February 2019 Monthly Presentation
Welcome to Wellspring Community!
When: Wednesday, February 13that 7pm (note that this is Wednesday, not Thursday this month)
Who: Mary Lou Fenton, Founder of Wellspring Community
See what’s making history in our community!
History is us, here and now, just as it was for those who came before us. It’s the people who share the same time and space, and what they do with those things. History is not just who we were, it’s also who we are, now. Take a look around and see what will be history going forward, what a future generation might say about who we were and what we did.
A large part of our history, in any age, is the people and the community who are together on this surging journey of life.
A small but vibrant and amazing part of this community that history will smile on is Wellspring. And it all started with a mother, trying to make the best of life for her adult daughter with developmental disabilities, and others like her.
Mary Lou Fenton realized that her daughter Emily would have few opportunities in adulthood; she couldn’t drive and would need her parents’ support for the rest of her life. “We started by talking to a lot of other parents of teens with special needs, researching programs around the country that were doing great things for folks with developmental disabilities and mostly praying for a wildly creative idea to give Emily and her friends a full and wonderful future,” she says.
So she started a weekly cookie-baking class at home for Emily and three high school friends.She had no idea where that would lead. These “classes” became the journey of a lifetime for Fenton, a journey she’s invited others to share. The creativity became contagious.
“Today we serve over 80 adults with special needs,” she says. “We call the folks we serve STARS – Specially Talented Adults Raising Standards – from 5 counties. We operate several special enterprises and offer a wide variety of enrichment classes to give our STARS meaningful, productive activity in a nurturing environment.” We have recently received a 2.7-acre land donation in Castle Rock to build a Wellspring headquarters so we can serve more folks. And this summer, we will be launching our first satellite in Colorado Springs!”
It’s been a life-changing event for Fenton and for all of the families that Wellspring serves. Each individual finds their own talent, whether it’s baking, ceramics, gardening, or one of the many enrichment classes. The long-term goal is for Wellspring to eventually provide lifelong residential services so their STARS can live in safe and loving homes with friends when their parents can no longer provide their care.
These adults show their assurance while working at the cozy Wellspring Café and Bakery in the Emporium, and you can buy their unique pottery there, too.
Wellspring is making history in our time, better for those that follow. “We are seeing the lives of adults with all kinds of special needs transformed as we treat them with dignity and respect and provide opportunities to develop their potential and live life to the fullest,” says Fenton.
Fenton will be presenting her on-going journey to the Castle Rock Historical Society on February 13th. Everyone is welcome to hear the rest of this inspiring story.