History

PARC History

Edythe Ibold gave birth to daughter Midge in 1948, who was diagnosed as a mongoloid (which is now known as Down syndrome). In 1952, Mrs. Ibold placed a small notice in The St. Petersburg Times inviting parents of intellectual and developmentally disabled children to a meeting in the St. Petersburg City Hall.  26 people attended this initial meeting.

From that first group of concerned parents PARC was formed.  The group obtained its charter as the Pinellas Association for Retarded Children in April 1953.  Mrs. Ibold served as its first President and charter member. The first project successfully tackled by the group was the opening in 1953 of a pilot class for moderately retarded children.

From these humble beginnings, PARC has grown to be known as a progressive leader in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.  With over 40 programs, PARC offers many choices to the individuals it serves.

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A Timeline of Our History

We're celebrating 63 years of service, and invite you to explore our rich history and rapid growth, made possible by the generosity of those in our community and beyond.

We invite you to enjoy this journey through time, and if it inspires you, why not consider joining us or giving a gift so that you too can be a part of history.

Scroll down to see our 60-year history.

1952

Mrs. Edythe Ibold places a small notice in The Evening Independent.

1952Mrs. Edythe Ibold placed a small notice in The Evening Independent inviting parents of children with developmental disabilities to a meeting in the St. Petersburg City Hall.

1953

Pinellas Association for Retarded Children receives Corporate Charter.

1953Pinellas Association for Retarded Children received its Corporate Charter. Edythe Ibold named First President of the Board of Directors and a Charter Member. The first group of concerned parents that formed PARC successfully opened The Peter Pan School.

1964

Bert Muller named the first Executive Director of The Peter Pan School.

Bert Muller named the first Executive Director of The Peter Pan School. On October 16, 1964, LARC – the heart of PARC, is founded to support the children and adults at PARC. PARC secured 6 acres of land through the City Council at what is now PARC's main campus near Tyrone Boulevard.

1967

PARC's First Annual Black Tie Gala is held.

1967PARC's First Annual Black Tie Gala is held at the home of Brenda and Sam Rahall. PARC's development of a sheltered employment program for adults begins.

1968

Administration staff, preschool and the new PARC Cottage residential program for children move in to the new Tyrone main campus.

1968Administration staff, preschool and the new PARC Cottage residential program for children move in to the new Tyrone main campus. Development Activity Program (now known as Adult Day Training) moved to new campus. Physical therapy and speech therapy begin at preschool.

1969

PARC leases two story building to provide PARC Villa, a residential setting for adults.

PARC leased a two story, dormitory style building at 1051 72nd Street North for the purpose of providing a residential setting for adults over age 18. PARC Villa was one of the first integrated community residential programs of its kind in Florida.

1971

Mrs. Rose Kennedy visits PARC.

1971Mrs. Rose Kennedy visited the PARC Campus.

1973

Clifton and Dorothy Well donate $50,000.

1973Clifton and Dorothy Well donate $50,000 and a new 10,000 square foot building becomes the expanded Sheltered Workshop Program.

1974

PARC's First Annual Golf Tournament is held.

1974PARC's First Annual Golf Tournament is held at the Bardmoor Golf Course.

1977-1978

PARC Housing, Inc. is formed to develop and oversee the project management of a HUD home.

PARC Housing, Inc. formed to develop and oversee the project management of a HUD home, which served as one of several national prototype facilities for its design and encouragement of alternative community residential facilities. Congressman C.W. Bill Young helped PARC through this process.

1979

PARC Center Apartments opens.

1979PARC Center Apartments opened in October 1979 for 48 adults.

1982

Curry Villa opened in November 1982 for 30 adults.

Curry Villa opened in November 1982 for 30 adults formerly at PARC Villa's leased building. Mack and Chris Curry made the donation in memory of his parents George B. and Agnes Curry.

1987

PARC Cottages moved into two new cottages.

1987PARC Cottages moved into two new cottages covering 4,000 square feet for 16 children 5 to 15 years old.

1991

Burkett Villa opens for 15 adults.

1991Burkett Villa opened on February 15, 1991 for 15 adults. The donated 10 acres of land is developed in a small area to add the 4th residential program for PARC.

1994

Contract started with Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care (PPEC).

Contract started with Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care (PPEC), which provides services for medically fragile children on the PARC Campus.

1995

PARC receives a new building for Administrative Offices and Seniors Program.

1995PARC received in charitable trust a building located at 3190 Tyrone Boulevard. Administration offices and Seniors Program move to new location.

1996

Children's Services expanded to include new Assistive Technology Center and larger physical therapy area.

1996Children's Services expanded to include new Assistive Technology Center and larger physical therapy area and early intervention center at PARC's preschool, now named Discovery Learning Center. Artist John Gutcher paints a rainforest theme throughout the school for the enjoyment of the children.

2004

Children's Services expanded to include the Family Focus Program.

2004Children's Services expanded to include the Family Focus Program that serves children and their families in the home or in their preferred school with early intervention services.

2009

PARC awarded FEMA grant to upgrade PARC Center Apartments, providing 64 PARC residents a safe shelter during a hurricane or other natural disaster.

PARC awarded FEMA grant with the help of Congressman C.W. Bill Young and the City of St. Petersburg to upgrade PARC Center Apartments. The group home's extensive improvements with provide 64 PARC residents a safe shelter during a hurricane or other natural disaster.

2010

PARC Center Apartments renamed The Burt Muller Home.

2010PARC Center Apartments renamed The Burt Muller Home to honor the memory of his commitment to individuals with developmental disabilities.

2011

PARC joins the National movement to "Remove the 'R' Word".

Providing Advocacy and Recognizing Capabilities

PARC joins the National movement to "Remove the 'R' Word". Surveys were sent to hundreds of supporters which resulted in keeping the name PARC with the acronym now standing for Providing Advocacy & Recognizing Capabilities when asked for a literal definition.

2012

Efforts begin for the opening of the PARC Autism Behavioral Center.

2012Major fundraising and planning efforts begin for the opening of the PARC Autism Behavioral Center to serve individuals of all ages with autism spectrum disorder.

2013

PARC Celebrates 60 Years!

2013PARC Celebrates 60 Years!