ST. PETERSBURG, Fla Aug. 24, 2022 – Parc Center for Disabilities and the St. Petersburg Civitan Club hosted a charter ceremony and celebration Wednesday, August 24 to mark the official launch of the Parc Civitan Club, a new service club for adults at Parc Center for Disabilities. During the event, 44 individuals were initiated into the group and presented with Civitan vests and certificates. This special event shared by friends, family, and community members honors the start of an opportunity for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to actively engage in their community and make the world a better place.

Civitan International is an organization of volunteer service clubs around the world, dedicated to helping people in their own communities. Civitan’s help wherever the need arises. The Parc Civitan Club is charter no. 4,235 of Civitan International. Members are adults at Parc Center for Disabilities who participate in the adult day training program and/or live in one of its residential homes.

Peter D. is Charter President and will lead this new group of Civitans to do the “work of the world” in their community. The club’s first project will be cleaning up an overgrown garden area on Parc’s campus.

The Parc Civitan Club is sponsored and created by the St. Petersburg Civitan Club. Parc Center for Disabilities has been the primary project of the St. Pete Civitan’s for decades, dating back to Curt Thomas, a former Parc President and CEO and past Civitan International President. Bonnie Ruth, St. Pete Civitan and Florida District Governor, is regarded as a club builder because of her involvement in creating the club. Bonnie approached Michelle Detweiler, current President and CEO of Parc Center for Disabilities, in December about establishing a Civitan Club for adult participants. Michelle happily agreed and they began recruitment in March with weekly meetings led by St. Pete Civitan’s to educate Parc participants about the organization.


Attendance at these meetings quickly grew from 13 participants to 30, and everyone has shown a great deal of enthusiasm for these gatherings. Employees at Parc Center for Disabilities all agree that they haven’t seen participants this happy and engaged in an activity in a very long time. The group has already completed a few projects, such as sending letters to veterans, and they elected new officers in June. According to Bonnie, everyone wants to have a hand in helping with meetings, especially ringing the bell to call the meeting to order.

“All Civitans have a heart to serve others. The Parc Civitan club gives joy, belonging and purpose to members,” said Bonnie. “Being a club builder, I am blessed tenfold by my growing friendship with our newest Civitan members.”