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Agency History of LifeBridge Partnership

• The word “crippled” is used as it would have been per the corresponding date.
• It should be assumed that everything below refers to LifeBridge Partnership unless another organization is referenced specifically.


Elias Michael School opened for white crippled children; Turner School opened for black crippled children. This was the first application of a 1919 law providing for public education of “crippled children.”


Missouri Society for Crippled Children was organized and headquartered in Jefferson City.

In April of 1927, a group of caring, concerned St. Louis citizens banded together to try to improve the situation of the hundreds of handicapped children of the area, they had but one goal in mind – to make a difference, to give these specially challenged children a chance for a fuller life……and so St. Louis Society for Crippled Children was formed.

St. Louis Society for Crippled Children shared offices, until 1937, in the Municipal Courts Building, with the St. Louis City Health Commission.

1927 – mid 1950s

Established regional clinics for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and referral. Note: Later relinquished this role when the state-funded Missouri Crippled Children’s Services and publicly-supported regional diagnostic clinics were established.

Promoted issue of accessibility in public buildings and property.

“Kids on Their Own” equipment program, supplying orthopedic items to youth in need.

Established and implemented through the mid 1950’s home teaching program for disabled children in St. Louis City and County. St. Louis Society paid for home teachers. This role was changed in St. Louis City with the establishment of the Elias Michael School, and in St. Louis County with the establishment of the Special School District.

Preschool education for disabled children


Decree of Incorporation for Missouri Society for Crippled Children.


St. Louis Society became affiliated with the National Easter Seal Society.


Office established at 3534 Washington Boulevard.


Became incorporated under Missouri non-profit corporation law of Missouri.

The Missouri Society for Crippled Children executive office was moved to St. Louis where it shared quarters with the St. Louis Society for Crippled Children.


The Missouri Society established regional clinics throughout the state to provide diagnosis and evaluation of disabled children.


Cerebral Palsy Training Program was established and the new building was completed as a memorial to Dr. O’Reilly at 4108 Lindell, St. Louis, MO 63108.

1950s – 1970s

St. Louis Society provided pre-school education.

1957 – 1979

Residential Camp Daniel Boone on Highway 94 was established for the orthopedically disabled.


Expanded services to include adults in cooperation with both Missouri and National Easter Seal Societies.

Alpha Chi Omega sorority donated first swimming pool in the Midwest specially designed for orthopedically disabled.


Established formal counseling groups for mothers, teens, young adults, and entire families.


Expanded services to greater St. Louis metropolitan area;
including Jefferson, Franklin, St. Charles, Lincoln, and Warren counties.


First census of disabled children conducted by the Missouri State Department of Education.


The comprehensive recreational opportunities sponsored by the St. Louis Society are available to disabled adults as well as to children.


Yielded affiliation with the National Easter Seal Society.


Offices moved to 7925 Clayton Road, St. Louis MO 63117.

Began “Kids on the Block” awareness program.


Began comprehensive recreational opportunities for disabled adults as well as for children. In turn, commitment made to provide door-to-door transportation.

Began week-long “Sports Camp for Disabled Youth” in conjunction with the National Association of Wheelchair Tennis.

Provided 3 specialized vans and hired drivers to transport approximately 90 percent of recreational program participants.

Began affiliation with the St. Louis Variety Club. Sports Camp now referred to formally as the Variety Club Sports Camp for Disabled Youth.

Began sponsoring wheelchair tennis tournaments with the National Foundation of Wheelchair Tennis.


Offices established at 8780 Manchester, St. Louis, MO 63144.


Began an after school program for the St. Louis Public Schools.


Office moved to 1986 Innerbelt Business Center Drive, Overland, MO 63114.


Legal name changed to “St. Louis Society for Children and Adults with Physical Disabilities.”


Began the After School Program at Gateway Michael School in St. Louis City.


Variety Club Sports Camp for Disabled Youth now referred to as Variety Club Sports Camp for Youth with Disabilities.


Added “Doing Business As” name: St. Louis Society.


Sports Camp referred to as “Variety Club Sports Camp”

Accepted as a member of the United Way of Greater St. Louis


Last Variety Club Sports Camp. Sports Camp now referred to as “St. Louis Society Sports Camp for Youth with Physical Disabilities.”


Added “Doing Business As” name: St. Louis Society for the Physically Disabled.


PR/Advocacy Committee begins studying mission statement and naming of St. Louis Society.

Golf Tournament is renamed, McGurk’s Invitational Golf Tournament


Pilot program for adults is conducted in St. Charles County.

Board of Directors of St. Louis Society changes mission statement to read “Empowering people with disabilities to develop skills for independence and to actively participate in the community.” We accomplish our mission by providing children and adults:
• Personalized support focused on individual abilities.
• Innovative, community-based learning opportunities.
• Accessible, door-to-door transportation.
• Compassionate, family oriented environment.
• Advocacy to enhance quality of life and to educate society.

A Winter Camp is conducted for youth participants of the Gateway Michael School.


Conducted 30th anniversary Sports Camp at North County Recreation Complex.

Organized and conducted the first Spring Break Camp for youth.

Youth Rec Programs are conducted in St. Charles County.

The Board of Directors of St. Louis Society approved a name change for St. Louis Society. New name will be LifeBridge Partnership. A marketing and rollout plan is developed to announce the name change.

Held an organizational meeting to establish a Young Professional Board.


The name change is made on Feb. 1. The agency is now known as LifeBridge Partnership.

The LifeBridge Carnival is held on Feb. 22 to officially kickoff the new name.

Began a Young Professional Board with eight members.

A Spring Break Camp is held for the first time for youth participants.

Two youth camps are held during the summer – one in St. Charles County and one in St. Louis County.


Staff and Board work to develop business plan for LifeBridge Farms.

Young Professional Board elects its first set of officers to a two-year term.

The After School Program at Gateway Michael School is renamed, The SPARK Club.


Organized a Task Force to review the work processes of the office staff.

Reorganized the management positions.

Board approves funding for LifeBridge Farms.


Office work areas are remodeled.

Youth Department conducts three camps during the summer.