LeadingAge Kentucky Award- Supportive Services Award

Congratulations to Amy Lawler for winning the LeadingAge Kentucky Supportive Services Award!  The mission of LeadingAge Kentucky is to provide services to members that will enhance the quality of life of those they serve by providing education and sharing information, providing networking opportunities, developing leadership and advancing sound public policy.
Amy has been a valuable and dedicated staff member at Cedar Lake’s Park Place and Sycamore Run for many years and has been one of the greatest advocates for the physical, mental, spiritual and social needs of the individuals we support. Thank you, Amy for all you do for Cedar Lake and the individuals we support!

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

The month of October is National Disability Awareness Month. We want to give a big shout out to Robert, Pamela, Clayton and Peter for being hard workers in the community and thank you to Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Walgreens and Hometown Pizza for being a few of the many places our individuals are employed. Our Supported Employment Program helps our individuals find, keep and maintain a healthy work/life balance.

Cassandra Tembo- Interim President and CEO

Tell me when you first started with Cedar Lake.
November 2013 as the VP of Human Resources.

How long were you with Cedar Lake?
For 6 years. First as the VP of Human Resources to the VP of Administration and then Chief Administrative Officer.

Tell me a little bit about yourself: family, job, hobbies, etc.
I’ve been married for 16 years. We serve together in ministry and like to travel. Our lives are centered around helping others. We travel domestically and internationally; most is centered around ministry work and then vacations are sprinkled in. Vacations are usually by the ocean. Our most memorable trip was Israel.

What is your favorite memory of your time with Cedar Lake?
My favorite memory was one of my very first Cedar Lake moments – it was my first experience out of Corporate America, and it was on Maundy Thursday, leading up to Easter.
A member of the Spiritual Life team at the time went to all locations within Cedar Lake to offer communion to staff and the people that we support.
One of the people that we support is nonverbal and at the time that she was taking communion, she spoke and said, “for me” and took the communion. Not only was that a powerful moment to witness, the bread that was used for communion was made at CLEC by those that we support. It was so powerful to see all that Cedar Lake encompasses: the people that we support, the Christian principles that we were founded upon, which also reminds us that the ground is level at the foot of the cross. This moment embodied all that we are at Cedar Lake.
Another favorite memory was with Michael and Arnold at Park Place. We would periodically go to lunch. In 2019 when I was leaving, I had my last lunch with Michael and Arnold and will always hold onto those memories.

What’s your favorite annual event?
My favorite event is the Employee Awards Banquet. It’s special because we get to celebrate the people that make it all happen.

Anything else you’d like to share?
When the board asked me to come back to help Cedar Lake in this interim period, the answer was absolutely. I will always be willing to do what I can to help Cedar Lake. It’s been heartwarming anytime someone has told me “welcome home” now that I’m back in the doors. That’s what makes Cedar Lake special.

October 2021 Updates

Hearts of Gold Gala, November 13 
Did you read this and get excited?  Are you ready to dress up and join other Cedar Lake supporters to celebrate 50 years of service?  Or did you read it and think, “too soon.  Now is not the time for celebrations and big gatherings.”
Believe me, if you’ve thought it, we have too!  We planned and hoped for an in-person Gala.  First of all, it is our largest fundraising event and virtual events simply don’t raise as much money.  Secondly, we are all ready to gather, to celebrate our history and to look forward to what is ahead.  Since Covid numbers are trending down (including in our programs), more and more people are vaccinated and our venue, Marriott Downtown, has excellent safety and cleaning protocols in place, we decided that we would move forward with an in-person event.  We are requiring all guests to be vaccinated – be sure to bring proof of your vaccine. While we recognize that this isn’t a foolproof way to prevent attendees from being exposed to Covid, it will go a long way in keeping everyone safe.
So join us! It is going to be an incredible evening and we are so looking forward to seeing you.  Follow this Hearts of Gold Gala link to purchase tickets and get all the information you need. Without our donors’ “hearts of gold” we never would have made it this far. Join us as we celebrate our past and look forward to the next 50 years!

Give for Good Louisville

Thank you for all your support during Give for Good Louisville 2021. It was a successful day which ended in a total of $16,175 raised with 89 unique donors! The Foundation Team had a blast capturing the special moments with our leaders and individuals you may have seen on our @CedarLakeKY social media pages. Your donations help individuals like Billy and Zach (pictured below) learn, grow and succeed each day through our programming.

The Haynes Family


Jim and Sara Haynes knew almost from the beginning of their son’s life that something was wrong.  Jeffrey would choke when feeding. He had his first seizure at four months and frequent, uncontrolled seizures after that. “We were routinely at the children’s hospital, but the seizures were never under control.” Desperate for answers, they took Jeffrey to St. Louis Children’s Hospital, a premier center for seizure disorders.  After a 24-hour seizure study, countless medications and medication adjustments, the seizures still did not stop. The combination of the severe seizures and the medications led to Jeffrey’s intellectual disability.
Jim and Sara said they prayed and prayed and they wondered what more they could do to ensure the best life for Jeffrey. Jim said, “You always want to know why. Did we do something wrong? What is the reason?” Finally, through genetic testing, they learned that there was a gene mutation in utero, not caused by anyone.
The Haynes realized they needed help; they needed a community. “Sara was Jeffrey’s best advocate” Jim said. “She searched out support groups and connected with other families with disabled children.” Through a contact at Jeffrey’s school, Jim and Sara learned about Cedar Lake. Because she knew it could be years before there was an opening, Sara got Jeffrey on the waiting list while he was still a child.
While they waited for Cedar Lake, Jeffrey’s needs continued to grow beyond their ability to provide the structure and environment he needed to thrive. After Sara received a significant health diagnosis, she and Jim knew that they could not meet the physical demands of caring for Jeffrey and in 2001, following a recommendation from a friend, placed him in the care of another program. Every weekend they would go to see him and every time they realized that it just was not the right fit for their son. They constantly worried about Jeffrey but did not know of any alternatives. “We would call Jim Richardson, (former CEO of Cedar Lake) and ask, where are we on the list?” Three years later on the day after Christmas, Jim and Sara were able to move Jeffrey to Cedar Lake Lodge.
At Cedar Lake, they have found a true home for Jeffrey. “They know our son as well as we do.”  They learned that everyone there really does care and they know what they are doing.  Jeffrey’s seizures are now under control – the best they have ever been. His behavioral problems have subsided because of the structure and programming. “I used to hope that Jeffrey would pre-decease us because I didn’t think anyone would ever love and care for him like we did.” Jim said. “Because of Cedar Lake, I don’t think about that at all. We trust them to love and care for Jeffrey and to always do the right thing.”

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Louisville, KY 40222

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