On the Town: Putting out a spread to support GAR Services

October 29, 2013|By Ruth Sowby
  • Maria M. weighs metal wings and labels boxes for a business customer that contracts with GAR for client services rendered.
Maria M. weighs metal wings and labels boxes for a business… (Photo by Ruth Sowby )

Eating for charity is a popular sport among Glendalians. Last Wednesday, some 70 hungry supporters gathered at Dish in La Cañada to do just that. Benefiting from a percentage of the evening's proceeds was GAR Services, a work-activity program for adults with developmental disabilities.

Those familiar with GAR attend its annual Derby Day, presenting the Kentucky Derby live on giant screens at Pickwick Gardens in Burbank. Closer to home, the restaurants in and around Glendale have generous owners who help out financially via their customers who attend GAR's Charity Nights.

Family-friendly Dish was packed. GAR fans chowed down on popular entrees such as roasted ham with macaroni and greens or braised brisket of beef with bourbon barbecue sauce, enough to make any barbecue fan just a little tipsy. The full bar and wine list only added to supporters' good spirits. Deep-dish apple pie was the favorite choice for dessert lovers.


A quintet of missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was treated to dinner by church members. Burgers and gumbo were the preferred dishes for elders Morgun King, Tanner Debry, Connor Llewelyn, John Winfield and Jacob Beard.

A visit to GAR's Services headquarters on San Fernando Road in Glendale makes it clear where some of the charity dollars go. For GAR's developmentally disabled clients, there is vocational training, job placement, socialization and education.

But the headquarters' primary function is to provide space for GAR's “Work-Activity” program. On Oct. 21, about 50 developmentally disabled clients were found busy on assembly lines working for pay.

They package, label, assemble, collate and ship products for local businesses that contract with GAR for various services. Glendale-based Western Drug Medical Supply Co. regularly uses GAR clients' services.

Clients are paid according to their productivity. Their sub-minimum wages are provided by the state Department of Developmental Services. State funds also cover GAR programs and services, as well as three licensed homes in Glendale for clients.

All clients are trained and supervised by GAR staff members. Clients are placed on assembly lines based on their abilities and talents. There are 10 clients on each line.

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