First of Oregon received the 2000 Community Partnership Award
your history of outstanding collaborative advocacy leading to the
closure of Fairview Training Center and the community inclusion of
Oregonians with developmental disabilities who were
First President Cindy Helvington accepted the award from Governor
Kitzhaber at a ceremony on March 3, 2000.
the award and Cindy receiving it from Governor Kitzhaber are in
the Photo Album.
The Closing Chapter
People First started at Fairview
institution in 1972. Read newspaper articles and comments from People
First members and others on the closing of Fairview.
Fairview Memory Book
Oregon Department of Developmental Disabilities
to Judy Cunio!
Cerebral Palsy Association of Oregon and SW Washington's "Person of the
received the 1999 Tara Asai Award at the agency's annual meeting in Tigard
on October 1, 1999.
A picture of Judy is in
the Photo Album.
Korea People First Visits Oregon
On 8/19/99 approximately 35 persons from Korea met with
People First of Oregon members and staff from the Developmental Disabilities
The group from Korea wore jackets with People First insignias
in both English and Korean. They included members, parents, teachers,
and administrators. A Korean woman from the UO served as translator.
The meeting was hosted by Judy Cunio, Rosella Samuelson,
and Cindy Helvington. Gifts and business cards were exchanged.
It was a very good meeting. People First members said they would be of
assistance if needed in the coming years.
A picture of the jacket
presented to People First is in the Photo Album.
Dance Floor is Safe Haven
Twice a month dances for developmentally disabled
residents attract a crowd
Salem, Oregon Statesman Journal Newspaper Article: June 18, 1998
They love music, they love to dance, and the Salem Senior Center provides
a twice-a- month set ting for those attending the Erixon Dance Program.
Usually,200 or more
developmentally disabled area residents show up for the
David Beem, who helps
supervise the dances, recalled a forerunner that started while he was living at Fairview
Training Center in the early 1960s. Most of the former Fairview residents are now in
apartments or collective living environments in the community.
"They are from
all the group homes in the city," Beem said of the dance participants. "A lot of
disabled people don't have nothing to do, no sports or anything. We play country and rock
mixed. They like it because there ain't no problems there, there ain't no crime."
Terry Schwartz, who
serves as disc jockey, agrees with the assessment that the dances at the senior center are
a good environment. "In the dance clubs, they do a lot of drinking," Schwartz
said. "There is no drinking, no drugs at the Erixon dances. It is so clean. That is
why we have done it so many years."
Schwartz said the
dances have grown in attendance and musical sophistication since he first started with
them in 1974. He began with a simple reel-to-reel tape recorder at the old Pringle
Community Hall. As he kept blowing out amplifiers and speakers, a friend encouraged him to
add professional equipment. Now, Schwartz not only plans for the twice-a-month dances at
the senior center, but for the weekly ones at his former Fairview home. "It is my
hobby," Schwartz said of his reasons for playing the dance music. "I liked to
start it as a business, and I enjoy it every time."
The people attending
take pleasure in it, too. "They love it, and they come every time. They know me, and
they love our sound system. We make sure it is a good sound," Schwartz said.
The combination of
enjoyable sounds and a protective environment is the draw, said Mike Brown, a recreation
leader for the sponsoring city Community Services Recreation Department. "It is an
event especially for the developmental disabled population," Brown said. "They
don't have to worry about other people or about other people judging them." He has
been working as a dance supervisor for a half dozen years. His comfort level with the
population is enhanced by spending time with his sister, who has Down's syndrome.
Bruce Bolton, city
recreation supervisor, said the dances are so popular that talks have been held on seeking
a larger space. They are moving slowly, however, out of concern for the need for the
developmentally disabled having a steady site on a regular schedule, he said.
The dances are high
on the list of favored activities by the community's Special Population Networking
Committee. It coordinates such things as recreational activities, classes and programs for
people who are developmentally disabled.
More: The twice-a-month dances for developmentally disabled people take place at
the Salem Senior Center, 1055 Erixon St. NE. Admission is $2 per person. Call
370-7232 for more information.
Pictures of the dance are in the Photo
Former People 1st President
David Beem runs for Salem City Council and
gets 9% of the votes!
Disability fails to slow Beem's efforts
The Ward 6 candidate for City Council aims to help minority groups.
BY ANNE WILLIAMS
Salem, Oregon Statesman Journal Newspaper Article: April 19, 1998l
David Beem hopes this will be the year that Salem voters give him
the chance to be Oregon's first developmentally disabled individual to serve on the City
Council. The 46-year-old former Fairview Training Center resident has run
for council several times in several wards, never garnering enough votes to get his name
on the November ballot.
This time, he faces one opponent in the Ward 6 race: Bob Wallace,
former chairman of the Northeast Salem Community Association. "I'm not sure if I've got a shot or not," Beem said
recently in the small apartment off Center Street NE that he shares with his wife, Rachel.
"A few people don't want me, they don't think I can do it. They should give me the