We were so excited to premiere the mission video celebrating the founding of Living Well Disability Services at our Transforming Lives Gala that we are sharing it again so everybody can see and enjoy it!

Stories do not tell themselves. But as with all great journeys, they start with a single step. All of us at Living well are bursting with pride to a part of this incredible organization, and have sincere gratitude to Karen and Galen Pate, for dreaming of a better life for their beloved daughter, Betsy. Their steadfast commitment to shifting the narrative of what care should be has resulted in better care for hundreds of individuals over the past 50 years.

The butterfly effect of their passion has changed the face of advocacy for a generation and all generations to come. In truth, their mission has touched the lives of thousands. When you add family members who saw a new world of possibilities open for their loved ones, when you add staff that stayed a few months or decades, when you consider every individual who saw a group from Living Well at the grocery store, a ball game, a doctors office or a beach, when you see the smiles on the faces of everyone in an interaction—you can fully appreciate the scope of their reach.

Dream it, build it, watch it change the world. Thank you, Karen and Galen, you inspire us all.

And to Kathy and John LeMay. Your decades of service and fully immersing yourselves into the mission of care and kindness is amazing to watch. Kathy spent 28 years as the Executive Director at Living Well starting when it was known as Dakota’s Children and saw the organization through significant growth and progress. She speaks eloquently about the emotional aspects required to keep an organization like ours moving ever forward. John and Kathy are both incredible humans, and we appreciate them.

When you love your work, you stick around. Thank you to Kathy for nearly three decades of leadership service and lasting advocacy.

Now, last but not least, a huge virtual hug to brothers Mike and Steve Polski. Mike has lived with us the entire 50 years and was one of the first to move in right beside Betsy Pate. He was injured as a child, and in an instant his family was launched into the world of disability. His younger brother Steve tells the story of how Living Well changes Mike’s life for the better and shares his love and respect for the staff who have cared for his brother 24/7 for the last 50 years. Disability care is not easy, and the emotional toll on families and guardians can be extreme. But Steve knows his brother is well taken care of and loved. And to watch them interact is a pure delight.

Love comes in many forms. When friends become family, and care providers love you like family, it’s a total win.

Please take the next 7:33 minutes and watch this incredible video here. It is the best thing you will see all day, guaranteed.


It’s not too late to help us reach our stretch goal of $400K for the 2022 Transforming Lives Gala. To date we are at $360K, but with a few more donations, we can do it! Donate here, simply scroll down to Fund-a-Need and choose any amount!