In 1955 the parents and citizens of this community came together to create Emory Valley School for 16 children with mental retardation who were excluded from public school. Since that time the Emory Valley Center and the Daniel Arthur Rehabilitation Center have been significant in the lives of thousands of mentally, physically and emotionally disabled children and adults. Today a variety of excellent programs in this building provides meaning and a quality of life for 140 adults with disabilities and serves the most needy, most vulnerable citizens of our community.
The Daniel Arthur Rehabilitation Center building that houses many of Emory Valley Center's programs will be torn down in early 2015. The cost to the governments in Anderson County and Oak Ridge for maintenance and countinued operation of the old and inefficient building have become too high. These tough economic times are poised to affect the least fortunate in our area in a way that will change their lives significantly, and not for the better. Many of the clients at the center, who have faced many obstacles and challenges in their lives, have outlived their parents and are dependent on Emory Valley Center for their total support.
We now embark on a major Capital Campaign to replace the building and continue the legacy which began more than 50 years ago. Emory Valley Center has met the needs of the mentally and physically disabled in this community effectively for 56 years. This community was one of the first in the nation to offer training, education, and hope to special needs children that others had ignored.
We are losing our building and must turn to the community for help so that these services may continue. The Emory Valley Center story is about a community that came together and decided to care for the least fortunate and made sure every child and every adult had a chance at a decent life. That's not a tradition we can bear to see end. It would be a real tragedy to abandon a program that works and has made a real difference.
We ask you to please consider a tax-deductible gift to our Capital Campaign so that this legacy and Emory Valley Center will continue for many years to come. Please help us help those who cannot help themselves. See our Donations page for details on how to contribute to this cause. You can see conceptual drawings and a floor plan of the proposed new facility on our Facility Plans page.
"With our busy lives it's very easy to forget mentally and physically disabled adults. I often wondered why God gave me a mentally retarded daughter and now I think I understand. Ensuring that Emory Valley Center continues to serve my Cathy and countless others is my legacy to her and many others whose parents are no longer here to help them. We are losing the building that has been significant in the lives of thousands of families from the region for more than half a century and I hope and pray that the community will step up to ensure that Emory Valley Center continues for many years to come. "|
Dottie Thompson, EVC Capital Campaign Co-Chair
"I started medical school in 1957 and experienced the start of the renaissance in the treatment of children with mental retardation. From 1960 until 1967, I practiced pediatrics in the Navy. At that time all Navy dependents were given care at naval facilities and I was a part of a very good system that incorporated the new ways of treatment of special needs children. In 1966 I was offered the job of Superintendent of Green Valley Institution in East Tennessee. I elected private practice in Oak Ridge where I could see the great results of the Emory Valley School for Retarded Children and the Daniel Arthur Rehabilitation Center. I witnessed the State of Tennessee gradually do away with the old concept of institutionalization and close down Green Valley for the treatment of Mental Retardation.
The new approach added a quality of life to a group of individuals that previously faced institutional care and a meaningless life that didn't last long. But as they live longer , more meaningful lives, they outlive their families and any support network. For many Emory Valley Center is their life and without EVC the prospects for them receiving adequate care isn't bright. This was and still is a new problem for society with very little planning on how to accomplish it. Many citizens are not aware of the special needs of the "least of these" in our society.
The Campaign is to ensure a home like Emory Valley Center will be there to give this unique group of citizens continued support and a meaningful life. It is a chance to tell this story to every citizen that will listen. A belief that our society will respond in a positive way and will not go back to institutional care made this Campaign a serious undertaking and a chance I couldn't turn down."
Dr. Gene Caldwell, EVC Capital Campaign Co-Chair
|The Emory Valley Center Campaign Committee is co-chaired by Dr. Gene Caldwell (email@example.com; 865-481-3098) and Dottie Thompson.
Members of the campaign Advisory Committee include:
Homer Fisher, Honorary Chair
OR Mayor Tom Beehan
AC Mayor Myron Iwanski
EVC Capital Campaign, P.O . Box 5328, Oak Ridge, TN 37831
The link below is a Windows Media file containing a news clip from WBIR-TV a portion of the campaign kick-off meeting:
WBIR News Clip
Dr. Gene Caldwell and Dottie Thompson honored
at Luncheon at TN Governorís Residence
A Statewide Awareness Tour Appreciation Luncheon at the Tennessee Governorís Residence hosted by First Lady Crissy Haslam honored volunteers across the State of Tennessee who have dedicated their time and talents to those with Intellectual Disabilities.
Dr. Gene Caldwell and Dottie Thompson were two of those honored at the Luncheon for their efforts toward the ongoing Capital Campaign at the Emory Valley Center.
Dr. Gene Caldwell named Hometown Hero by Home Federal Bank
Home Federal Bank named Dr. Gene Caldwell a Hometown Hero representing Anderson County and presented a check for $2,500 in his name to the Emory Valley Center at a ceremony at the Home Federal Bank in Oak Ridge.
The Hometown Heroes program spotlights ordinary people who do extraordinary things for others and their community. The public submitted more than 200 nominations, and winners were selected by a panel of judges to represent different parts of Home Federal Bank's service area in Knox, Anderson, Blount and Sevier counties.
"There are so many great people that selflessly do an incredible amount of good for our community and never get the credit they deserve," said Home Federal Bank President Dale Keasling. "People like Dr. Gene Caldwell, whose volunteer efforts help people in the community every day, exemplify what it means to be a Hometown Hero."
Emory Valley Center Inc. President Jennifer Enderson accepted the donation on behalf of the center.
"The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who are most vulnerable."