The Terry Mothershed Award for Excellence

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Jon May, Pine Castle’s CEO, accepts the Terry Mothershed Award for Excellence

This prestigious award is given annually to acknowledge a professional whose contributions have resulted in significant improvement in the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health needs. The award highlights the professional’s dedication, advocacy, compassion, competence, person-centered approaches and collaboration results in improved quality of life, health and wellness, and/or opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Jon May was selected to be the 2017 Northeast Florida recipient.

Jon May has a distinguished 28 year career as the CEO of Pine Castle, Inc. Under May’s leadership, he has grown the agency budget from $1.5 million in 1988 to over $6 million in 2016. Pine Castle’s outreach has grown from 250 clients in 1988 to over 350 clients in 2016. He has added 60 agency jobs for staff working to improve the lives of persons with disabilities.

In recognition of underemployment of persons with disabilities, May led efforts in 1993 to construct a work production facility on the Pine Castle campus and expanded the facility in 1999. This facility, a combination of warehouse and work production space, has allowed expansion of work opportunities for the 250 participants in the Day Training Program.

With a focus on health, May established a nursing program in 2001 to ensure access to quality healthcare for the individuals in the Adult Day Training Program and Residential Services. Under his leadership in 2015, Pine Castle initiated a Psychosocial Rehabilitation program that focuses on persons with both an intellectual/developmental disability and mental health diagnosis. Program participants meet daily to improve their ability to function at work, life skills at home, stress reduction, communication and reduce their feelings of low self-worth.

In 2007, May conceived a new campus resource for participants that was constructed in 2008 and dedicated as the Borowy Family Life Enrichment Center after a successful capital campaign. This $4.0M project is a 17,000 sq. ft. multi-purpose service center allowed a significant increase in services available to program participant’s campus-wide.

In addition to his work at Pine Castle, May has serves on the Board of Directors for Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (FARF), an organization serving the interests of Florida providers of services with intellectual and developmental disabilities which includes legislative and state government advocacy for the needs of persons served in our field. He has been active as a community leader with the Jacksonville Chamber, Southside Business Club and United Way Directors.


One year anniversary of the Terry G. Clark Radio Studio

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In celebration of the one year anniversary of the Terry G. Clark Radio Studio, Pine Castle hosted a special broadcast Friday, February 24, 2017 at 10am. One of Pine Castle’s most loved activities, the Pine Castle Morning News, got a significant revamp a year ago from a generous donor. Pine Castle Morning News was launched in memory of former participant, Terry G. Clark Jr. Terry had been a Pine Castle participant since 2012 and joined the radio show as a technical producer and anchor. His memory has been kept alive through daily broadcasts in the studio.

The Pine Castle Morning News broadcasts live from their studio every Monday through Friday at 9:30 am. The radio show includes news headlines, weather, sports, lunch, joke of the day and this day in history. Previously broadcasted across the campus via walkie talkies, the new morning show has been broadcasted from a state-of-the-art radio studio outfitted on the Pine Castle Campus. This is the first radio show written and produced by adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the state of Florida.

The Florida Times Union did a great article on the anniversary of the studio. To read the article, please visit

The Publix Fishathon

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Fishing, dancing, bar-b-q and fun are a few words to express the Publix Fishathon. As a part of their United Way campaign kickoff, members of Pine Castle’s Adult Day Training program got to participate in the activities. The day kicked off with fishing where there were some big (and little) catches. The rest of the afternoon was spent singing, dancing and playing corn hole. The Pine Castle clients even had the opportunity to see what it is like to honk the horn in one of Publix’s big trucks.

Each year, Publix associates pledge to United Way, largely through payroll deductions. In 2015 Publix associates pledged $33.4 million. Thank you to Publix and United Way for their impact in our clients lives!

A Gift from the Heart

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New Residential Svces Director, Lauren Locks of Love 004Having her long strawberry blonde hair cut short was a big decision for Pine Castle group home resident Lauren Ballew.  But, she liked the idea that she could possibly help someone who had lost their own hair due to a health problem.  The manager of Lauren’s home, Janice Whitted, located a stylist willing to take the time to carefully prepare Lauren’s hair before cutting it, so that her beautiful tresses could be donated to “Locks of Love”.  The organization creates hair pieces for many who feel uncomfortable after losing their hair due to cancer treatment or other conditions.

Petite and soft-spoken with a warm smile, Lauren now sports a chin-length bob.  Last month, Lauren beamed as Cynica Jackson, Pine Castle’s new Group Home Services Director, presented a thank-you letter to her from “Locks of Love”.  She went home that day and proudly pinned it to her bedroom wall.  Asked how she felt about her donation for someone who would receive a custom hair piece made from her hair, she flashed a shy smile and whispered, “It’s special.”  And, so are you, Lauren.

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