In 1970, Happy Critchlow and Janice Adkins had a vision to provide affordable childcare for working families. More than 50 years later, a dream that started out with a handful of classrooms has now grown to include five sites throughout Talbot County and has served nearly 13,000 local children across four generations.
As their 50th anniversary approached in 2020, Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers (CACC) knew they had to do something very special to celebrate such a momentous milestone. They planned a celebration for that September. COVID had other plans, and their event had to be delayed – not once, not twice, but three times over the course of the next two years.
In the interim, CACC did not skip a beat, opening their doors during COVID to care for the children of first responders so they could go to work. As schools opened back up in a virtual setting, CACC’s before-and-after-school programs quickly converted to all-day programs. Critchlow’s teachers helped the children with their virtual learning and planned enrichment activities that would bolster what they were learning in school, ensuring that they would not fall behind. If parents faced financial hardships due to the pandemic, Critchlow worked with them so they could continue working, knowing that their children were safe and well-cared-for.
Good things are often worth waiting for, and after a long and productive two years, on September 8, 2022, CACC’s staff, Board of Directors, and supporters gathered under a tent at the Talbot Country Club for a beautiful evening of celebration. Attendees reveled in the opportunity to be together face-to-face once again, and to celebrate such an important milestone for Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers.
Executive Director Cristy Morrell kicked off the evening by thanking everyone for joining them for the special occasion and paid tribute to CACC’s founders, past and present Board Members, the organization’s dedicated staff, and all of the donors who made it possible to reach more than 50 years of service to the community. Board Chair James Redman honored the organization’s newest Legacy Award Winners – Ceci Nobel, Fayette and Bob Engstrom, Sandy Kaufman, and Christmas in St. Michaels. CACC Board Member Brie Wooden spoke about her experience growing up as a Critchlow Adkins student, and how she is now the parent of a Critchlow Adkins student. She marveled at how her son has blossomed since joining CACC’s programs.
Proclamations were presented on behalf of the State of Maryland by State Senator Addie Eckhart and State Delegate Johnny Mautz. The speeches were followed by a live auction and a Fund-A-Need to purchase new classroom furniture for CACC’s Cordova Site.
“We are still reeling in the best way from that night,” Morrell shares. “To see so many of our treasured supporters in person again, and to celebrate them for all they do for our children, was incredible. We would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to our event committee, sponsors, business partners, and the Talbot Country Club for making this event such a success.”
All of the proceeds from the event will be used to support Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers’ mission of providing quality, financially accessible childcare for children and their families in a nurturing, diverse, safe, and enriching environment.
CACC has five sites throughout Talbot County, providing preschool, before-and-after-school care, and summer camp programs. Their enrichment programs, including Raising a Reader and innovative STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) projects encourage a love of learning and inspire children to use their creativity to solve real-world problems. To learn more about CACC, register your child, or make a donation, visit cacckids.org or call 410-822-8061.