March 2022 represents our 33rd year in the industry! We are absolutely thrilled to reach this milestone- once Dennis Kirkman discovered the need to serve individuals with IDD back in 1989, we have been proud to serve families and individuals all along the Front Range ever since. Support, Inc. provides residential services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilites. We also provide value-added services with access to our clinical team, nursing team, benefits specialist and more!
We asked a few of our long-standing employees to describe a few of their favorite memories through the years. Richard Shaw has worked for Support, Inc. for over 16 years. Kristin Kemp will celebrate 20 years of People Helping People in May, while Cindy Cridlebaugh takes the cake for longest-lasting employee, clocking in at nearly 21 years.
Rich relayed a few moments he remembers fondly while working at Support, Inc.:
One of my favorite moments with Support, Inc. would be in the first month I started with the Agency. They closed the office down in the early afternoon, and all employees took part in an internal dodgeball tournament. Everyone (that wanted to participate) was divided into 4 teams with our own team shirts. We then got to compete against the other teams. Afterwards, we all were treated to a meal. This was such an amazing way to start a career with the agency and team building.
Another favorite moment would be in the first couple of years working with the agency, many of the staff got together to watch a play production of OZ. This was so special because I had just a few years of working in the IDD field and got to share with my coworkers a play put on by Phamaly: Phamaly is one of the few professional theatre companies worldwide to feature performers with disabilities across the spectrum’. It was great to watch this performance live.
When Kristin was asked about her career at Support, Inc., she relayed several stories and funny moments through the years:
Cindy told me that we were going paperless. I remember thinking that it would be impossible. How would we be able to get our work done??!!! I certainly do not miss the HHP files being in manila folders all over our desks. Deb was so proud that our paper order was drastically cut.
For favorite moments, Kristin relayed “I know I have so many more” and rattled off a few examples through the years-
- When we first started accepting Family Caregivers and how it continues to help so many families
- Hosting our first ever Talent Show
- Dodgeball tournament
- Game day at the office, when all the management were at a cabin in the mountains
- 15-year anniversary golf tournament and dinner/dance
- When Cindy and I reached a major milestone in the department, we asked Lynette if we could go to Bora Bora because of this (she said no). And it was hilarious!
Cindy shared a few of her favorite memories, as well-
- Having dances in the day program. Watching all the clients and providers dance together.
- Going for a scavenger hunt around Aurora, driving for different locations. We were all driving around way too fast so we could win.
- Getting the official Support, Inc. sign at the office
- The vaccine clinic, feeling very thankful we could offer this.
- Having all the staff pets visit the office.
- The police following me in the Support, Inc. parking lot with the flashing lights and ticket I got while staff watched.
- Playing Secret Santa with all staff- someone wrapped up their daughter’s retainer.
- Painting the bathroom and office walls “ourselves”.
- When the staff got to go outside and each take a turn hitting the old fax machine (that was always breaking down) with a hammer, complete with safety glasses.
- Parents Night Out, DS’s family participating : )
- Being so thrilled to add Kristin to my department after hearing her infectious laugh from the SLS side of the office .
Lastly, Brian Farestad, Vice President of Operations, relayed a few standout moments-
My favorite memory, in the five years that I have been with Support, Inc. would have to be the vaccine clinics that we held this year and last. During a time when we were so badly missing the face-to-face connection that we were used to, it was amazing to get to see all the families, providers, and individuals that we serve in person. It was very difficult not to just hug everyone but seeing those bright, smiling faces in person really filled a large hole that I didn’t quite know was there. And on top of that, to know that we were providing an invaluable service to people badly underserved and in need, made it all the more enjoyable.
Another favorite memory I have of Support, Inc. is the Talent Shows/Halloween parties that we used to have before the pandemic. To see our individuals and providers show off their creative costumes and talent on the microphone and dance floor is truly something to behold. I look forward to attending our first in person event in over two years sometime soon!
With so many individuals and families served through the years, we can only imagine the memories that others have throughout the organization. Support, Inc. has grown tremendously in the last several years, operating three locations along the Front Range. Although we started with humble roots, we continue to provide the best customer service in the industry. In our hearts, we will always be People Helping People and look forward to another 33 years in Colorado!