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Art for everyone

Duvall Homes Showcases Clients’ Art

December 24, 2015 ‘ART … FOR EVERYONE’ Exhibit tours the county, collects admirers

Kristin Burrhus dabs her brush into a puddle of blue paint, then stirs it into the white.

She gets lost in her art, stroking her sky-blue mixture onto paper. In an hour or so, she adds a green and brown tree, two yellow suns and a nativity scene. Painting becomes art and from there, experience has shown her, anything can happen.

Burrhus is a 50-year-old client of Duvall Homes, a private nonprofit provider of housing, health care and living skills to adults with developmental disabilities. She was born with an extra chromosome, a condition called Down syndrome that causes cognitive delays and other health problems. But Burrhus has emerged as an artist who takes her craft seriously and has sold some of her paintings.

One day this month, she was among a dozen artists working under the instruction of Amelie Bush-Rogers. The art classes are both the end of a cycle that began about a year ago with a simple showing of works by Burrhus and other Duvall Homes artists.

The classes are also the beginning of something: Painters getting instruction, materials and time to create.

* * *

Duvall Homes was looking to raise its profile in the community last year. Elizabeth Bhimjee, the director of development, said the organization agreed to host a DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce business after hours event. She got permission to host the event at the Hand Art Center at Stetson University, rather than at Duvall’s Glenwood campus, as she figured more people would attend.

“Because I had seen some of the artwork being done here, and I thought it was very good, I asked if we could showcase our artwork (at Stetson),” Bhimjee said.

Tonya Cribb Curran, director of the Hand Art Center at Stetson, said it was not hard for her to green-light an exhibit of Duvall Homes’ clients from a philosophical standpoint.

“For me, the idea of arts education is important for people of all ages and all ability levels,” Cribb Curran said. “I believe that art can be very powerful with regard to helping people express themselves. I’d like to support and give voice to them because art is for everyone.”

Much of what she saw she would classify as contemporary folk art.

“There is sort of a raw feel to these works that is really appealing,” Cribb Curran said. “It speaks to the artists’ experience, what they enjoy, what they like.”

So the event was held last February and 120 people attended, Bhimjee said. That’s more than three times the usual number.

Nick Conte Jr., executive director of the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce, and his staff saw the response to the Duvall artists’ work.

“We said … we’d love to display it,” Conte said.

So for the month of March, any visitors to the DeLand chamber’s offices were exposed to the Duvall art.

“Some of the work they had was amazing. … Incredible abstract stuff,” Conte said. “To give them the platform to show the world is a big place and appreciates their contribution, that’s a pretty small price for those of us who appreciate the arts.”

The Duvall art program exhibit, dubbed “Art … For Everyone,” started making its way around Volusia County. In April, the Gateway Center for the Arts in DeBary showed it. In May, it went back to the Victoria Gardens Clubhouse in DeLand, then DeLand City Hall in June.

In July, the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center displayed the collection, which then went to the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach in August and September. It has since also been part of a Duvall Homes 70th anniversary celebration, shown at the Athens Theatre in DeLand and will continue showing until Jan. 10 at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum & Gardens.

* * *

While shown, the works were spotted by a patron connected with the Bond Foundation of Winter Gardens, and before long, the Duvall Homes received a $3,000 check to support “Art … For Everyone.” An art teacher, Bush-Rogers, was hired to work with Duvall Homes clients.

“This has taken on a life of its own,” said Steven DeVane, CEO of Duvall Homes. “I don’t know if we’d call it surprising, but it is encouraging to see how it has played out. From my perspective, the biggest factor is the community engagement.”

Moving the art around Volusia County has given Duvall Homes exposure to people and places it normally doesn’t reach.

Bush-Rogers, the teacher, said she has seen growth in many of the Duvall Homes students.

“I’m 71 years old and they inspire me,” Bush-Rogers said. “I work with kids normally. Here we have a group of adults who are 50 years old and up, and I’m blown away at the growth in self-esteem I see.”

One is a client who cannot be named because of her family’s wishes. When Bush-Rogers started teaching, the student would only use red. After several weeks of classes, she now uses her full palette.

“That seems pretty small, but it’s mammoth,” Bhimjee said. “It’s hope and a whole new dimension.”

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged. Read in Daytona Beach News-Journal.


Duvall Home Changes Name

December 18, 2015 A massive transformation, decades in the making, can’t possibly be reflected in one letter. But the Duvall Home is now Duvall Homes. Plural.

One thing that isn’t changing, though, is the headquarters for the private nonprofit provider of housing and care for adults with cerebral palsy, autism, and other developmental disabilities. Duvall Homes will remain at its rural campus in Glenwood, officials say. (3395 Grand Avenue, Glenwood, FL)

In 2000, Duvall housed about 250 people in residence halls at the 16-acre campus at the corner of Grand Avenue and Lemon Street in this unincorporated burb northwest of DeLand. This year, the private, nonprofit provider moved the last of its clients from McGaffin Hall into one of its 17 group homes across West Volusia.

The name change reflects that transformation at the same time the Duvall Homes board faced a decision: What to do with the Glenwood property now that no one lives there.

The board tried to sell the property for 10 months but after no sufficient offers were received, Duvall Homes’ officials say they will hang onto the property bought by the organization in 1952.

“It became evident through market research the property was worth far more to us than to some developer,” said Steven DeVane, CEO. “The decision was made to back off from selling it.”

The Duvall staff and board will soon work with engineering and architectural firms to craft a master plan for the property, said Elizabeth Bhimjee, director of development.

The property, made up of 17 buildings, has 100,000 square feet under roof and a self-contained water and sewer system, plus back-up generators.

The staff will be evaluating which buildings will need to be razed, renovated or constructed, DeVane said.

He intends to keep Duvall’s administrative headquarters on the campus, as well as its day training and employment services facilities. Adults who live in Duvall-run group homes, as well as others who live with their families, come to Glenwood each weekday for programs, where they can work, take arts and crafts classes and learn other skills.

“My vision, and this is very fluid, but this place will be a place that will become a welcome center for people who are engaging with Duvall Homes for the first time,” DeVane said.

The move from the rural campus setting into group homes in communities such as DeLand and Deltona has found a market for new clients, Bhimjee said.  Duvall has continued to build and purchase new group homes to accommodate a growing number of potential new clients, often people in their 50s who have lived with their parents, who are now in their 70s and retiring.

Wilma Allen, Glenwood’s postmaster for the last 20 years and a onetime employee of Duvall Home in the 1960s, said she hears mostly good things about the decision not to sell.

“We are thrilled they’re keeping it. We’d hate to see anything else in there,” she said.

But Allen has mixed feelings about the changes at Duvall.

She said the rural campus in Glenwood has a relaxed setting well-suited to a comfortable life for residents. But Duvall’s residents’ exodus to group homes is a reflection of a federal mandate to allow adults with developmental disabilities and into communities where they can work, live and gain exposure to the world, officials there say.

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged. Read article in Daytona Beach News-Journal.

* Prior to this name change, the Glenwood group home was also known as Presbyterian Special Services, Inc. (DBA Duvall Home).

Duvall Homes Newsletter

Duvall’s 2015 Fall Newsletter

Fall 2015 Flip through our 2015 Fall Newsletter. Inside this Special Anniversary publication you’ll learn about:
– A Timeline of Duvall Homes from Alanson and Thelma Duvall in 1945 to today
– An Anniversary Celebration
– Community Connections
– Innovative Programs
and more

To view the Fall 2015 Newsletter, click here.

Read the latest Newsletters of Duvall Homes by clicking here.

Other News

Greenfeather Grant Recipient: Duvall Homes

A long held tradition at Stetson University, Greenfeather originated in 1952, as an autumn carnival where students raised funds for local charities. Over the decades, Greenfeather has expanded to include a weeklong competition between student teams vying for the Greenfeather Cup. This year, as part of Stetson’s annual Homecoming traditions, Greenfeather teams will compete in Stetson's 2015 Greenfeather Trophyfundraisers with the goal of raising $10,000 to present to Duvall Homes at half-time of the Hatter Homecoming football game, Saturday, Nov. 14.

“Greenfeather is a unique tradition that is only seen at Stetson,” said Hernandez. “The whole university comes together and uses the energy of Homecoming traditions to give back to our local community.”

Duvall Homes is a local nonprofit agency that offers a range of services to empower adults with disabilities. The awarding of this grant coincides with the 70th anniversary of Duvall Homes as well as the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Since Duvall Homes opened its doors in 1945, its mission has been to “provide the highest quality of life the greatest level of independence for each resident by creating an individualized plan that includes opportunities for personal growth.” Stetson’s 2015 Greenfeather Grant will contribute to an organization that seeks to provide skills to those with disabilities that will “lead to a life of dignity and independence.”

The Greenfeather Grant will go to Duvall Homes’ ECCO project (Enhancing Communication and Community Opportunities-for the Developmentally Disabled), which will expand their Day Training program.

“More than 50 percent of participants are non-verbal communicators and funding for technology and assistive software is vital to opening the door to language and self-expression,” said Elizabeth Bhimjee, director of Development at Duvall Homes. “Despite having only 10 iPads to share among 83 participants, the staff is witnessing incredible breakthroughs with this technology.”

The Greenfeather Grant will be used to provide for much needed additional technology, vocational training equipment, and educational materials to support the growing number of participants.

Greenfeather team registration is currently open for all student organizations and even students who wish to create their own team! More information on the events, donations and the link to register for Greenfeather, can be found at

Duvall Homes

Duvall Homes’ Residents Volunteer

July 27, 2015

Duvall Homes’ residents volunteer throughout the year in a variety of ways that provide an opportunity to develop vocational skills while benefiting the community. Just weeks ago, a new partnership with Rise Against Hunger (formerly known as Stop Hunger Now, Orlando) was launched and after a start-up, residents have already packaged 2,000 meals!  Not only are those in desperate need of food provided for, but at the same time, the developmentally disabled served by Duvall Homes benefit from a new sense of purpose, achievement and community responsibility. Packaging has been incorporated into the Day Training curriculum at Duvall Homes and participants are determined to continue with their mission to help others. Giving back is an integral part of the Duvall Homes philosophy and this important project is just the latest in a long line of efforts our residents are engaged in to do their part. We are proud to recognize them and keep you updated with their accomplishments!

Stop Hunger Now gets food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable people, and works to end global hunger. Volunteers set up and take down packaging stations and equipment, fill bins with raw ingredients, scoop ingredients into meal bags, weigh and seal the bags, box and stack them on pallets, and load the pallets and equipment onto a truck. The meals are shipped throughout the world to support school feeding programs, orphanages, and crisis relief. At the same time, this vital project benefits the residents of Duvall Homes, by providing dexterity/ hand-eye coordination exercise; hands-on experience in cooperation and team-building; problem-solving and goal-setting; while creating a platform for success.

To date, our residents have packaged 15 boxes (3,240 meals)! Each meal feeds 6 people…so in just one month efforts have provided help to feed 19,440 people!

Each meal costs .29 cents and Duvall Homes spends approximately $150-$200 each month for ingredients to sustain the program. Help us continue to make a lasting, global impact with your donation today!

Stop Hunger Now

Duvall Partners with Stop Hunger Now Orlando

June 25, 2015 Just weeks ago, Duvall Homes launched a new partnership with Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now Orlando) and after a speedy start-up, residents have already packaged 2,000 meals!  Not only are those in desperate need of food provided for, but at the same time, the developmentally disabled served by Duvall Homes benefit from a new sense of purpose, achievement and community outreach. Packaging has been incorporated into the Day Training curriculum at Duvall Homes and participants are excited to continue with their mission to help others. Giving back is an integral part of the Duvall Homes philosophy and this important project is just the latest in a long line of efforts our residents are making to do their part! We are proud to recognize them and keep you updated with their accomplishments!
Robert Walsh, Duvall Homes

Duvall Homes New Board, New Name

March 30, 2015 Duvall Homes is pleased to announce the results of its 2015 election for the Board of Regents.

Robert Walsh, newly elected board chair said, “This is a pivotal time in the history of Duvall Homes. As the organization celebrates its seventieth year of empowering individuals with developmental disabilities, I am humbled to assume this leadership role.”

Mr. Walsh has thirty years of progressive advancement in both the public and private sectors. His expertise includes business development, profit and loss management, project/program management, finance and budgeting and conflict resolution. In his current position as Operations Director for the County of Volusia, he is responsible for the daily operations of the Growth & Resource Management Department. Mr. Walsh has served on the Duvall Homes Board of Regents since 2012.

Duvall Homes also welcomes newest board members, Sabrina Hightower Patterson, realtor with Kemp Realty Group, Michael Rinaldi, assistant vice president, financial manager, Gateway Bank and Lisa Ogram, associate resident director at Merrill Lynch.

Duvall Homes, previously Duvall Home, is nearing completion of a monumental project to relocate residents from its Glenwood campus to community group homes. “Although the change in our name is small,” said Steven DeVane, Duvall Homes’ chief executive officer, “we think it better reflects our expanding footprint and the path of growth we are proudly committed to.”

“We are privileged to work alongside this dynamic Board,” said DeVane, “their exceptional leadership skills coupled with passion and commitment to our mission will clearly influence our move into the next seventy years.”

For more information, contact: Elizabeth Bhimjee, Director of Development
386-734-2874 Ext. 102,

Duvall Homes

Duvall Homes “Next 70” Fundraiser

March 10, 2015 The Next 70: A Celebration to Commemorate 70 Years of Service to People with Developmental Disabilities and to the Community.

September 25, 2015 | Wayne G. Sanborn Activity & Event Center | 815 South Alabama Avenue | DeLand, FL | 32720

6:00pm Registration and Reception | 7:00pm Dinner Program

Download “The Next 70” Cover Letter Here

Download “The Next 70” Sponsorship and Ticket Information Here

Dear Friends,
Duvall Homes has been caring for people with developmental disabilities since 1945. For seventy years we have been nurturing independence and self-determination, offering a comprehensive range of services to help this fragile population achieve the fullest life possible. We work each and every day to enrich lives, to advocate for the under-served and to create awareness about those with special needs. As a landmark fixture in Central Florida for decades, we are proud to announce our 70th Anniversary to our community neighbors and business partners, and to the parents and guardians of our residents.

“The Next 70” will be an inspiring evening as we look back over the past seventy years, look forward with exciting announcements about our future, and pay special tribute to Daryl Tol, President/CEO of Florida Hospital Volusia/Flagler, with the “Alanson and Thelma Duvall Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service”. We hope you will join in recognizing his contribution to Duvall Homes and to the community by helping us celebrate!

Whether you contribute through a table sponsorship or purchase an individual ticket, your support will enrich the lives of more than 100 developmentally disabled people living at Duvall Homes, along with 15-20 disabled community members who attend our Opportunities Training Program five days a week throughout the year. ALL participation is welcome, as generosity and involvement like yours helps strengthen our programs and services and allows us to meet the ever-changing, often critical needs of those in our care.

“The Next 70” offers an opportunity to improve the lives of others, while building your brand and exercising your CSR at the same time! Enjoy great food and fellowship, a network and information share, and lend your support to those most fragile in our community.

On behalf of Duvall Homes we extend our deepest thanks for your consideration. Your decision to get involved can make all the difference!


Robert Walsh
Chairman, Board of Regents

Steven DeVane
Chief Executive Officer

Duvall Homes Hand Art

Duvall Sponsors DeLand Chamber After Hours

On February 19, 2015, DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce members and guests enjoyed a special evening of networking and art appreciation, while supporting the developmentally disabled at Stetson University’s Homer & Dolly Hand Art Center.

This collaborative exhibition showcased artistic accomplishments of world renowned figures, alongside lesser-known artists living in our community. Through the generosity of Stetson and the Hand Art Center, Duvall Home presented for the first works of art completed by disabled artists as part of its Art for Everyone program.

View photos from the evening on Duvall Home’s Facebook page by clicking here.

Enjoy this short Art For Everyone video for a glimpse of Duvall resident artists.

This evening’s program would not be possible without the generosity of our friends and supporters. Many thanks to the following sponsors:

Florida Hospital DeLand
Kemp Realty Group – Total Realty
Gateway Bank
Fairwinds Credit Union
Allstate – Randy Mueller & Associates

State Representative and City Commissioners Speak on Behalf of Duvall Home

November 10, 2015

State Representative and City Commissioners Speak on Behalf of Duvall Home

Suzanne Sewell, President and CEO of the Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (FARF), served as keynote speaker at Duvall Home’s Networking & News Event, held October 30th at the Ssuzanneanborn Activity & Event Center in DeLand. Her forty years of experience and insight was shared with an audience of local business leadership, civic organizations and the friends and families of Duvall Home residents.

FARF is a statewide, professional industry association that provides advocacy, information, and networking for individuals with disabilities, and the community agencies that serve them. As the Association’s chief spokesperson, Sewell acts as public policy change agent and serves as liaison with executive and legislative branches. She directs the annual legislative campaign to advocate for the needs of more than 100 members agencies like Duvall Home.

Duvall is engaged in a historic transition to reposition residents from McGaffin Hall, a congregate dormitory building on its main campus, to family-style group homes in the community and Sewell was on hand to add depth and clarity to a discussion focused on issues surrounding the move.

Sewell was joined by Commissioners Leigh Matusick, DeLand and Nancy Schleicher, Deltona, who offered city support as Duvall Home moves through steps to accommodate new federal guidelines – to fully integrate disabled individuals into the mainstream community. Echoing the sentiments of Barbara Palmer (Florida’s Director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities) during her recent visit to Duvall Home, Sewell commended the organization for “doing a very good job.” The nationwide mandate is one Duvall is actively embracing.
“We are proud of our collaboration with FARF and APD,” said Steven DeVane, Duvall Home’s CEO, “and their validation inspires our continued move in this direction. Further, he said “we are committed to maintaining an organization characterized by acceptance and welcome for all, where each disabled individual is seen as unique, entitled to personal growth and development and self-determination. We are facing change head-on to remain true to our commitment.”

Additional to the information presented by guest speakers, a high-point of the morning was the presentation of awards to ten Duvall Home residents. Trophies were given for outstanding achievement in a variety of categories.

About Duvall Home:
Duvall Home is a 501(c)3 organization, dedicated to enhancing the lives of the developmentally disabled residents in its care, as well as those from the greater community that attend its Adult Day Training Program. Located at 3395 Grand Avenue, Glenwood, FL 32722, more information can be found at

Photo Attached:
Suzanne Sewell, President and CEO of the Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (FARF)

Click here to view a full video of Sewell’s presentation.

Elizabeth Bhimjee, Director of Development
386-734-2874 Ext. 102,

Duvall Home Group Home

Duvall Home Residents Transition to Group Homes

November 2, 2014

Using his hands and eyes, Ronnie Rosenberg has a lot to say.

As a toddler, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and now, at 32, he remains nonverbal. Yet, he’s as expressive as anyone when looking ahead to birthdays and holidays at his new group home, or getting on stage to accept an award, as he did Thursday morning.

Moving from an institution in South Florida to a cottage near DeLand run by the Duvall Home has made a big difference, says his cousin and guardian, BethAnn Filingeri.

“He’s much happier,” she said. “He’s gained weight. He looks healthier. … He’s an extrovert now.”

For decades, doctors recommended families of people with cerebral palsy, autism and other disorders send their children to large institutions like Duvall Home’s Glenwood campus. But research, policy and the courts have changed that.

The government more readily funds smaller group homes intertwined in communities, promoting more interaction and normalcy in the lives of people like Rosenberg.

So the Duvall Home — started by the parents of a child with Down syndrome in 1945 — is making the shift from aging dormitories to smaller residential settings. It stands as a symbol for a system for caring for people with disabilities that has evolved in recent decades.

It outgrew its first location in Satsuma, a tiny berg in Putnam County, and moved into a 30-room, rundown hotel in rural Glenwood in 1952. Ultimately, the institution would house 250 people in two dormlike buildings, plus a workshop, chapel and swimming pool. But those structures are deteriorating, as the model for modern-day care — the group home — has been fully embraced by Duvall’s board.

Within the next year, the last of the 40 or so residents of McGaffin Hall, the last residential location on Duvall’s Glenwood campus, will be moved to group homes elsewhere in West Volusia.

Some of those residents have lived in McGaffin for decades.

Continue reading, “Duvall Home residents make transition to group homes”

One Resident’s Road to Recovery, Independence

November 1, 2014

DELAND — Kristin Burrhus is 49 but only a few years removed from living with her parents.

Her journey, though, has been nothing short of miraculous.

“I’m independent. I do things on my own. I do my own chores,” she said during a recent interview at her new home, Duvall Home’s Gatlin Cottage north of DeLand.

Born with Down syndrome in an era when doctors frequently recommended institutionalization, she grew up with her family in Massachusetts, and functioned well enough to work at several places, including Walgreen’s and Burger King. Her family moved to Florida, and she took painting classes at the Gateway Center for the Arts in DeBary, producing work with enough depth to gain attention and even a few sales.

But then she fell ill several years ago, suffering two strokes, many seizures and was near enough to death that hospice was caring for her.

Steven DeVane was working as a hospice chaplain when he met Burrhus and said he sensed her “vibrant spirit.”

Burrhus’ family looked at options for her care and decided to have her moved to the Duvall Home cottage.

She remained in a wheelchair.

“It took a long time, several years, to get well. After that, I couldn’t walk at all. I didn’t have the strength in me,” she said.

But little by little, she made progress, and her two therapists taught her how to walk again. She graduated to a walker and now uses only a cane to help her get around.

She was even, for a time, well enough to return to work at one of Duvall Home’s thrift stores.

She found her move a big change.

“At first, I was kind of shy. I had never felt that way before,” she said. “But I got over it.”

She handles chores, include making breakfast, assisting the cottage’s “house mothers” with meals and keeping her room clean. Valerie Dawson, a Duvall staff member, says Burrhus helps with some of the administrative tasks.

“I would look at her as a leader,” Dawson said. “She’s a helper, a go-getter.”

She attends Duvall’s day-training program most days. That’s where DeVane, who had recently been installed as Duvall’s CEO, met Burrhus once again.

“Our eyes met and we said in unison: ‘Do you remember me?’” DeVane said in a video Duvall Home made about her. “Miracles happen and in this case, Duvall Home is part of the miracle.”

Read “One resident’s road to recovery, independence” featured by the Daytona Beach News Journal!

Florida ARF

Duvall Receives “Community Agency Spotlight” by FARF

September 1, 2014 Duvall Home receives “Community Agency Spotlight” by the Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. (Issues Forum Breaking News: Vol. 12, Iss. 9)Duvall Home recently began working on a transformation of their program to make their residential program a more community-based model.  They have begun their move to gradually transition about sixty residents, currently living on the Glenwood campus, into eight community group homes in and around DeLand. The homes will continue to be operated by Duvall, alongside the ten group homes already established in the community.  The living accommodations provide a home environment modeled after a typical family-style residence.  “This is a time to look to the future”, said CEO Steve DeVane “and to ready Duvall Home to meet the ever-changing requirements, not only of our special-needs population, but also of the state and government agencies that govern us.  As time moves on, our greatest legacy will be to insure Duvall’s strength long into the future – at the very least, another 70 years.”

Duvall Home has been empowering individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities since 1945.  Their mission to provide the highest quality of life and greatest level of independence for each resident is achieved through individualized care plans that include educational opportunities and life skills training.  Duvall Home provides 24-hour around-the-clock nursing oversight, as well as daily transportation to the Adult Day Training Center and a wide variety of community outings.


2013-14 Annual Report

2013 – 2014 News and Annual Report

Read the latest news happening at Duvall Home and in the greater community that supports us. Inside this “Milestone Year” issue, you’ll also find stories on:
– Operational improvements, achievements and success
– Expanding support for Duvall Home
– Resident Spotlights: The Real Super Stars
and more!

Download the 2013 – 2014 News and Annual Report by clicking here.

Other Newsletters of Duvall Homes

Other News