Georgia Elks Aidmore Children's Center

History Of Aidmore

November 1, 1936 - A representative was appointed from the Georgia Elks Association to serve on a statewide committee to formulate plans to enable Georgia to secure legislation and an appropriation so as to participate in Federal matching funds. These funds were to be made available to states to finance medical treatment programs for indigent handicapped children. This committee became the Georgia League for crippled children.

October 17, 1937 - The Executive Committee of the Georgia Elks Association meeting in Decatur passed a resolution urging all Elk Lodges throughout the state to aid in arousing interest in civic and service clubs in programs for the handicapped. Columbus Elks Lodge was the first to act favorably on this resolution. The resolution also urged that each Elk make a voluntary contribution of fifty cents a year to finance work with the physically handicapped.

August 1, 1937 - A survey of crippled children and their needs in the state of Georgia was completed by the Works Progress Administration. The survey reported that at the time there were known to be 7,557 children with serious handicapping conditions in the state. Only one-half of these children who lived in cities were receiving needed treatment. One quarter of the children living in rural areas was being treated. One out of five of these children were unable to read and write.

November 14, 1937 - A meeting was held in Atlanta of all service agencies interested in crippled children. The old Georgia League for Crippled Children was reorganized and Dr Theodore Toepel was elected President. At this meeting the League affiliated with the International Society for Crippled Children, which was later to become the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults.

November 22, 1937 - The General Assembly of the State of Georgia met and passed enabling legislation and an appropriation of $60,000 making it possible for Georgia to take advantage of available federal funds and to establish a treatment program for indigent handicapped children. After establishment, this program was put under the direction of the Child Welfare Division of the State Department of Public Welfare.

February 4, 1938 - Organizations other than the Elks dropped away from the Georgia League for Crippled Children. The group was again reorganized under the name of the Crippled Children's League of Georgia. On this date, corporation papers were granted by the Superior Court. he petitioners for this charter were Dr. Theodore Toepel, Judge John S. McClelland, J. Clayton Burke, and Charles G. Bruce.

April 2, 1938 - The first clinic for crippled children was held in Marietta, Georgia under the sponsorship of the State Department of Welfare.

May, 1938 - The League assumed sponsorship of a convalescent home on Windsor Street, then being operated by Dr. Martin Myers.

July, 1939 - The home was moved to 3784 Peachtree Road, which was leased by the League. The League sponsored a few children there, but did not own or control the home.

March 15, 1941 - The League bought the above property and assumed complete control of its management. It was here that the name of Aidmore was born out of a contest held among children in the state to select a suitable name for the new institution.

September, 1941 - A committee was appointed to investigate the purchase of a larger building to house the now successful Aidmore program.

November 13, 1941 - Aidmore was moved to newly purchased property at 918 Peachtree Street where it remained in operation for 13 years.

June 30, 1942 - The first floor of Aidmore was remodeled and offered to the Crippled children's Division of the Department of Public Welfare for use as an outpatient clinic. The offer was accepted and, in October of the same year, the first clinic was held there. At that time, Aidmore was offering inpatient care to the Crippled Children's Division at the rate of $2.00 per day.

February 14, 1951 - A charter was granted to Elks Aidmore, Inc. by the Superior Court of Fulton County as successor to the old Crippled Children League of Georgia. The petitioners for this charter were: Judge John S, McClelland, Atlanta Lodge; Robert G. Pruitt, Buckhead Lodge; Edward A. Dutton, Savannah Lodge; Dr. I. H. Etheridge, Atlanta Lodge; John B. McCollum, Columbus Lodge; J. Herbert Rogers, Dalton Lodge; C. Spencer Worthy, Cordele Lodge; and, Wayne Hinson, Waycross Lodge. All assets of the Crippled Children's League were then transferred to the new corporation.

November 3, 1951 - The Elks Aidmore Auxiliary was organized as a confederation of local Auxiliaries throughout the state. The purpose of this Aidmore Auxiliary as stated in the bylaws adopted on this date was to promote "the general support of the crippled children's program of Georgia Elks through Elks Aidmore Hospital and related services". Mrs. Russell Trimble was the first President.

November 15, 1954 - Aidmore purchased 3.7 acres of land from Emory University to build the present hospital. The total cost of this project was $484,000. The building also included an outpatient clinic for the Crippled Children's Division. The hospital accepted its first patient on this date.

July 1, 1955 - An agreement was signed by Elks Aidmore, Inc. and the Citizens and Southern National Bank of Atlanta creating the Elks Aidmore Trust Fund for Crippled Children. This fund was to provide a permanent depository for memorial gifts, bequests, direct contributions, and other funds with the income being made available for the operation of Elks Aidmore Hospital. On March 14, 1963, a similar trust agreement was made with First National Bank of Atlanta for the same purpose.

October 1, 1960 - Construction started on additions and renovations to the hospital and clinic buildings. This project, which included a tunnel connection to Egleston Hospital, was completed in January of 1962 and cost a total of $665,000.

October 1, 1961 - The Board of Trustees approved the providing of inpatient hospital services to adults on a selected basis. This was done to accommodate requests from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

March 1, 1963 - The Vocation Evaluation Unit was opened as an outpatient service for handicapped adults. The purpose of this unit was to assess the vocational potential of adults suffering from a wide variety of physical, mental and social handicaps. The first unit was closed on April 1, 1966, when this function was merged with a larger program operated by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation of the State Department of Education.

December 3, 1967 - Representatives of the Board of Trustees of Elks Aidmore, Inc. signed an affiliation agreement with Emory University. This agreement made Elks Aidmore Hospital an independent affiliate of Woodruff Medical Center of Emory University. This agreement made possible a closer working relationship between Aidmore Hospital, the eight divisions of the University in the area of health services, and seven other hospitals and institutions providing hospital and clinical services.

December 1, 1969 - The Georgia Center for the Multi-Handicapped Deaf-Blind began operation at Aidmore Hospital. This was a cooperative program jointly sponsored by the DeKalb Board of Education and Elks Aidmore Hospital for the evaluation of preschool children suffering from both visual and hearing impairment as a result of maternal rubella. The Georgia Center for the Multi-Handicapped Deaf-Blind is an affiliate of the Southeastern Center for the Deaf-Blind in Talladega, Alabama.

June 18, 1970 - The first meeting was held of the newly reorganized Aidmore Medical Hospital and Dental Staff with 52 physicians and dentists active in the Emory University and/or the Crippled Children's Service programs being granted charter membership.

November 18, 1974 - The Crippled Children's Unit of the Department of Human Resources moved from the Aidmore Clinic Building to larger quarters at 618 Ponce de Leon Avenue. This ended a relationship, which began 32 years ago when Aidmore first provided clinic space for the Crippled Children's Unit in the old building at 918 Peachtree Street.

October 5, 1975 - The Board of Trustees approved an amendment to the bylaws, which for the first time allowed full, voting membership on the Board of Trustees from the Elks Aidmore Auxiliary. The amendment provided for membership for the incumbent president and one representative from each of the four districts.

March 15, 1976 - The Elks Aidmore Hospital program was terminated because of increased operating costs and the building of a competing facility on the same block by Emory University. A planning committee was immediately charged with the responsibility of investigating other programs as an alternative to the hospital.

November 14, 1976 - The Board of Trustees approved the sale of the hospital properties to Emory University, the purchase price to be based on the appraised value. The sale was eventually consummated on July 18, 1977. The purchase price was $1,268,373.83.

December 12, 1976 - The Board of Trustees approved the lease of office space at 2834 Washington Street, Avondale Estates. While at this address, the program operated under the trade name of Elks Aidmore Children's Fund.

August 11, 1977 - Aidmore received a letter of intent from the Frances Wood Wilson Foundation, owner and operator of the Plantation Manor Children's Home in Conyers, signifying their desire to grant the propertied to the Home of Elks Aidmore, Inc. Under the terms of the letter, the grant would be made in portions over a period of time not to exceed ten years.

November 22, 1977 - Aidmore entered into a formal agreement with the Frances Wood Wilson Foundation providing for the operation of the Home and the granting of properties.

December 1, 1977 - Elks Aidmore, Inc. officially took possession and assumed operating control of the Plantation Manor Children's Home under the terms of the agreement with the foundation. The home was renamed Elks Aidmore Children's Home.

February 21, 1983 - The deed for the final distribution of the properties was signed by the Foundation. The official presentation of the deed was made by representatives of the Foundation to the Board of Trustees at its annual meeting on March 13, 1983, and Aidmore became sole owner of the children's home properties.

August 27, 1984 - The first day of school for Aidmore's new on-campus school program. The school was started with eight girls who were not able to adjust to attendance in the Rockdale County public schools. A second teacher was hired and a second classroom opened subsequently in March of 1985.

February 1, 1985 - Aidmore was licensed by the State of Georgia as a Residential Treatment Facility for young people ages 12 through 18 with significant emotional and behavioral problems.

March 31, 1985 - The Board of Trustees voted to change the name from Elks Aidmore Children's Home to Elks Aidmore Children's Center as being more in keeping with the program's status as a residential treatment facility.

May 5, 1986 - The Aidmore School Program received Provisional Accreditation from the Georgia Accrediting Commission.

October 5, 1986 - The Board of Trustees approved an amendment to the bylaws providing for the appointment of a member of the Elks Aidmore Auxiliary to the Executive Committee of the governing board.

March 9, 1987 - The Aidmore School Program was granted full accreditation status by the Georgia Accrediting Commission. The Aidmore School became the first school accredited under the new special purpose school standards of the commission.

March 1, 1992 - The Board of Trustees approved the closing of the current Residential Treatment Facility and School due to continued operating expenses which exceed the revenues.

April 5, 1992 - After a request to reconsider the closing of the Residential Treatment Facility and School, the Board of Trustees, once again, reaffirmed the original decision to close the project.

November 1, 1992 - After many months of study of four possible projects, the Board of Trustees approved the Custodial Care Program as the new State Project. This project was designed to serve disadvantaged children of Georgia from ages 12 through 16 and will have a maximum capacity of 68 children. Referrals will be primarily from the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services.

March 5, 1993 - The development of the new Custodial Care Program was on schedule with children anticipated in campus in July, 1993.

August 3, 1993 - After hiring administrative personnel and staff for the Willis Cottage, the first resident for the new program arrived on campus on this date.

August 30, 1993 - After hiring and training staff for the opening of the second cottage, the Wilson Cottage team accepted their first resident on this date.

December 20, 1993 - Hiring and training staff for the third cottage was completed in late November and early December. On this date, Delta Cottage accepted their first resident into care.

October 6, 1994 - Ab Cottage, the fourth and last cottage on the Aidmore campus, opened on this date as a Preparation for Independent Living Cottage. The program was designed to provide a life skills curriculum for residents who would most likely not be returning to their families.

March, 1995 - The foundation was poured for the Elks Aidmore Memorial/Patron Plaza. The plaza is located on the Elks Aidmore campus, directly in front of the Administration Building. The plaza serves as a perpetual remembrance of loved ones, both past and present.

April, 1995 - Aidmore Executive Director and Aidmore Board President are honored by the Georgia Association of Homes and Services for Children as "Outstanding Administrator of a Child Welfare Agency" and " Outstanding Board Service to a Child Welfare Agency", respectively.

May, 1995 - During the annual Open House, the Memorial/Patron Plaza was officially dedicated.

June, 1995 - The Georgia Elks Aidmore Endowment was created during this month. The Endowment, fashioned after the Elks National Foundation, was established to provide opportunities for regular and honor membership, in support of Elks Aidmore Children's Center.

April, 1996 - Elks Aidmore initiated collaboration with CHRIS Homes, Creative Community Services, Georgia Baptist Children's Homes and Family Ministries, and Gwinnett Children's Shelter to form the Metropolitan Atlanta Alliance for Children (MAAC). A sixth member, Inner Harbour Hospitals, joined the alliance at a later date. The mission of MAAC was to provide a seamless array of services to youth and their families, from in-home family preservation through intensive hospitalization.

May 16, 1996 - Elks Aidmore Children's Center receives notice that they have been accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, Inc.

April 14, 1997 - With a focus on developing the Adventures Ropes and camping programs to increase program exposure and generate new revenues, a Marketing and Public Relations Director begins employment with Elks Aidmore. In addition, the Executive Director of Elks Aidmore begins the first of two terms as the President of the Georgia Association of Homes and Services for Children.

June 19, 1997 - Employees of the Home Depot store in Conyers became the first group to utilize the Adventures Ropes course. The ropes course training was provided at no cost in exchange for Home Depot building two adirondack shelters for the campsite.

October 16, 1997 - The campground was used on this date by the Rockdale Professional Counselors and became the official "opening date" for use of the camping facilities.

January, 1998 - The Metropolitan Atlanta Alliance for Children negotiates its first agreement with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, providing a "pilot" program designed for eight children and youth.

June, 1998 - Elks Aidmore receives a $54,000 grant from the Governor's Children's Trust Fund to establish a position for a Family Preservation and Aftercare Coordinator. The grant is awarded for an eighteen-month period beginning on October 1, 1998.

September, 1998 - The Executive Committee of Elks Aidmore designed and independently funded the construction of a walkway on the Aidmore campus to honor Aidmore President Ed Hixon.

December, 1998 - With an anonymous gift of $5000, the Executive Committee approved placing the money in a scholarship account in Ed Hixon's name. The funds will be used to provide scholarships to current residents and recent graduates of Elks Aidmore Children's Center.

Spring, 1999 - Major renovations are completed on the Aidmore campus. Renovations include: recarpeting the cottages, reupholstering the furniture in the cottages, painting the cottages and the gymnasium; installing vinyl siding on the cottages, paving the road behind the cottages, enclosing and painting the Butler Building, purchasing new computers and a voice-mail answering system for the administration building, and installing security systems in the cottages.

March 4, 1999 - Grand Exalted Ruler Valentine "Val" Bates conducted the ribbon cutting for the opening of the Supervised Apartment for Independent Living (SAIL). The apartment provides housing for two residents who have completed the Preparation for Independent Living program in Ab Cottage.

April, 1999 - The Metropolitan Atlanta Alliance for Children is awarded a $100,000 grant from the Joseph P. Whitehead Foundation to allow for the continuation of the collaborative under the supervision of a part-time executive director.

May 2, 1999 - The "Edward L. Hixon Walkway of Merit" is dedicated during the annual Aidmore Open House. Brenda Hixon (wife) and Kathy Johnson (daughter) cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially dedicate the walkway.