A Word from Mary K Spears, President of My Places Community Events
With a heavy and hopeful heart, I am sending this message to all our participants, volunteers, caregivers, and anyone who attends our community events. On
With a heavy and hopeful heart, I am sending this message to all our participants, volunteers, caregivers, and anyone who attends our community events.
On Sunday, 6/11/2023, I was informed that two individuals that have attended our Friday Socials are on the Sex Offender Registry. One is a volunteer, and the other is a participant’s spouse.
First, I want to assure everyone that neither individual was a violent offender. Second, please know that steps were taken at every event to ensure all attendees’ safety by the families of the two people in question. At no point was anyone in any danger.
Upon further inquiry, it was discovered that our Vice President was informed by these individuals and their families of their situation and their status on the registry. The Vice president chose not to disclose this information to anyone, including the board. This prevented MPCE from helping and doing our part to ensure our participant’s safety. Due to this significant error in judgment, they have resigned from the Board, effective immediately.
Again, I want to clearly emphasize that at no point was any participant, caregiver, volunteer, or anyone else in any danger from these individuals.
Up to this point, we have relied on our ‘No Drop Offs’ policy to ensure that participants with behavioral support needs have the staff necessary to interact in the community safely. Considering this situation, we now know we must set policies for our volunteers and ensure that those policies and requirements align with our mission statement to provide Safe, Adaptive, and Inclusive Events, in and for, our community. However, this is not something I can do myself.
In the 8 years I have built and overseen this organization, we have weathered complaints, shoestring finances, discrimination, political frustrations, lack of support, and a global pandemic. I have done this because I believe that everyone deserves community, and everyone deserves support. We have seen tremendous growth with our events, some with over 100 attendees, partnered and connected with dozens of local businesses and nonprofits, and our 5th Carnival had 890 people in attendance.
While I am pleased to see our growth and impact, I know that I cannot keep pace with the needs of such a large community. I cannot perform all the positions I have been handling and cannot continue without a full Board to organize, budget, and lead My Places Community Events. Due to these recent events, it is clear to me, I need support in creating and enforcing policies and procedures to keep our community SAFE. I need Board Members who will lead with me in building this nonprofit to handle its amazing growth. This is a call to action for anyone who values this organization. I need my community’s support to continue and grow. If you, or anyone you know, would be interested in establishing and taking Board Positions, we will meet Thursday, June 29th, from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm at Golden Corral in Nampa. I have already reserved the Banquet room. I will have a Zoom Meeting available for those who cannot attend in person. For those who would like to leave Feedback for the Board to address, please hit the learn more link.
june 14 (Wednesday) - 28 (Wednesday)