The story of Redwood is a story of love, dedication, and community. It began in 1951 when Bill and Sue Reder discovered that Northern Kentucky had no services for their son, Ron, who was born with cerebral palsy. The Reders joined with other parents to change these circumstances. Al and Dorothy Wood, whose daughter, Cheryl, also had cerebral palsy, soon joined the group. In 1953, under the leadership of the Reders and the Woods, these parents founded Redwood to provide services, solutions, and hope for all children with disabilities. Their compassion, generosity, and deep sense of community are reflected today through dedicated staff and volunteers who help people with disabilities thrive.
The rest, as they say, is history:
1953 - The group of parents created United Cerebral Palsy of Northern Kentucky and opened a pilot preschool in a borrowed basement room in St. Augustine's Church, later moving to St. Benedict's Church to accommodate growth.
1956 - The small grassroots agency joined the Community Chest; police and firefighters began driving children to and from the facility each day. The Women's Guild was formed and the first Cotton Ball was hosted to raise funds.
1957 - The organization purchased a building in Latonia and established a teen/adult program. The agency was named Redwood in honor of the founding families instrumental in founding the organization: The Reders and the Woods.
1958 - The building opened and Dorothy Wood was named the first full-time executive director.
1959 - Redwood launched a building campaign for a new facility on Orphanage Road in Fort Mitchell; Russ Manuel, a newspaper photographer, led a drive to raise the funds for an elevator. The Covington Diocese generously leases Redwood its land for $1 a year.
1966 - Ground breaking occurred.
1967 - New facility was completed and Redwood accepted more students, including those with wide ranging developmental disabilities.
1974 - The new building was outgrown; Dorothy Wood raised $500,000 to expand and is subsequently honored by The Cincinnati Enquirer as one of Cincinnati's Outstanding Women of the Year; Dorothy Wood passed away shortly after at the age of 59.
1976 - Joe VonLehman encourages Al Wood to start the Dorothy Wood Foundation in honor of his wife's memory and dedication to people with disabilities.
1980s - Redwood adds the Adult Activity Program, Business Computer Skills, Employment Services, and the Technological Services Program.
1992 - Redwood's school program is closed; Redwood launches its new Early Childhood Childcare Center and School Age Childcare Services programs; Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center established its only Northern Kentucky Occupational-Physical Therapy satellite site at Redwood.
1999 - The Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC) was established, becoming one of only four Kentucky Assistive Technology System centers in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
2002 - Redwood's board launches its $6.5M Promise & Potential Capital Campaign.
2004 - Groundbreaking for the new facility occurred.
2005 - Construction is completed, resulting in an additional 41,000 square feet and major renovation of the existing building.
2009 - Redwood launches its Adults NOW program, now the Young Adults Transitioning Program, for youth who are transitioning from school life to adulthood.
2012 - Redwood and DHL join forces to hire 40 adults at their CVG location. Redwood also applies for and receives its license to begin offering Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care services to children with medical fragility due to chronic health conditions and disabilities.
2013 - Redwood celebrated its 60th year of service to people with disabilities in May 2013. By the end of the year, Redwood procured three-year accreditation through the Council on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities for all of its Adult Services programs.
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