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Celebrating 50 years of Star Community, Inc.

The Anita Lynne Story

According to “Unto the Least of These” by Miriam Garns, it was in 1959 that Audrey Tebbs received news that every mother fears hearing in a doctor’s office: There were complications with her pregnancy. She picked out the words, “brain damage…cerebral palsy…spastic” from the doctor’s message and began to feel the world sway. She began to imagine the difficulties that lie ahead for her unborn child.

The doctor’s words of encouragement were not enough to soothe the worried mother. He told her to live life “as normally as possible”, yet Audrey and her husband Richard knew that normal for their child would not be the same normal for most other children. Even as their child grew older, America’s resources for those with disabilities would remain appalling. According to a recent report, approximately 156,000 people with disabilities lived in institutions in the late 1960s. As many as 100 people could share a bedroom in these facilities, and sanitation was nearly non-existent. Government funding for private organizations that served those with disabilities was slim, leaving the grim institutions as the only option for many families.

Audrey and Richard Tebbs welcomed their daughter Anita Lynne into the world on February 17th, 1959. The Tebbs were desperate for Anita Lynne to thrive, yet they soon realized the world wasn’t structured for people with disabilities to do so. Anita Lynne was not considered a proper fit for the school she had attended for only six months, and the live-in facility she later stayed at kept her too far from her loving parents. The couple soon realized that a solution was not needed only for their daughter, but for all families with children with disabilities who faced the same challenges.

Visionaries for Change

Inspired with a vision to help every person achieve a meaningful life, the Tebbs purchased a mansion in Williamsport, Maryland, and officially established the Anita Lynne Home. They invited other children with disabilities to join them and soon the Anita Lynne Home began to thrive and grow. Fundamental to the Tebbs’ innovative approach was the creation of a home-like, family environment that fostered an inclusive culture where each person was treated as an individual.

It was this vision upon which Star Community’s legacy was born, and it is the vision we embrace today. The Tebbs proposed that every person with a disability has the right to live a fulfilling life, and like the Tebbs, we are committed to ensuring that we support each person in achieving their goals and discovering new pathways to limitless possibilities.

Be part of our legacy while investing in our bright future by making a gift to Star.

Here’s how you can help:

Making a gift in memory of a loved one is a thoughtful way to honor them while helping to sustain our good work and grow our mission.

Giving a gift in honor of someone is a special way to pay tribute to the difference they make in your life while contributing to the programs at Star that make a difference in the lives of the people we serve.

No matter how you choose to participate, we invite you to join us in celebrating the stories and people who inspire us and who make Star who we are today! For questions on how you can support us, please contact Caroline Sayres, director of development, at 301.791.0011 X1308 or csayres@starcommunityinc.org