elaine Holub
                                                                                                         Diane McClain
that normally I wouldn’t be                                                                              Cynthia Krieger
able to afford. So I wanted to                                                                          National Charity League
explain why the amount of                                                                                Carol, Elaine & Erin O’Connell
my donation is high.                                                                                     Chloe & Susan Mayne
     Ann M. called you to                                                                                Annie & Katherine Born
                                                                                                         Peggy Parks
get my phone number. Well                                              thanksgiving pies                 Jana & Drew Corey
that phone call turned out to                                          National Charity League           Drew Turner
be a pretty important call in my life...Ann had become friends          Juliette Retormaz                Lisa & Megan Helfond
with an elderly woman about 10 years make a long story         Karen, Noelle, & Gigi Ruane      Karen & Erica Morelli
short, Ann shared with her what had been going on in my life            Gabriella Fernandez              Danielle Schmid
                                                                        Kim King                         Therese Moran
after moving back to California from Washington. Becoming a
                                                                        Terry Anderson                   Bill Mitchel
single parent...and generally trying to make ends meet. Well, this      Janice Wondolleck
woman passed away recently and named me in her will.                   December pies
     I was completely taken off guard but at the same time I           Alex, Bernadette & Cole Miller
realized how much more faith I need to have in humanity! I didn’t      Kyle Wilson
                                                                       Lauren Ng
know this woman and she didn’t know me yet she felt the need
                                                                       Stephanie Wondolleck
to give something to me that would help with my circumstances.         Joanne Parsont
     Casa Allegra plays a huge part in this story. You took a chance   Jill Brooke
on me 8 years ago when I didn’t have a job...You trusted me with       Alyssa Moms
Janette’s life and I appreciated it more than you know. I had a job    Kessa & Jania Early
                                                                       Jo Ellen Ross
situation that allowed me to be a part of my children’s school day.
                                                                                                        Holiday party Decorating
I cannot measure how much that meant to me.                            DeCORAtIOnS for homes            National Charity League
     This woman gave to me so I am now giving back to you.             National Charity League           Kim King
I give you this check in honor of my friend Janette and in              Ellie & Brittany Bauman          Gabriella Fernandez
appreciation of Casa Allegra and what you all do to make the lives      Brittany Bauman                  Karen Ruane
of people with disabilities honorable.                                  Karen, Noelle, & Gigi Ruane      Noelle Ruane
                                                                        Kim King                         Gigi Ruane
     Love,                                                              Gabriella Fernandez
     Brigid Oswald”                                                    Students, Our Lady of Lorretto
     Janette Gordilla, 1968-2004. Janette was 6-years-old              Art Rios
when she moved into the first Casa Allegra Residential Living          Alessandra Suh
                                                                       Colin Wadman
group home. She later became the first person in Marin                 Christine Walsh
County to move into her own home with a housemate in
what is now known as Supported Lving. With CACS as a                   Wrapping Secret Santa gifts
spokesperson and the strong support of her friends, Janette            National Charity League
                                                                        Deanne & Carmen Clough
was truly a pioneer. She was part of a lawsuit that sucessfully         Therese Jacobson
challenged in-home services (IHSS) to provide addtional                 Lynn & Marley Winsor
resources for people with developmental disabilities so that            Karen, Noelle, & Gigi Ruane
they could live in their own home or apartment.                         Kim King
                                                                        Gabriella Fernandez

    National Charity League at Holiday Party
                                    Eileen Falvey                     Linda Haskett                    Redwood Security Systems, Inc.
    Donors, Grants &                Kathy Kay - CTI Transcription     Elia Haworth                     Rene & Maureen Revel
      Volunteers                              Services                Robert & Deidre Hayden           Patrick Ritter
                                    Christine Bookmyer                Janice Hilsman                   Eric Roby
November 1, to February 23, 2008                                      Johnathan & Lynn Holbrook        Joan Rose
We sincerely apologize if we have   In Memory of Steven               Therese Hopkins &                Jo Ellen Hylind Ross
omitted or misspelled any names.    Douglas                                 Thomas Thompson            Rotary Club of Novato Sunrise
                                    Ray & Ning Douglas                Romolo & Lorraine Iavarone       Michelle Saloner
                                                                      Alan & Judith Johnson            Judith Sanford
In Honor of the Dutton Family
                                    In Memory of Rose & Peg Roche     Robert Jordan                    Jim Santangelo,
Donald & Mary Lea Burden
                                    John Roche                        Joel Jutovsky &                       Electrician 898-2288
Judith Donovan
                                                                            Mary Ann Farnsworth        Michael & Jane Scurich
                                    In Memory of Edith Gardin         Edward & Linda Kangeter          Stella Scurich
In Honor of Eileen Falvey
                                    Pompeo Gardin                     Venus & Fereidoun Keyhan         William & Kathleen Sloan
Bernadette Baraty
                                                                      Stephen & Mary Lamb              Clara Solvason
                                    In Memory of Michael Cicanese     Richard & Cecelia Lannon         Richurd & Patricia Somers
In Honor of Florence Falvey
                                    Louis & Irene Cicanese            The Marchand Family -            South Bay Industrial Claims
Bernadette Baraty
                                                                            Marchand Music                  Association
                                    In Memory of Janette Gordilla     Noel & Mary McCarthy             Barbara Stephens
In Honor of Larry Mason
                                    Eileen Falvey                     Patrick & Kathleen McIlroy       Faye Taylor
Leon & Evelyn Mason
                                                                      Regina & John Milavec            Susan & Marcello Todaro
Karen Robidoux
                                    In Memory of Liam Falvey          Jill & Phillip Montbriand        Janice Tremblay
                                    Eileen Falvey                     Rolf & Maggie Morgenlaender      George & Linda Vaio
In Honor of David McMullen
                                                                      Kathleen Murphy                  Arnold & Kathy Valcour
    & Ed Ortiz
                                    In Memory of Gertrude Bonfiglio   Dan & Caroline Murphy            Lori & Ardy Van Winden
Kathy Murphy
                                    Eileen Falvey                     Alan Nogueras                    B. Anne Zishka
                                                                      Brigid & Brent Oswald
In Honor of Gary & Anne
                                    In Memory of Robert               Marv Parker & Kay Bingner        GRAntS
                                    Peloquin                          Roger & Stephanie Peters         Autodesk
Bob & Evelyn Greenwood
                                    Noel & Eleanor Peloquin           Sue & Allen Peters               The Freitas Foundation
                                                                      Mr. Pinkus                       The Carl Gellert and
In Honor of Julia Peters
                                    DOnAtIOnS                         Willis Polite -                       Celia Berta Gellert
Jacques & Barbara Gosselin
                                    Anonymous                               Montecito Market Place          Foundation
                                    Shirley Anderson                             Associates            Turriseburnea Club, Inc.
In Honor of Jeanne Santangelo
                                    Bernadette Baraty                 Jesus & Gloria Posada            Unity in Marin
Novato Garden Club
                                    W. Mitchell & Charlene Barnes
                                    The Michael Basso Memorial
In Honor of Richurd, Patricia &
    Joelle Somers
                                    Dominic Berardi & Family -
Joanne Linn                                                                Rita Berkowitz donated
                                         Berardi Tile
In Honor of Joelle Somers
                                    June & Kenneth Black              to Casa Allegra in memory
                                    Elizabeth & John Boland           of her daughter, Alexa. Rita
Mary & Jean Jacques
                                    Elizabeth Brandeburg
Deshadarevian                                                         kindly gave us permission to
                                    Jeanette & Ronald Bruciati
                                    Jenny Chan                        share a favorite poem written
In Honor of Alesa Tomsky                                              by Alexa.
                                    Karen Chavez
Robin Aitken-Bullard -                                                     “When we forget who
                                    Chevron Humankind Program
    Robin Aitken-Bullard
                                    Patricia Chicca -                 we really are and think of
                                         Chicca Family Trust          ourselves as just bodies with
Agency, Inc.
                                    Clough Construction
                                    Randy & Donna Cookston
                                                                      personalities, we naturally
In Honor of Kevin McCarthy
                                    Richard & Marguerite Couvillion   become afraid, especially of
Robert & Barbara Amore                                                death.
                                    Joan Cullin
                                    Nancy Curran                           But when we remember that we are much more than our
In Honor of Michael Birch
                                    Laura Distasi                     bodies, when we remember our spiritual essence, we realize that
Lori & Ardy Van Winden
                                    Elin Doehne                       our body is just a temporary form, a form perfectly suited to
                                    Mea & Jerome Draper
In Honor of Scarlett Murphy
                                    Kevin Dunlop
                                                                      learn what we need to learn on earth.
John & Celeste Craemer                                                     When we identify with our spirit, we remember our
                                    Gisella Eades
                                    David & Maxine Eichel             connection to all spirit, to the moving energy and light that is
In Memory of Len Mayfield
                                    John & Jean Enos                  the essence of all people and living things.
                                    Paul & Tara Farbstein                  We realize that we are constantly changing and moving
Harry & Virginia Mayfield
                                    Robert & Mitzie Forsland
                                                                      energy-eternal, always becoming. Death is not an ending; it is
                                    Barbara Foster
In Memory of Scott Murphy
                                    Brynda Foster                     part of becoming, part of unbroken continuation.”
The Michael Basso Memorial                                                 ~ Alexa Sobel, 1954-2002
                                    Patricia Garbarino
         Foundation                                                        Alexa lived in her community with the assistance of Casa
                                    Greater Horizons
Walter & Janet Adams
John & Suzanne Wirth
                                    William & Janice Haley            Allegra Supported Living.
March 2009                                                                                                                                                          5

CAll	TO	ACTIOn: Continued from P. 1
Services has been instructed to present a plan with a cost savings
of 100 million dollars (roughly 6 million for our area). Should
the Department be unable to develop such a plan (which is on                              Your gift, big or small, can make a great difference.
top of their own operational reductions); service providers such                          Our folks that are living in their own places have an
as CACS will sustain an additional 7.1% cut. This will be on top                     income between $800 to $900 a month to cover all expenses.
of the 3% cut currently taking place and on top of the 20% cut                       It’s difficult to maintain a home well when paying the bills
that has taken place over the last several years with rates frozen                   and feeding oneself is the priority.
while inflation skyrocketed. There will be few options left for us                        Medi-Cal benefits continue to be cut. Many of our folks
to assure the health and safety of those we care deeply about, let                   are finding it impossible to obtain or repair equipment that
alone support a person to lead a life of dignity and respect.                        makes their lives safer. Thank you to everyone, especially Susan
     This crisis comes at a time when Casa Allegra Community                         and Marcello Todoro and Unity in Marin, who contributed
Services is providing some of the most innovative, creative and                      to our Adaptive Equipment Fund during the 2008 holiday
holistic supports in our history. The homes are well maintained                      season that will help purchase new customized wheelchairs,
and the residents are more involved in their community than ever                     for Mia and Kevin. Patrick Ritter helped purchase a technical
before. Those in supported living are leading meaningful, full                       assistance device for Jared. And thanks to the generosity of
and happy lives, and those receiving our support during the day                      Elin Doehne, the residents of our Adrian Residential Home
are being given opportunities to work and earn income through                        setting finally have a therapeutic spa. We are deeply grateful!
volunteerism, wage employment and self employment. Their
work is more than a little extra money in their pockets; it instills
in them a sense of pride, accomplishment and inclusion.
     I know the times are hard for everyone but your support,                        nursery	Gift	Certificates
in assuring that the services for the people we support with                         Annual	plants:	flowers	or	vegetables	for	residential	Homes
developmental disabilities continues, is imperative. We need your                    Patio	Swing	with	Shade
help with volunteerism, raising funds, and advocacy.                                 Storage	Shed	10'x12',	waterproof	
     I pledge to the people we support and their families that we
will endure this economic challenge and continue our mission
of providing community living, education and employment to                           Gift	Cards:	Safeway,	luckys,	Target,	Trader	Joe’s,	Old	navy,	long’s
people with developmental disabilities.                                              Gift	Cards	for	Carpet	Cleaning	&/or	Cleaning	Services
     ~ Chris Bonfiglio, CACS Executive Director                                      Art	work	
                                                                                     Movie	&	event	Tickets	
CACS Mission Statement                                                               leather	couches	&	recliners
      Casa Allegra Community Services believes that all people are                   Sturdy	upright	vacuum	cleaner
entitled to self determination and to live their lives with full dignity
as self reliant and productive citizens. The purpose of the organization             Contact:	Alison	Falvey	to	arrange	for	pick	up
is to develop community living options, educational and recreational                 (415)	246-5971
opportunities and employment for all persons regardless of their
                                                                                     We list volunteer opportunities at and welcome families and
disabilities. The agency will assist people in designing and constructing
their futures and achieving their dreams. Utilizing community                        business group volunteers.
resources, CACS creatively supports people so that they can live, work,
have friends and enjoy life in their community. CACS is committed
to developing social relationships between people with and without
disabilities. The agency will provide the necessary ongoing assistance to
achieve personal success.

      Kevin was interviewed on live radio in San Francisco at a protest January 18

                                                                                          Casa Allegra Community Services
                                                                                       Board	of	directors                 Staff
                                                                                       Dale Dutton         President     Chris Bonfiglio        Executive Director
                                                                                       Larry Mason    Vice President     Debbie Falvey Administrative Assistant
                                                                                       Lynn Holbrook       Secretary     Socorro GallardoDirector of Supported Living
                                                                                       Peter Murphy        Treasurer     Eny Campos Director of Residential Services
                                                                                       Jacki Anderson Board Member       Daniel Reichling           Director of IOU
                                                                                       Jane Scurich Board Member                          Director of Day Services
                                                                                       Articles & Photos by Staff        Jeanne Santangelo Development Director
                                                                                       Editing/Layout: Jeanne Santangelo Cindy Evans        Day Services Manager
                                                                                                                         Alison Falvey          Volunteer Manager
     CACS particpants, staff & volunteers at the Nutcracker Ballet              Andy & Krystal, Caitlin & Jonathan in back                Mia with Arianna & Wendy Thomas

D    usty’s Puppets
          Dusty was able to help her business, and at the same
time help kids in need. She sold puppets and raised funds
                                                                                                 M      ichael celebrated 15 years at Mollie Stones Market
                                                                                                        in Mill Valley in February ‘09 as a checker/bagger.
                                                                                                 The Bruciati Family feels grateful to Mike Stone for having
for Marin Services for Women at the San Rafael YMCA in                                           faith in Michael 15 years ago. Michael has been with CACS
December 2008. Angela Gallardo, Dusty’s business manager,                                        Supported Living for 10 years. Job coaching is provided by
serves on the MSW Board of Directors. People who visited                                         Integrated Community Services.
the Y were able to “buy a puppet for kids whose parents are in
recovery, who’ve lost everything and are starting over. People
want to do the right thing, we make it easy,” said Angela.                                       R   obin celebrated her 12 year anniversary at Banana
                                                                                                     Republic in November ‘08. Robin has been with CACS
                                                                                                 Supported Living for 10 years. Pacific Diversified Services

M      ichael Valcour, a participant in IOU who is a professional
       baritone performed in December at the UC Davis Mind
                                                                                                 provides support for her work.

Institute, children’s hospitals, rest homes and holiday events,
including Casa Allegra’s. In March he will sing at a de Young
Museum Production in San Francisco.
                                                                                                 T    om, Jesus, Elijah and Dusty have been employees of
                                                                                                      the Holiday Inn in Mill Valley for over eight years.
                                                                                                 Because of tough economic times, Mr. Jeff Hirsch, Holiday
                                                                                                 Inn General Manager has had to lay off staff. He spoke to

N     utcracker Ballet at the Marin Civic Center in December
      ‘08 was enjoyed by CACS Day Services participants.
They also helped pick out the Christmas tree for our new
                                                                                                 Daniel Reichling, CACS Director of Income Opportunities
                                                                                                 Unlimited and Director of Day Services, recently about how
                                                                                                 much he values CACS participants as employees and how
office, generously donated by A. Nony Mouse. Mmm, it                                             well-liked they are by visitors. While their hours have been cut
made our new office smell so good. Families and mother-                                          back, they continue to work at Holiday Inn.
daughter teams from the National Charity League delivered
much appreciated homemade holiday pies. There are photos                                         Please submit your Out & About and Milestones items to
of some of the families with CACS clients on page 7. Thank                              for possible publication in the July Newsletter by June 15,
                                       Dusty’s Holiday sales benefits children in need                                           Jesus, Scarlett, Jon & Manetta pick out a Christmas tree
5                                                                                                                        Casa Allegra Community Services

          Allen, Judith, Julia Peters               Dusty, Donna & Dale Dutton              Sherman Family with Eileen             McCarthy Family with Kevin

                                                    Our temporary venue at St. Isabella’s in San Rafael
                                               and the Mexican theme made for an especially enjoyable
                                               gathering of the Casa Allegra circle of clients, families, staff
                                               and friends.
                                                    Mexican cut paper decorations of “papel picado” and
                                               pinatas created part ot the festive theme for delicious South
                                               of the Border food at the 2008 Casa Allegra Holiday Party.
        Bruciati Family with Micahel                                                                                             Joelle, Patti & Richurd Somers
                                               Make-your-own burritos ingredients that included seasoned
                                               beef and chicken were prepared by Lynn Holbrook & her
                                               friends Pam Hickox, Elaine Holub, Diane McClain & Diane
                                                    Cheerful mother-daughter teams of volunteers from the
                                               National Charity League greeted guests with yummy hors
                                               d’oevres and dished up the buffet-style dinner.
                                                    Debbie Falvey and Tim Falvey served drinks at the bar.
                                                    After dinner we mingled and danced with our friends to
                                               the DJ music of Skip Heil, Camelot DJ Services.
          Robin & mom Pati Stoliar                  As a special treat, Michael Valcour, CACS IOU                        Richard, Cecilia & Caitlin Lannon & Elaine Black
                                               participant, accompanied himself on the guitar and sang a
                                               holiday medley.
                                                    After each of our clients was presented with a Secret
                                               Santa gift, some folks hopped on stage for an impromptu
                                               sing along. All too soon, the evening came to an end.
                                                    See you next year!

                                                    Lynn Holbrook and the Holbrook family donated edibles.
       Johnathan & Jonathan Holbrook
                                                    Dan Murphy family provided bar beverages.                             Krystal & Jan Tremblay with Theresa Eisenberg
                                                    Lannon family donated Skip Heil, Camelot DJ Services
                                                    Ann Newman provided sweet ingredients and fun for
                                               the children’s gingerbread house workshop & other crafts.
                                                    Novato Sunrise Rotary St. Vincent’s Tree Lot donated
                                               the giant Christmas Tree.
                                                    Casa Allegra staff provided Secret Santa gifts for the
                                               folks we support.
                                                    National Charity League wrapped gifts & decorated.

Scarlett & her dad Dan Murphy & brother Andy                                                                                       Sisters Elia & Cary Haworth

        Eileen, brother &
     mom Judith Ann Sherman                    Amy Hosa & Gannet                 Michael & mom Louise Birch                         Jordan Family with Jared
                               5K (2.6 mi.) Walk, Run & Roll at the Marin Center Fairgrounds

                              New this year: Donate Now! online at
                                  or mail your donation in the enclosed reply envelope.

                                                                               See r

Volunteer contact • T-shirts sponsor contact by April 1
     The State of California faces unprecedented budget crisis. The Governor’s Budget
anticipates a significant funding reduction. The Department of Developmental Services
working with stakeholders, will develop proposals to achieve targeted savings while
maintaining the entitlement and ensuring program and service integrity. Public forums
have taken place in February and early March.
     The DDS will continue to work over the next few months on the Governor’s
Budget into June. Contact DDS toll-free 800-230-1085. Email Sarah
Steenhausen, Assistant Director DDS at,                                    Vehicle
phone 916-654-1902, fax 916-654-2167. Visit for more information
including downloadable PDF on “Controlling Regional Center Costs Report” and                           Donation
possible dates of future stakeholder meetings.
     Casa Allegra Community Services is considered a “Community Service Provider”                      Program
and is a member of the California Disability Community Action Network. Sign up for free
CDCAN reports and alerts at                                                                Cas a           Allegra
     CACS recommends The ARC of California website for the clearest explanation                     Community Services would
of the current budget crisis and it’s effect on service providers such as CACS.                     like to remind you about our
The following is a small excerpt. To read the entire 10-page document, go to                        vehicle donation program. and look for the 2009 Budget Tool Kit that has many more                      Donate         For   Charity
suggestions.                                                                                        specializes in processing
                                                                                                    vehicle donations for
                                                                                                    nonprofits. They arrange
       “The California State Legislature has just passed a budget requiring devastating
                                                                                                    for vehicle pickup, handles
cuts to services for people with developmental disabilities.                                        all the DMV issues, sell
     YOUR SERVICES ARE IN JEOPARDY!                                                                 the vehicle at auction, and
     Very simply, the major cuts are:                                                               distribute the net proceeds
   • A 3% funding cut to all Regional Centers [ours is the Golden Gate Regional Center, www.        to Casa Allegra Community] and all Regional Center-funded programs, scheduled to start on March 1, 2009.      Services.
       This funding cut will impact every community program.                                             If it’s time to replace
   • An additional state-wide cut of $100 million. Regional Centers must save this $100 million     an older car, or if you have
       by finding ways to reduce costs. How that is to be done is not yet determined. But if the    a boat and trailer that are
       Regional Centers do not find a way to save the $100 million, the rates paid to community     just taking up space in the
                                                                                                    garage, consider making a
       programs will be reduced by an additional 7.1% on September 1, 2009.
     The 3% cut will be very, very difficult for local agencies to absorb. An additional 7.1% cut        You’ll     avoid    the
simply could not be managed. We must prevent this additional cut from happening.                    headache of selling a used
     You may want to consider supporting these 3 suggestions:                                       vehicle, help Casa Allegra
       1. Fully utilize every currently available method for bringing more federal money into the   Community Services fund
          system.                                                                                   it’s ongoing programs, and
       2. Assure that whatever reductions are made are done in a way that involves all 4 parts      receive a receipt entitling
          of the system:                                                                            you to deduct the fair
                • State Developmental Centers,                                                      market value of your vehicle
                • State Department of Developmental Services,                                       as a tax deduction.
                • Regional Center Operations, and
                • Regional Center Purchase of Services – these are the funds that flow to             To donate your vehicle:
                   Community Service Providers.                                                      Toll-Free:	(866)	392-4483		
       3. Given the many cuts already absorbed by the community service system and the much
          greater financial strength of the State Developmental Centers, achieve the $100 million                 or
          savings by reducing the budgets of the Developmental Centers. Given their long history	
          of stable funding, the Centers are in a better position to absorb the reduction without     How	You	Can	Help	page
          jeopardizing the health and safety of consumers.
     ...This situation is unprecedented and critical and it is vitally important for everyone
who cares about people with developmental disabilities to participate in this process!”
     ~ 2008 All rights reserved, The ARC of California

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