Natural Ties closes down 10 years ago around this time.
Posted in the Wilmette Forum
#1 Dec 11, 2012
Natural Ties was a really cool organization for people with disabilities. Unlike most other programs (in Illinois) that are more geared toward the philosophy of "keep the disabled and non disabled separate", Natural Ties was more about bringing people with disabilities into closer contact with the non-disabled world, so basically, Natural Ties was more the reverse of many other programs for people with disabilities. To make it even more fun, every year, Natural Ties had an annual Casino party at the Drake Hotel, normally either the first or second weekend in February. And it was a lot of fun. Especially as the annual Casino party was not only about gambling, rulette, and such; there was also a dance in a room right next to the main ballroom. The annual Casino party was a massive, major event that normally drew upwards of 800 people each year. And not just from Chicagoland; people came from Indiana, people came from Ohio, people even came from places as far flung as Florida, California, New York, Texas, and Colorado. There were, of course, plenty of disabled people at the annual casino party as well, but they were plenty outnumbered by the non disabled people. The main funding office used to be located right in Evanston. Natural Ties also had meetings and other cool stuff over at Northwestern University. Sadly, in the fall/winter of 2002-2003, due to budget cuts, Natural Ties closed down for good. The Evanston office was stripped down, cleared out, and according to Google Street View, it is now an insurance office, most likely Country Insurance and Financial Services.
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