This is the 50th year for Cheyenne Village being there for adults with disabilities.

A new tree at one of the nonprofit’s homes has been planted to celebrate that long history. Its sign honors Cheyenne Village for “helping individuals with disabilities lead happy, healthy, fulfilling lives.” It is also dedicated to the employees from over those decades.

Cheyenne Village opened April 1, 1971, at McLaughlin Lodge in Manitou Springs. It was a project of love for active local woman Peggy Marshall, who sought out a solution for aging parents who would need plans for safe, gratifying futures for their adult children with disabilities, like her own daughter. The cozy little residential cabins at McLaughlin were just the beginning.

Today the 400 individuals served by Cheyenne Village live in group homes, host homes, apartments, companion homes and even their own homes. A number have jobs in the community; some serve on boards. They go to baseball games, concerts, on trips, to the State Fair and more. They do art and plant a community garden. They do volunteer work.

Guests and supporters at the signature Cheyenne Village summer fundraiser, Shrimp Boil, on Aug. 27 at Cheyenne Mountain Resort, learned about the impact of the nonprofit through the personal story of Bob. When his brother Bob was born, explained Rick Waples, doctors told his parents he would not have “an ordinary life.” Growing up, people would call Bob “different,” Rick said. “Our parents did the best they could” to give Bob a good life. As he grew older he needed more.

His 40 years at Cheyenne Village had not given Bob that “ordinary life,” said his brother. “It was an extraordinary life.”

Bob learned self-care, all about cleaning and shopping, how to take the bus, participating in Special Olympics and all about safety.

Now about that safety thing, Rick said, laughing. “If you had ever ridden with Bob he was ‘wear your seat belt. Stop. Go. Slow down...’” Staff at Cheyenne Village “treated him like family.” They took him fishing, and camping and he participated in community activities. “He had great host homes” and was with Nancy Thomason for nine years. She was with the Waples family at Shrimp Boil.

Bob was taken to the emergency room in November 2020 and died of kidney cancer last March. At his celebration of life, the Waples family learned even more wonderful stories about Bob and his Cheyenne Village life. They were comforted, too, Rick said, that although Bob had been called “different,” the truth was, “being different does not mean less.”

2022 Save the Dates

Nonprofits are making preliminary and very tentative plans for fundraising events in 2022.

We’re starting a Save the Dates calendar that could be subject to changes because of COVID. Please send the date, name of the planned event and presenting group, location if possible, and contact information. Send to linda.navarro@gazette.com with 2022 Save the Dates in subject line.

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