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~In This Issue~March 2012
Legislative update from Executive Director John Wayne Barker
ADS making the move to North St. Paul
Bowl-A-Thon 2012 exceeds goal
Client Spotlight
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Take the Virtual Tour
Check out the Virtual Tour now live on Merrick's website!
Our Sponsors for the 2012 Charity
Golf Schamble
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 Visit SevenHills Benefit Partners
Did you know?     
In 2011, 125 self-advocates regularly participated in one of the five self-advocacy groups at Merrick. In addition, 25 self-advocates met with 13 legislators during three Minnesota State Capitol visits in the 2011 session. 

We partner with: Gordman's
gordmans logoGordmans stores carry a large assortment of name brand apparel for all ages, accessories, footwear, gifts, designer fragrances, fashion jewelry, accent furniture, home fashions and more, at savings up to 60% off department and specialty store prices. Their mission "To delight our guests with big savings, big selection and fun, friendly associates!" comes to life with the hiring of two clients from Merrick at their new location in Roseville at 1663 County Road B2 West in the Crossroads of Roseville. Welcome to the neighborhood and thank you for supporting Merrick! 

We value your feedback. Please let us know how we can improve this newsletter, or if you have suggestions for future articles or content, contact our communications specialist at EmberlyHJ@MerrickInc.org or by phone at 651-789-6216. 

Thank You!  
Thank you for your continued support of Merrick, Inc., and our mission to empower adults with disabilities through vocational and social opportunities, and to guide them toward realizing their goals and dreams.

Upcoming Events   
  • Plant Sale | May 4-5 | Merrick Greenhouse           
  • Golf Schamble | May 21 Troy Burne in Hudson, WI
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March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month 

Thank you for your continued support of Merrick, Inc. In this month's newsletter you will find information on the 2012 MN Legislative session and what issues are relevant to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), news on an exciting development for Adult Day Services, a recap of the Bowl-A-Thon, and the regular client spotlight feature reminding us of why our mission matters.
Thanks for reading! 
Legislative Session 2012 update from Executive Director John Wayne Barker
JWB photo
John Wayne Barker


The 2012 legislative session is not considered a budget session and should be focused mostly on policy and bonding issues. We are tracking the following five legislative issues:    

  • potential constitutional amendment on voter ID; 
  • use of electronic pulltabs to fund a stadium; 
  • status of the 1.67% rate cut that is set to begin on 7/1/12; 
  • purpose of the state fuel tax refund; and 
  • implementation of the state's new Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS).  
With limited space in this enewsletter I will briefly touch on the DWRS legislation and interested readers can visit our website for more details on this and the other bills we are tracking. Contained in Senate File 2234 and House File 2456, the DWRS is a new way to calculate the cost of services to the people we serve and how we get paid. Its structure and cost values were initially designed by a workgroup of 20 state, county, and provider representatives that met for 234 hours over an 18-month period. I was part of that workgroup and want it known that the DWRS does not honor the principals that guided our workgroup or the cost values we recommended to the state. Right now a coalition of providers are working with the Department of Human Services to revise their DWRS legislation to include the original cost values recommended by the workgroup, define budget neutral in a way that stabilizes the system, and structure a phased-in implementation over an 18 to 30-month period. Look for a legislative update in the near future either confirming agreeable DWRS legislation or a call to action.


 More on the 2012 Legislative Session


Adult Day Services moving to North St. Paul

Exciting news came in February when Ramsey County agreed to Merrick Inc.'s proposal to relocate the Adult Day Services (ADS) program along with a new added memory care unit to a yet-to-be-determined location in North St. Paul. "This is fantastic news for our current ADS clients and an exceptional opportunity for us to create a program with an emerging need in the disability community." said Executive Director John Wayne Barker.


Harry C- ADS
Harry, an ADS client using assistive technology

Program Director Colleen Timbers has been working on the expansion idea for almost two years after seeing the growth of ADS and realizing there aren't many options for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who develop dementia as they age. 


With Ramsey County's approval, plans are now in full swing for the new site, the first of its kind in the state, to open this summer. North St. Paul was chosen for it's "community within a community" feel and with the hopes of developing a sustainable volunteer network from the North St. Paul area. Expansion plans call for serving 31 ADS and nine memory care clients in the new location. Future issues of Navigator will feature more news on this exciting development!   

Bowl-A-Thon 2012 exceeds goal
Having a ball at Bowl-A-Thon 2012
The morning of Sunday, March 4th brought out the best in over 170 participants, including 60 clients, at the 10th Annual Bowl-A-Thon at Flaherty's Arden Bowl in Arden Hills. 

This year's event exceeded the fundraising goal set by the committee due in large part to the outstanding job of several clients. In particular, Liz R. brought in over $700 in pledges! 

Many thanks to the volunteers, participants, donors, and sponsors, especially IPS Worldwide! View photos from Bowl-A-Thon 2012. 
Kris A. |
Document Shredding & U of M Crew

Kristine "Kris" A. is like a human magnet as wherever she goes she is surrounded by admirers. Many affectionately refer to her as an "eternal teenager" due to her
spunky nature.

kris at work
Kris at work


Kris has been a client at Merrick since 2000. She divides her week between on-site and employer-based work options. On Mondays and Tuesdays, you can find her working in the document shredding area of Merrick. When asked what she likes about document shredding, Kris replied, "I like working with my crew."


The rest of the week Kris is part of the U of M work crew and spends her time assisting in the greenhouse.

She reports with a wide smile that she likes working with the U of M staff.

Kris similing
Kris is all smiles at a Merrick event



In her free time, she enjoys socializing, watching TV, and listening to music. Kris is always up on the latest tunes, with her current faves being Bruno Mars and Katy Perry. If it's "in", Kris is talking about it, wearing it, singing it, modeling it, or wanting it. She keeps all who know her young at heart. 




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Thank you for your continued support of Merrick, Inc.