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We're thrilled to announce FALL IN LOVE: A COMMUNITY ART SHOW, coming to the Blair Center next week. In line with our mission to support people with disabilities in becoming self-directed, contributing members of the community, we have invited neuro-typical area artists to show their work alongside our talented Blair Center crew. The result is an inspiring collection of exceptional works that you are sure to L-O-V-E 🧡🧡🧡

Back in 1976, Life Styles founder Carol Hart was securing funding, housing, and a million other details associated with her fledgling nonprofit—when along came Mary Moore.

Just like that, 19-year-old Mary became an inaugural Life Styles client. And she’s remained a steadfast "family" member ever since—which, for the record, totals 45 years (!).

(By the way, we asked Mary the secret to her youthful appearance—but, sad to say, she’s not telling).

An only child from a low-income, single-parent household, Mary was working at a sheltered workshop called the Bargain Box, making less than half of minimum wage, when she met Carol. As was standard practice for people with developmental disabilities in that era, she did not attend school.

"Mary had none of the benefits growing up that so many of us take for granted," remembers Carol Hart. "But she was always a sweetheart. So sweet!"

The sweet girl with the long locks caught the attention of Lewis McCarty, another original Life Styles client. The pair fell in love and were married in 1979. Always multitasking, Carol Hart served as both mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom at the small ceremony near the UA campus. The newlyweds honeymooned in Eureka Springs.

Not long after, the McCarty's moved out of Life Styles housing and rented a home in the countryside. Carol remembers Lewis saying, "We don’t want to go, but we have to make room for others." 

Mary and Lewis lived peacefully and happily for many years until Lewis passed away following a cancer diagnosis. As she did with many other obstacles in her life, Mary eventually put a smile on her face and carried on with her persistent optimism—relocating to an apartment near Life Styles campus, excelling at work, making new friends, and joining Life Styles activities.

By way of example, Life Styles Supported Employment helped Mary land a job at Chartwells—the University of Arkansas food service provider—in 1999. Now 18 months into retirement, Mary's tenure there stretched to a remarkable twenty years. Regularly the first to show up for her morning shift, Mary earned a solid reputation as a meticulous and reliable employee. Chartwells managers describe a very patient, caring person doing stellar work. A co-worker from those years remembers Mary going above and beyond to help her out while she was sick.

That squares with the loyal, caring friend we know Mary to be. She frequently visits with her good friends who live on Linda Jo Court, walking over from her own apartment which is also situated near the Life Styles campus. The tight-knit group has a standing date to dine out every Friday. When it’s Mary’s choice, she’ll throw her favorites into the mix for consideration: KFC, Red Lobster, or a Mexican restaurant. Afterwards Mary might watch an old western or an Andy Griffith rerun before calling it a night.

Extremely self-sufficient, Mary receives just four hours of in-home staff support each week. She might leverage the companionship and transportation to accomplish some good-old-fashioned power shopping—she’s got a serious thing for fashion footwear and Old Navy—or to hang out at Starbucks, one of her favorite haunts. If you’re lucky, you just might spy this Life Styles legend at one of their locations around town: Sipping on a Pumpkin Spice Latte (decaf please) and thinking back through the many happy memories she’s made over the course of her well-lived, independent life.

The Fulton family has had an indelible impact on Life Styles: You might say they are a Life Styles “founding family.” As Carol Hart remembers, “it’s impossible for me to think about the early years at Life Styles without thinking about the Fultons. They were there for us at every turn.”

Ann and Dick’s daughter, Andrea, is one of Life Styles first clients, joining in 1988. She and her husband Paul are incredibly self-sufficient and have very minimal staffing needs. That independence and confidence was always encouraged by Andrea’s family: “Andrea has always been not only allowed to be who she is, but embraced and celebrated for it. There were no helicopters circling her life choices,” remembers former executive director Jennifer Maynard.

Through the years, the Fulton’s impacted every aspect of Life Styles. No project was too large, or too small. They counseled family members, landscaped the grounds, uplifted clients and staff, served on committees, recruited volunteers, prepared holiday meals, and supported fundraising events—especially Polo In The Ozarks—in a major way.

For decades, the massive Polo In The Ozark event was an internal, all-hands-on-deck endeavor at which the Fultons, per usual, were instrumental: “Lighting the tents was the Fulton specialty and without their physical and technical skills we could not have done it for so many years,” remembers Karen Takemoto, former assistant director at Life Styles. Fittingly, Andrea represented the family in a high-profile way at the event—for years she presented the trophy to the winning team at the end of the match.

In recognition of their selfless service, Ann and Dick Fulton were honored with the Life Styles Volunteer Award in 2002 and the Buell Award for Distinguished Service in 2006. And for many years, Ann Fulton served on both the Life Styles, Inc. and Life Styles Foundation boards of directors.

Ann Fulton's commitment to excellence and service continues to inspire the organization as a whole, and all those who benefited from her counsel. As Jennifer Maynard puts it, “Ann Fulton has had an immeasurable impact on the evolution of Life Styles—through her decades of service and through the time, energy, loyalty, expertise, and passion that she’s selflessly contributed to our organization.”

Up until her retirement just over a year ago, Attorney Jill Jacoway served as a bankruptcy trustee for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court located here in Fayetteville for a remarkable 40 years. She was also an Adjunct Instructor and Visiting Instructor for the University of Arkansas School of Law, where she herself earned her Juris Doctor degree. We at Life Styles know her best for her instrumental role in growing the Life Styles Foundation—an endowment fund for helping ensure Life Styles’ financial security and flexibility into the future; as a devoted board member; and for her enduring support for Life Styles staff.

“For as long as anyone can remember, Life Styles has received a generous donation in December from Jill Jacoway, usually with instructions to channel the funds to staff bonuses,” explains John Newman, Life Styles executive director. “When you really understand the services Life Styles provides—as Jill obviously does—you gain a true appreciation for the crucial yet often undervalued role each client’s supporting staff plays. It’s so rewarding for that contribution to be acknowledged, and to be able to demonstrate to our employees the importance of the work they do.”

For selflessly supporting our mission, and the efforts of the people who carry it out, we thank you, Jill Jacoway.

Life Styles enthusiastically supports individuals with disabilities in reaching their full potential as contributing members of the community.

We are always grateful for donations in support of our mission:
Our mailing address is: 2590 West Sycamore | POB 1114, Fayetteville, AR  72702
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