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“Your life and mine shall be valued not by what we take…but by what we give.”
– Edgar “Daddy” Allen, Easter Seals Founder

The Beginnings of Easter Seals

Ohio-businessman and Rotarian Edgar Allen lost his son in a streetcar accident because of the lack of adequate medical services available to save his son. This tragedy prompted Allen to sell his business and begin a fund-raising campaign to build a hospital with community-based services for children with disabilities in his hometown of Elyria, Ohio. Through this new hospital, Allen was surprised to learn that children with disabilities were often hidden from public view. Inspired to make a difference, in 1919 Allen founded the National Society for Crippled Children, the first organization of its kind. He recruited his Rotary Club to help create a network of programs that would become Easterseals.

Kentucky Easter Seals Society Founded in Kentucky

In 1923, The Conference of Kentucky Rotarians formed a Crippled Children’s Society, which became Kentucky Easter Seals Society. Through the next two decades plans developed for a building to serve children with physical handicaps. The Cardinal Hill Convalescent Home opened in 1950, when the polio epidemic was widespread. Seeing the need to serve children impacted by various medical conditions, a preschool facility to serve these children was implemented with the vision and help of Mrs. Virginia Creech. In 1965, Dr. David Stevens, Cardinal Hill’s Medical Director and Chairman of the Kentucky Commission for Handicapped Children, explored broadening and enlarging programs to serve both children and adults with special needs.


The overwhelming public support for the Easter “seals” campaign triggered a nationwide expansion of the organization and a swell of grassroots efforts on behalf of people with disabilities. By 1967, the Easter “seal” was so well recognized, the organization formally adopted the name “Easter Seals.”


Easter Seals also advocates for the passage of legislation to help people with disabilities achieve independence, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Passed in 1990, the ADA prohibits discrimination against anyone who has a mental or physical disability, guaranteeing the civil rights of people with disabilities.


On National, State and Local levels, Easter Seals offers help, hope and answers to adults, children and their families living with special needs. and their families each year


  • Adaptive Recreation
  • Adult Day Health
  • Creative Beginnings Child Development Center
  • HorseAbility
  • Pediatric Therapy

Easterseals Bluegrass is thankful for many individuals who helped make our services possible in the community, with a vision to see needs and lead ESBG to many viable services today.

Mrs. Virginia Creech was instrumental in developing services for children.
Dr. Lyman Ginger, former Cardinal Hill CEO and Judy Rose, former Board Chairwoman.
Mary Lou Whitney, a dedicated ESCH volunteer and philanthropist.
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