Cedar Lake’s One of First Supported Individuals To Celebrate 50 Years of Care

Cedar Lake’s One of First Supported Individuals To Celebrate 50 Years of Care

Man in plaid shirt sets in red recliner in front of closet.

When Cedar Lake Lodge opened its doors in 1974, the first person officially registered was Billy B., recently honored as “Mr. Cedar Lake.” Billy was just 17 years old when he found his home at Cedar Lake, and for the past 50 years, he has shown that Cedar Lake is truly his sanctuary. This vision of Cedar Lake was shared by his parents, Bill and Carolyn, along with other parents, who longed for a nurturing place in the Louisville area for their children with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Billy’s parents played a crucial role in Cedar Lake’s early development, helping to establish the Intermediate Care Facility (ICF). They could hardly have imagined the extensive services and compassionate care Cedar Lake would provide decades later.

Billy Is Always In Style

Billy has made an indelible mark on everyone who has had the pleasure of knowing him. His sisters, Carol Bennett-Brown and Beverly Maclin, fondly remember his love for fashion, a passion that remains vibrant to this day. “Billy loves red, we all do,” Carol Bennett-Brown says. His fondness for red is evident in his choice of a red plaid sports jacket for church on many Sundays. “Billy has always been dapper,” remarked Toni Crouch, assistant administrator of Cedar Lake Lodge, who began her career at Cedar Lake 35 years ago as a house parent working with Billy. “His sisters always ensure he has stylish clothes and shoes, which Billy takes great pleasure in,” Toni adds.

Billy Enjoys Car Rides and Visiting with Family

Billy continues to take pride in selecting his outfits, often keeping his closet open to admire his clothes. He cherishes outings to the mall with his family, enjoying the simple pleasure of people-watching. His bond with his family is strong, including his siblings Carol, Beverly, and John, his father Bill, and his mother Carolyn, who passed away in 2023. For many years, Billy’s parents visited him regularly, taking him for car rides around Louisville. “Billy is sharp with directions. He knows Louisville inside and out,” Beverly notes. Nowadays, his siblings visit him every other week, still taking him to see their father, even though Billy is always eager to return to Cedar Lake. “Cedar Lake has been a blessing. He is content, and Cedar Lake is his home,” Billy’s sister, Beverly Maclin reflects.

During these family car rides, Billy can pinpoint the location of every McDonald’s, often giving directions. He especially loved enjoying a McDonald’s soft drink before transitioning to a g-tube for nutrition. Life changes for everyone, and while Billy once could leap over the Dutch door and loved basking in the sunshine, he now finds comfort in his recliner, watching movies or listening to country music.

  • Family poses in front of doors
  • Young man with black hair sits on ground, man is wearing a black and white stripe shirt
  • Man in plaid shirt sits in a car looking at the camera
  • Man with dark hair stares at camera while wearing a white shirt, black tie and red blazer

Billy has a fondness for brightly colored items, such as the postcards of hot air balloons sent by his sisters. He also delights in pictures of babies, a testament to his gentle nature. “I think he is wonderful,” says Toni, echoing the sentiments of all who know Billy.

Thanks to the dedication of Billy’s family and others, Cedar Lake has become a beacon of care for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It has blossomed into a comprehensive continuum of care, meeting individuals where they are and providing the support they need to thrive.

Bennett & Maclin Families Recognized

At the Cedar Lake Hearts of Gold Gala, the Bennett & Maclin families were recognized with the Beth Copley Compassionate Heart award. This award honors longstanding Cedar Lake donors and volunteers whose commitment and exceptional dedication through advocacy, volunteerism, fundraising and friend raising has enriched the lives of those we support. The actions of the Bennett and Maclin families have moved mountains for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is the most prestigious commendation granted to donors by the Cedar Lake Foundation.