To the editor:

We are absolutely thrilled to have again the support of our community throughout 2018. Recently, Jayland Partners hosted our 6th Annual Christmas Party. 

With their help, we hosted a Candyland Christmas party for approximately 250 people with special needs, their families, and caregivers. During the event, we recognized Lena McShane as the recipient of the Larry Grier Community Champion Award. Lena has made a career of supporting people with special needs and advocating for their needs and rights. She has also maintained her involvement in her retirement acting as a formal advocate for those without family or guidance to ensure their needs and rights are being met and respected. 

We have also had a successful year collaborating with Audrey Muhlenkamp and The Tipsy Glass Winery and Pak-A-Sak for our inaugural Run-Now Wine Later 5k. Jayland Partners also coordinated efforts with the Portland Police Department, Jay-Randolph Developmental Services, and Meridian Health Services to host our annual Building Bridges Halloween Party where local law enforcement and people with special needs enjoyed Pizza King pizza donated by Brian and Jan McGalliard, financial donation from the Masonic Lodge 212 in Portland and played carnival games and enjoyed music at our annual party.

We would like to celebrate by recognizing the following partnership of our donors and volunteers. 

Donors included: United Way of Jay County, Cincinnatus League, Ruthann Widman, Rogers and Janice Durham, Alexander Financial Group of Raymond James, Watson Excavating (Redkey), Meridian Health Services, Opportunities for Positive Growth, Fisher Packing, Immaculate Conception Rosary Society and Knights of Columbus, McShane Consulting, Williamson, Spencer, & Penrod Funeral homes, Rotary Club of Portland, Gamma Nu Sorority, Delta Theta Tau Sorority, The Lawrence Family, Monica Raines, Bollenbacher & Associates, Jay-Randolph Developmental Services, First Merchants Bank of Portland, Jim Wright, State Farm, First Bank of Berne, and Drew Houck of Edward Jones, REMC, Gina Schenk, Martha Inman, Ruth Davidson, Michael Whetstone, Jerry Guntle, Brian Chrisman, Tammy Lyons, Lavona Tharp Fancil, Rob & Mindy Weaver, Jane Ann Runyon, and Pat Gibson. 

Professional services and support provided by Bryant Wesleyan Church, Pastor Paul Vancise, Fisher Meats, Sharlotte’s Fudgery, Deb Blackburn DJ Services, Photography by Lauren Kuck, Tiers Unlimited Cakes by Jill Twigg, Lori Harmeyer, T-Flyerz, Suzan Sanders, and the Subway of Bryant. 

Volunteers included: Kendra Harris, Magan Douglass, Jennifer Harris, Lauren Runkle, Ruth Davidson, Monica Raines, Jennifer, Mark & Emily Smith, Rog Durham, Brittney Watson, Rita Flick, Amy, Nathan, Sam, & Gavin Myers, Devon & Lucy Smith, Linda Muhlenkamp and Family, Faustina Muhlenkamp, Sara Muhlenkamp, Olivia Kunkler, Vicki Brotherton, Diane Murphy, Kay Strausburg, Beth Burris, Dana Klopfenstein, Nate Chrisman, Curtis Garber, David Koons, Vickie Daniels, Kassidy Huey, Jay County High School Best Buddies including: Kaitlyn Dow, Ashlyn Dow, Tursunai Tunrumbekova, Olivia Gundrum, Eliza Bader, Katie Clark, Tea Nichols, Sophia Barcus, Natalie Nava, Abilene Hough, Trace Smith, Rosie Schwartz, Kenzie Smith, Cindy Denney, Lori Laux, Holly DuJardin-Neargarder, and Jennifer Weitzel-Herndon.

We are deeply grateful for your support and dedication to the individuals and families with special needs living in our community.  If anyone would like to learn more about the mission of Jayland Partners, please contact us on Facebook or by email at  


Kathy Lawrence, Laura Strausburg-Smith, Amy Barrett, Marcy Bodle, Jennifer Smith

Jayland Partners