Show, Inc employees live for their clients’ “light bulb” moments

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The organization known as Show, Inc. was initiated in 1964, when parents with disabled children in Sapulpa organized a council to arrange activities and schooling for them.  

From left to right: Patron John Westland, CNA April Thiede, and a United Way Day of Caring Volunteer. courtesy

Over the next two years the council started a nonsectarian church school for the children, a  summer camp, and held many fundraising events, including the first Annual Charity Ball. 

In the 1970s the organization officially became a vocational program for adults with developmental disabilities, a mission that endures today. Then, the program was named the Sapulpa Handicapped Opportunity Workshop, or S.H.O.W. 

In 1992 the name was legally changed to Show, Inc., removing the stigma of the word “handicapped.” 

Today, Show operates three programs servicing developmentally-disabled adults–an Assisted Living Program (opened in 1997), an Adult Day Center (opened in 2014), and vocational services, their largest program, which provides jobs and training.  

Show’s vocational services encompass positions in recycling, janitorial, and landscaping services in Sapulpa and the greater Tulsa area. 

The majority of their vocational clients spend most of their work time on recycling routes or at their on-site recycling processing center. 

The Adult Day Center offers “socialization and community engagement opportunities for people who are not working full time.” It is currently operating at full capacity and is a colorful, busy place full of art, activities, people, and projects.  

Show’s management notes that “staff routinely works to foster friendships between patrons, finding common interests through shared activities at the facility and group outings in the community.” The organization makes it a priority to work with individual clients, their family, caregivers, and case managers to provide hobbies “and social engagement opportunities that the individual enjoys while ensuring [their] secondary health needs are met.”

Show’s Assisted Living program provides support, life skills, and training for disabled people who wish to live on their own or who will eventually transition into living on their own.

These skills vary depending on each individual’s needs, and might include organizing medication, personal budgeting, or providing transportation. “With others it could be attending events in the community and learning, from both staff and fellow patrons, what to prioritize in order to reach the next step of their goals.” 

Show, Inc. is publicly funded, receiving money from the State of Oklahoma, the United Way, the Bartlett Foundation, and Medicaid, among other sources.

It also, of course, brings in its own revenue from its recycling center. It recycles about 1.2 million pounds of materials a year, which brought in $77,000 last year in recycling sales. (This does not include the revenue made from curbside recycling subscriptions.)     

For members of the community, the most fun and glamorous funding source of Show is its annual Charity Ball. This year’s Ball will be the organization’s 54th. In 1966 Jerry Naifeh, Joy Naifeh, and Mary Ann Jacklin were asked to create an event to raise money to build a local school for disabled children. The gala they hosted was such a success that it’s been held every year since and has raised millions of dollars for Show, Inc. 

Show’s board includes directors Mike Hurt with Green Bay Packaging, Melinda Ryan, an attorney, Angela Henderson with Invacare Corporation, Pete Sellers with the Sapulpa Police Department, Bruce Duncan with Duncan & Sons Contracting, and Kathy Berryhill, retired from SPS. 

Board officers are President Sandy Janowiak, a retired teacher (whose daughter Carey attends the Adult Day Center), Vice President Melinda Ryan, and Treasurer Hugo Naifeh with American Heritage Bank. 

Finance and HR manager Chris Boyd, who has been with Show since 2006 says the moment when a patron learns a new skill and has “that light bulb moment” is what makes Show such a special place. 

Show, Inc. fills a crucial void in the community, allowing its “patrons the ability to achieve a sense of community connectedness…integration, social inclusion and self-actualization.” They want their clients to “feel that the community values them as members.”

Robert Lawrence, Show’s Executive Director for 3 years and with Show for a total of 8 (he was a teacher before Show) says that “adversity in the community is how citizens grow and learn.” 

A concerned group of citizens who recognized the need for an organization like Show to be created acted, and over the years newcomers, staff, volunteers, and patrons, have cultivated the original idea to keep the organization relevant in the current environment. 

The best way to help Show is to hire them for commercial or residential recycling, attend the Charity Ball, or donate directly through their website. 

For more information about Show, Inc., visit www.showinc.org or call 918-224-7214. They are located at 425 West Wells Boulevard in Sapulpa.

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E. B. Thompson

E. B. Thompson

Born and raised in Sapulpa, Elizabeth has a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies and is a former banker. She is thrilled to be back in her hometown with her husband Michael and to be contributing to The Sapulpa Times.

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