Northern Oklahoma Resource Center hosted a birthday party Monday to remember someone special ? former Enid State School resident Kenny Gillon who died nearly a year earlier in Wisconsin.
?This is kind of a neat deal,? said John Barton, NORCE executive director, as direct care staff members served cake and ice cream to Canna Building residents.
The cake and ice cream was paid for thanks to the generosity of Gillon?s younger sister, Linda Post, who took a journey into the past after her older brother?s death.
Kenny Gillon, the son of Carl and Rebecca Gillon, lived at the state school from 1953 to 1970.
The family traveled every year from California to Tennessee. Having learned from a diagnosis at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., of Kenny?s developmental disability, they stopped in Enid during one of those journeys to visit a relative who suggested the Enid State School.
?Enid had just been opened and touted as a very good program. A minister helped us get him (Kenny) admitted because they were full. During his time there, Kenny progressed,? Post said.
After Gillon died, Post said she was looking through the family papers and saw the documents related to Kenny?s time here. Post saw their father, Carl, had sent money to the school to be used for a birthday party for Kenny on Aug. 29.
Linda thought she would renew the tradition and visited here last spring. She met with Barton who helped her gather more records related to Kenny.
?I cried and I cried. I broke down and suddenly thought it would be nice to continue the birthday parties,? Post said.
Barton said it?s a good tradition he would like to continue and eventually use interest money accrued in the NORCE Foundation fund to pay for the party annually.
During Monday?s party, direct care specialist Tina Hunter said she was grateful about Post?s generosity.
?It?s nice somebody cares enough to do this. We don?t get many thanks, but when we do we, appreciate it,? Hunter said.