Cedar Crest has come a long way during its 40-year lifetime

Facilities, names and public attitude have changed a lot over the years

Canada Safeway 100 Mile House partners with Cedar Crest to provide job skills training for people including Christian Samson

Cedar Crest Society for Community Living celebrates its 40th anniversary July 31, and it has a lot to be proud of.

The organization, which provides life-skills training for people with mental challenges, has taken punches along the way, but continues to expand, thrive, and gain ever-growing respect from the community.

A large part of the celebration will be a barbecue and open house at 100 Mile Community Hall, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 31, the date Cedar Crest was incorporated.

Musicians from Cedar Crest and their friends will perform at the event and there will also be display boards with photos, stories and all kinds of memorabilia.

Cedar Crest executive director Tim Guthrie says the general public is encouraged to bring items to add to the display, as Cedar Crest is missing several documented pieces of its history.

In the late 1980s, a flash flood left the basement, where records were kept, under water. Much of the keepsake material was lost, and then in 2009, a structure fire destroyed their building, including precious photo albums.

We’d love to see your stuff and love to talk about it.”

Guthrie says Cedar Crest has come a long way during the past 40 years, beginning without a facility to operate from, then eventually acquiring a teacherage from Williams Lake, which was moved onto the spot on Birch Avenue now occupied by Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre.

Guthrie says the next home of Cedar Crest was in the Cariboo Pump and Water building, and following that, in a church building that was located on its current site on Cedar Avenue. In 1999, the wooden building was torn down and replaced with a roomier space, which was destroyed by a fire in 2009.

A second building on Spruce Avenue, which was acquired as an achievement centre, still remains with society.

Many folks have never learned independent living skills and they can learn them there,” says Guthrie.

The new main building on Cedar Avenue was built on the ashes of the old one, and includes a thrift store that serves as a source of revenue and a training centre where people learn employment skills.

Cedar Crest also runs an Employment Services Program, which is currently partnered with Canada Safeway in 100 Mile House.

Each six-week program provides job experience and on-site personal support from a Cedar Crest support worker for trainees as they assist cashiers up front, packing groceries and interacting with customers.

Safeway manager Sean Watson says the program provides people from Cedar Crest and their talents with good exposure to the community, but it’s a two-way street.

My employees look forward to seeing them – their smiling faces and upbeat attitudes. They bring an absolutely fantastic dynamic into the store and they’re just happy to be there.”

He holds Cedar Crest and the work it does in high regard.

The people we have working there is amazing for such a small town. I’ve never seen a group of people work so hard toward integration and life-skills training.”

While the face of Cedar Crest has changed and grown with the times, so has its name. When incorporated, the organization was called 100 Mile District Association for the Mentally Retarded.

It then changed to Cedar Crest Society for Handicapped Persons, and following that, Cedar Crest Society for Mentally Handicapped. It got its current name in 1991.

Guthrie says he’s not proud of the wording used in the early names, but it’s not something he wants to sweep under the carpet either. While mindsets in Canada have evolved over the years, he is uncomfortably aware it’s not the same everywhere.

The label “retarded” is still used regularly in some parts of the United States.”























Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser-Nicola BC NDP candidate Aaron Sumexheltza (third from l) with members of the Ashcroft Slough Society, Sept. 9, 2020. After the initial count, the first-time provincial candidate is trailing incumbent Jackie Tegart of the BC Liberal Party. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Liberal incumbent Jackie Tegart holds narrow lead over Aaron Sumexheltza of NDP

Initial count is complete, and mail-in ballots will determine who wins in Fraser-Nicola

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

Up to 10 centimetres of snow were expected on Highway 97 from Clinton to Begbie Summit and in 100 Mile House on Oct.24. (Kelly Sinoski photo, 100 Mile Free Press)
More sand, plow trucks coming to region

More plows and brine trucks will be operating on the Highway 97 corridor this winter.

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read