On the evening of October 25, 2022, DWI celebrated its 50th Anniversary as a non-profit corporation serving the Eastern Idaho Community. And the community came out to remember the past and learn about the future of DWI. Thanks to the sponsorship of Melaleuca, the event was held at the beautiful Melaleuca Corporate Event Center. Around 300 individuals, representing Persons served, Families, Care Providers, Employers, Vendors, Legislators, Board Members and staff, enjoyed a buffet dinner provided by Chef David from Catered Your Way. Guests enjoyed looking through old pictures, taking part in a Silent Auction and socializing with one another.
Presentations included both past DWI CEO's Dwight Whittaker and Mike O'Bleness, reviewing the beginning and expansion of DWI under their watch. John Orose the Regional Manager of the Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation spoke about his involvement and seeing the growth of Community Based Employment for Individuals with disabilities. Past Client Jose Serna spoke about his personal successes coming through DWI's programs and now reaching his independence working full time and driving. His testimony ended with a standing ovation from those in attendance.
Current DWI CEO McKayla Matlack presented a vision of DWI moving towards its next 50 years. Now known as only DWI, thereby dropping the stigma of being a "Workshop" and concentrating on an individual through Development, Worth and Independence, to the degree that they choose. She also presented the Distinguished Service Award to Lori Gentillon for her service and tireless effort in support of DWI's Mission for 44 years.
We appreciated all of the sponsors who made this evening possible including: Melaleuca, as the venue sponsor. Table Sponsors; The Hartwell Corporation, Smith Woolf Anderson & Wilkinson Attorneys, Rudd & Company, Fisher's Technology, Johnson's Painting and More, LLC, Development Workshop Foundation, Inc. and ACCSES Idaho. Silent Auction Sponsors; The Griffith Family, Ron and Kenda Johnson, Nancy Rockwood and DWI Clients, Wildlife Watercolors and Idaho Central Credit Union. Videos were produced by IE Productions. Tribute Table Floral Arrangement was from Staker Floral.
Thanks to everyone in attendance and we look forward towards the next 50 years!