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COVID-19 Safer At Home Update

Apr. 1, 2020 9:39 am

As you many know, on Monday, CP decided to keep all of our locations closed through April 24, per Governor Evers' Saferat Home order. It was a tough decision, but after talking as a staff and reaching out to some of our clients, we felt this was really the best action to take for the safety and well being of everyone.

Speaking of that, I know a lot of people are home right now, and it might be getting a bit old. How many more movies can you watch, how many more puzzles can you put together? I know I had the realization yesterday of what am I going to do to keep busy at home for a month? I have work, which helps, but what about at night or on the weekends? Luckily, I have two teenagers who, for the most part, keep themselves busy, but even they get bored and need something to do outside of online learning. It was a lot more overwhelming than I thought, really.

But then I thought about our clients - the people that CP serves every day. The infants, the seniors, the kiddos who are medically fragile, those who have compromised immune systems. It's so easy to forget why you are staying at home when the reason may not be sitting in front of you. Well, I'm here to remind you that you are not only staying home for our clients, but for the countless others who may not be as strong as you and I are to fight off a virus like COVID-19. For them, this is a very real and very scary situation.

I did some checking in last week with some of our team to see how everyone was doing, and the reports were pretty good. Lots of folks are finding a new normal - a new routine as we ride out all of this. But there was certainly an underlying theme: they all miss coming to CP and seeing their friends. Pool patrons have shared on Facebook on how they miss coming to the pool to take their class and see people they know. Families are missing their weekly visits with their therapist and interacting with other families. And in speaking with a lot of our staff last week, I know they are missing being at CP, too. But everyone also understands the importance of keeping everyone safer at home.

My take away from that is, if we are going to be apart for at least a month (for some of us longer), then we should all be doing our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19. You know the drill - wash your hands, sanitize everything, practice social distancing and only leave your house when you absolutely have to. I get it, being cooped up is hard and as the days start to get nicer, it will be more difficult, but please - just stay home. What's a few weeks, when the end game is being able to open the doors of CP again and welcome back all of our clients?

In the meantime, I've been trying to make sure we are staying connected with our community using Facebook. I've been calling on our staff to share photos and videos about what they've been doing while we are closed. Now I'm talking to our team specifically: Now that we'll be closed through April 24, I'm hoping I can get some of our staff to share videos on what they would have been doing in class - maybe a cooking video, showing a craft project, or something with music or exercise. Maybe its tips on staying mobile while at home, sensory activities or something else. Maybe its just encouraging words you want to share with our clients to keep them motivated. 

I know it's hard to get in front of a camera, and I'm not asking for anything fancy or perfectly edited. Just be yourself. I think it would mean a lot to our clients to see you again and would make the connection to CP just that more real. Just email me and we can talk about ideas. Okay, enough of that.

Just make sure to do all you can to keep yourself and our communities safe through all of this. It's amazing how simply staying at home can make such a big difference. If we all do it correctly, we'll be back at CP before you know it. Back riding bikes down the hallways, jumping in ball pits, playing on the playground, working out in the pool - and safer and stronger together. Stay well #saferathome.

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What we were going to talk about...

Mar. 23, 2020 11:30 am

As many of you know, CP made the decision to close all of our locations through Friday, April 3 to ensure the health and safety of our clients, families and staff while we all navigate through COVID-19. Although it was a difficult decision, it was the right one to make. 

So, I'm sitting at home, Friday, March 20, trying to figure out my new normal. If I were in my office, I'd be drafting the blog post for the upcoming Monday. But as I write this from my makeshift work station at home, I find that difficult to do. What do you write about, talk about, when you aren't physically there? So I figured I'd do the next best thing - tell you what I was going to write about over the next two weeks.

Monday, March 23
Today was going to be all about CP's Aquatic Center. Our spring registration (which is now on hold) was starting to take off and many of our patrons and new families were coming in to register for fitness classes, swim lessons and specialized exercise. The Aquatic Center is open to the public, so it's always nice to see new faces mixed in with our "regulars" during class registration time.

Spring is a great time to get the kids enrolled in swim lessons so they are ready for summer swimming fun. For others, there is just something about being in a warm water pool that makes you feel good while helping to build balance, strength and coordination through aquatic exercise. Now, I'd normally post a photo of kids having fun in the pool, or perhaps a group fitness class taking place. But, alas, I'm not at CP, so this photo simulation will have to do.

In all sincerity, when we get back at it - and we will - you'll have to stop by the Aquatic Center yourself to take in all of the action. We're a pretty busy place with classes designed for every age. Register for a class while you're there, too!

Monday, March 30
This post was going to promote CP's YouTube channel. Did you know we even had one? We are working hard in 2020 to provide content that will be helpful not only to current CP families, but for families everywhere. It's our way to extend our reach beyond Northeast Wisconsin. We have a pretty amazing staff who are knowledgeable about topics including adaptive equipment, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, sensory activities, play based learning, aquatic physical therapy and adaptive technology. Our team also has experience working with a variety of conditions including autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, MS, traumatic brain injuries, post-stroke, and even cases where there isn't a specific diagnosis.

The March 30 post was going to show our latest video, which has unfortunately been suspended due to reasons we all know too well. It was going to feature our Adult Day Services program and the kitchen class sharing a recipe. We'll still get it posted - just at a later date. For now, you can check out our most recent video on using adaptive equipment:

My sincere hope that is these are the only two blog posts that we will miss. I'll think of something to post on March 30 (today is taken care of), even if it can't be what I talked about above. Feel free to subscribe to our blog by sharing your email as well, so that when we do get back to normal, you won't miss anything.

To everyone: be well, stay safe. I think everyone at CP - clients and staff alike - are missing each other a lot right now. You should head over to CP's Facebook page and check out what everyone is doing while we are closed. In this trying time, our clients and staff have found wonderful ways to get through all of this with laughter, fun and grace.

Stay healthy and safe.

UPDATE: As we have learned the last few weeks, things change quite rapidly. There is now news of yet another change for WI regarding COVID-19. Please stay safe everyone. Perhaps I'll have to think of another post for week three after all. 

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An Uncertain Time...

Mar. 18, 2020 4:14 pm

Well, this certainly isn't the blog post that I thought I'd be sharing this week. COVID-19 has certainly kept us busy creating plans and sharing information, only to have them change a few moments later. CP certainly isn't alone in this - my personal email inbox has been full of updates and changes over the last week from school, businesses and restaurants. I think we are all just trying to manage the best we can with the information we have. And so, life goes on...

CP has made some decisions regarding our programming due to COVID-19 that we'd like to tell you about. Today, Wednesday, March 18 at 5pm through Friday, April 3, all of CP's facilities will close. This includes our Green Bay, Kimberly and Two Rivers locations.

We did not take the importance of this decision lightly. We understand that many families rely on CP to care for their loved ones. However, after much discussion, we thought it was necessary in order to protect the health of our clients, families and staff, which is, and always will be, our top priority.

What will happen after Friday, April 3?
Unfortunately, no one really knows what will happen. Although it feels like we finally have a minute to catch our breath, everything could change again. After the two weeks are concluded, CP will assess the situation before making decisions about programming. Those decisions will be communicated as quickly as possible.

Thank You
With everything going on, CP would like to thank our clients, families and especially our amazing team of employees for standing with us through it all.

More changes may lie ahead, but with such amazing support, there isn't anything we can't overcome.

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Another CP Telethon is in the Books!

Mar. 10, 2020 7:55 am

Well, another CP Telethon is done and, yet again, we have so much to be thankful for. $1,458,664 reasons to be exact.

From the performances, to the hosts, WBAY, the VIPs, our own CP team and, of course, everyone who called in and donated, it all just came together.  

Not only did we break another fundraising record, we had one of our best shows yet, with dance and music performances all by local groups and organizations. But one of the real highlights had to be our live remotes that featured CP programs and our in-studio interviews highlighting some pretty amazing clients and the gains they have made. Looking back, now two days post-Telethon, it was a weekend to be proud of.

Our biggest thanks of all needs to go to our community and the people and businesses who make it a point to call in their pledge every year. From $5 to $1,000, every donation makes a real difference to our clients all year long.

So, thank you, Northeast Wisconsin, for your generosity, compassion and support of CP and our families. We couldn't have done it without you. 

If you missed the weekend, you can still make a donation to the CP Telethon here

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Growing in the Fox Cities

Feb. 18, 2020 8:24 am

This is an exciting time for CP. So many new projects are in the works, including our big move in the Fox Cities! Today, marks day two in our new CP Fox Cities location on Truman Street in Kimberly, and the future looks oh so bright.  

After five years at our current CP Fox Cities location, we were busting at the seams and moving to a larger site was an important need. It's a small move just around the corner from our first location, but it means big things. While we now have more room for our clients, it also means we'll be able to serve even more people. But on a larger scale, it means that CP Fox Cities is here to stay, serving the Fox Cities area.
When we opened the doors five years ago, we thought the families would be lined up for services, and there were a few months of uncertainty when that didn't happen. But, we were serving a small, dedicated group of families who, along with the staff, wanted to see CP Fox Cities work.

As our name got out there and as we developed relationships, we started to see growth. It was the growth we knew could happen, but just at a slower pace than anticipated.

Today, CP is firmly embedded in the Fox Cities, providing adult day services programming for families from the communities of Appleton, Chilton, Neenah, Menasha and more. We are connected with schools and other community organizations like Fox Cities Symphony, Expressive Therapies and Fusion Martial Arts, and have become a resource that people in our community have come to know and rely on.

As we move into our larger space and open the doors, we are looking forward to welcoming more families and be even more connected with the community.

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Fusion Foundation Provides Opportunity for Everyone to Dance

Feb. 10, 2020 9:41 am

There are so many great organizations in our community that provide inclusive opportunities. This week, CP wanted to highlight one of those organizations. Meet the Fusion Foundation.

The Fusion Foundation started from the idea that everyone should be able to dance, no matter the cost or person's ability. Not only does the Fusion Foundation offer dance scholarships, they also develop dance experiences for people from all walks of life. No matter the obstacle, age, set-back or disability, if someone wants to dance, the Fusion Foundation tries to bring that experience to them. 

One of the programs started by the Fusion Foundation is their LEAD program. Standing for Limitless Enriched Adaptive Dance, the program provides an enriching atmosphere for children and adults with special needs to experience dance through special clinics, field trips and community dance classes.

Last year was CP's first time partnering with the Fusion Foundation. Children and adults with special needs were invited to participate in a morning dance clinic, then everyone headed over to WBAY and performed their dance on the annual CP Telethon. It was an amazing moment, and one of the top highlights of the show.

Watching this group, who had only come together a few hours before, perform, work and help each other while having fun - at that moment, you could see CP's mission alive and thriving in every face on that stage.

It's very fulfilling to work with so many wonderful organizations in the community that are like-minded and want to offer opportunities for everyone - no matter the ability. It's even better when we can come together to make that happen.

The LEAD dance clinic will be returning to the CP Telethon on Sunday, March 8. The clinic will take place at CP that morning, and is open to children (8+) and adults with special needs. You can register at The cost is only $8 for what should be an experience to remember.

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Getting to Know Deena: Adult Day Services Feature Family

Feb. 3, 2020 12:42 pm

The CP Telethon is right around the corner, and as we continue to plan the event, finalize the details and line up the entertainment, it's important to take a minute and remember what the CP Telethon is really all about.

Most think of Telethon as this big community tradition - an opportunity to thank those who have given to CP during the year, seeing friends and family on TV as they answer phones on a VIP panel and hear great live entertainment. And Telethon is all of those things.

But it's also a celebration of people. Those with disabilities, and those without. Those who make an impact every day. Those who set a goal, work hard and reach it. It's learning and understanding that people of all abilities make up the communities we live in.

That's one of the reasons why Telethon has Feature Families. A Feature Family is a client or family that represents what CP is all about. Feature Families are a reflection of the amazing human spirit we see at CP every day.  

So, we'd invite you to get to know our first Feature Family a bit better: Deena, her mom, Eleanor and step-father, Ron. Deena attends CPLakeshore, CP's Adult Day Services program located in Two Rivers. There, Deena participates in classes that help her be as independent as possible, while interacting with her peers and building new skills.

Deena and her family will appear on Telethon on Sunday, March 8. We hope you can tune in to hear her story and how CP has made a difference. In the meantime, check out our sneak peek of Deena in the video below.

Next week, we'll introduce you to another Feature Family. Of course, be sure to watch the CP Telethon LIVE on WBAY on March 7 & 8 where you'll meet all of our Feature Families, our amazing staff and other clients. You'll be glad you did!

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Making Sense of Autism - A Parent Guide

Jan. 27, 2020 10:31 am

Autism is a word we hear a lot, but may not totally appreciate, and it's easy to understand why. The word autism represents many different things and can mean many different things. You may have also heard the phrase "autism spectrum." This refers to the range of conditions a child with autism may have and can include sensory processing challenges, communication issues and behavioral challenges.

For a parent, finding out their child has autism can be a daunting and scary realization. While receiving an autism diagnosis may answer some questions, a whole new set of questions start to formulate, the first on most minds being now what?

Finding the Right Autism Services
Autism services can take on many forms and can include specialized occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language therapy. Services can be completed in school, through out-patient therapy, a highly structured in-home program or perhaps a combination of programs. Finding autism services and the right team to develop an individualized care plan can be a lot to navigate, but resources like the parent guide shared below can be helpful.   

Other parent resources include Autism Speaks, Autism Now and My Autism Team.

No matter where you seek services, just about everyone will tell parents the same thing: make connections. Talk to others through a parent support group, a social media group, or whatever you are most comfortable with. These groups can be a tremendous source of support and resources as you navigate the future. Most importantly, they will remind you that you aren't alone.  

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So Much is Happening at CP - Don't Miss a Moment!

Jan. 20, 2020 1:29 pm

2020 is well underway at CP - and you aren't going to want to miss a second of it! CP is busier than ever, with some exciting announcements to share.

CP Expands Daycare Program to Howard
CP Early Education & Care HowardCP Early Education & Care, our incisive childcare program, is opening a second location in Howard, WI this July. It's a brand new daycare site, but with the same quality programming and personalized care we've been providing children for more than 25 years. We are currently enrolling, so if you are looking for daycare services or know someone who is, contact Mary Campbell at (920) 337-1122 for more information.

A new site also means our staff is growing. CP has several daycare teacher positions available that include a hiring sign on bonus. Help us spread the word! 

CP Fox Cities is Moving
In February, CP Fox Cities, our Adult Day Services program in Kimberly, WI, will be moving to a new facility. Our new site is located at 1020 Truman Street, quite close to our current building. While it's a small move around the corner, the impact for our client families is big, with almost 2,000 sq. ft. of additional space, designated classrooms, an enclosed kitchen and an upgraded sensory room.

Since we opened CP Fox Cities in 2015, we've seen steady growth. Today, we have solidified our place in the Fox Cities as a true community resource, here to help clients be as independent as possible while supporting their families.

CP Telethon March 7 & 8
Telethon season is in full swing at CP. Be sure to tune into WBAY on March 7 & 8 for a fun show with lots of entertainment and inspiring stories. Speaking of entertainment, are you looking for things to do in the Greater Green Bay area? Check out our website for more information on some awesome community events coming up over the next several weeks that are supporting CP. You'll see many of these organizations make a stop at Telethon to present a check of their fundraising efforts.

And this is just the first half of 2020! Be sure to subscribe to our blog or sign up to receive CP emails (we promised not to abuse the privilege) so you are always clued in to CP events, community events, client stories and CP updates.  

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Winter Wheelchair Safety

Jan. 14, 2020 12:38 pm

The holidays may be over, but winter weather is still here, and will be for a few more months. Love it or hate it though, snow means something different when discussing winter safety and those that use a power wheelchair or other mobility equipment to get around town.

It can be very problematic for someone in a wheelchair to travel in the winter months. There is a higher risk of getting stuck in the snow, or worse, falling and getting hurt. Think of it this way: you'd be upset if the streets in your city weren't clear of snow for you to travel safely on, right? The same idea applies to sidewalks and people who use wheelchairs.

There is one simple thing you can do to help with winter wheelchair safety: be sure that sidewalks on your block and place of business are clear of snow and ice. It sounds like an easy request, but as the winter wears on, and shoveling gets old, pathways tend to get a bit narrower. Be sure to not only keep sidewalks clear, but wide enough for someone using a wheelchair to pass.

Even more neglected are curb cutouts. Curb cutouts are where the sidewalk grades down to meet the adjoining street. They are typically located at the end of street blocks and in parking areas where there is a curb. Curb cutouts make getting around more accessible for those using wheelchairs and other mobility equipment. When a cutout or parking lot isn't clear, people using a wheelchair are literally stuck, and are left with limited options, like traveling in the street, which is a safety risk.
Spending just a few extra minutes to make sure your sidewalks and curb cutouts are clear ensures that everyone traveling outside in the winter can do safely!

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CP Telethon Feature Family Reveals!

Jan. 6, 2020 12:41 pm

Happy New Year from CP and welcome to 2020!

While the New Year usually means resolutions, at CP, it always means the start of planning for the annual CP Telethon. 2020 marks the 66th year for Telethon, which will broadcast live on WBAY on March 7 & 8. Not only has the CP Telethon become a local tradition over the years, it's also the longest running local telethon in the country, something CP is quite proud of. 

While the Telethon is CP's largest fundraiser of the year, it also presents a unique opportunity to give the Greater Green Bay area community an inside peek at what goes on at CP every day. In addition, Telethon gives us the chance to thank the people and local businesses that support CP all year long.

During the month of January, we'll be introducing you to our four Telethon Feature Families. These are families that use CP for childcare, adult day services, therapy services and the aquatic center. Each family will be sharing their own inspirational story, and you'll learn more about each family over the coming months.

In fact, our first Feature Family is being revealed today! We invite you to meet the Kristyn Allen family, then keep a watchful eye on CP's Facebook page, as our three other Feature Families will be revealed over the next few weeks.