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First Social Club gathering of 2023 a full house

Patricia, a person-served, making a colorful beaded necklace with her DSP, Taylor.

Over 30 individuals-served supported by direct support professionals gathered at Shangri-La’s Salem Office on January 25 for the first Social Club event of 2023. Aimed at bringing people back together after the pandemic, the Social Club event featured a potluck, crafts and games. Some individuals painted rocks or made Valentine’s cards while others played Battleship, Jenga and Guess Who.

“Our overall intention was for the first Social Club of the year to feel organic and be in a familiar place where people could comfortably and confidently mingle and participate in the activities,” explained Jennifer Manning, Shangri-La’s community engagement coordinator who is leading this year’s Social Club programming.

For many, Social Club is an opportunity to see people outside of their home. Jimmy, a person-served, shouted “I haven’t seen you in forever” as a friend of his entered the room. “You remember me, don’t you?” Ruth, one of Shangri-La’s behavior professional, joked with Patricia, a person-served. “That was fun. I saw my friends,” David, a person-served, said as he was heading home.

Jimmy (left) sits with his friend whom he hadn't seen since before the pandemic started.

Tiffani Olsen, Shangri-La’s Director of I/DD and APD Residential Services, also attended the festivities. “The evening was amazing,” she said. “I think it also did just as much good for those of us that volunteered or attended as it did for the people it was intended for.”

Organizers have three more Social Club gatherings planned for 2023. Next on the calendar is a bowling meet-up in early May. For information about future Social Club gatherings, watch Shangri-La’s Facebook page ( or the event calendar on Shangri-La’s website ( Some Social Club events will be open to community members with disabilities not served by Shangri-La.

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