May 21, 2013
Mildred Spicer has worked with the Charlottesville's Parks and Recreation department since the late 1970's. She developed the Therapeutic Recreation Program when she saw a need for people with disabilities to stay active.
In 1980 Spicer helped to develop the wheelchair basketball team, the Charlottesville Cardinals and has been developing programs ever since.
The city will honor Spicer with a retirement celebration this afternoon at 2 pm.
"It was a very difficult decision to make, I've been thinking about it for the last two years," says Mildred. "So I have a lot of mixed feelings, but it is time, I am ready to retire."
Spicer has worked with the Therapeutic program for nearly 34 years and believes the party is a celebration of the program's success.
"So it's really to celebrate how far we've come in 34 years and that is really because of the support of all the participants, all the parents, all the teachers, all the volunteers and all the staff that have been involved with it," says Spicer.
Her friend, Mary Miller, helped to put the party together and believes that Spicer's efforts throughout the years helped open doors for peole with disabilities.
"The fact that so many people want to come, so many people have put pages in her guest book, I think it's just confirmation that our community is open to inclusion and open to programs and that we really care about our citizens," says Miller.
Spicer plans to retire at the end of May and hopes to spend time with family, working on her quilts and to continue working with people with disabilities.