Community Involvement


Autism Walk for 2019

This April was the 6th year Charlie and I were able participate in the Autism walk. It is a wonderful experience that allows us to support a group that helps many families. It was held at the Veterans Memorial Park, supported by different companies that were involved with booths, made donations, or donated prizes for the drawings at the end of the walk. I am glad to represent our company in such a worthy cause as Gem State continues to strive to support the people we serve by participating in these activities. ~Charlotte


Curt Recla Moonlight Golf Tournament – Sept 2018

The Boise AdVenture program held the 21st annual Curt Recla Moonlight golf tournament at Warm Spring Golf Course on September 7th, 2018. Teams of 4 played a best ball tournament for 9 holes, then took a break to dinner. After dinner and after dusk, they broke out the glow-in-the-dark golf balls and players adorned themselves with neon glow sticks. Gem State Developmental Center was proud to sponsor one hole as part of the fundraiser for the adaptive recreation program, as well as having a team play to further contribute to the cause.

GSDC Clinical Director, Lori Jo Poole, Jose Valezquez, Leslie Jacobs and Mark Ciccarello had a great time for a great cause. Golfing in the dark with glow balls is definitely a challenge and we look forward to participating again!

Autism Walk – April 2018

This is the fifth year Charlie and I have participated in this event. I have a nephew with Autism and feel it is a program that is close to my heart and a worthy cause to support. I am proud to represent Gem State as it supports people with special needs and encourages staff to participate in the community by serving all we can. It was a cool morning that made the walk pleasant. There were many teams showing support for their family member with autism, and superheroes to encourage the walkers on their way, making it all the more enjoyable. There were booths giving away free products as they advertised their services. At the end of the walk there was a drawing for prizes. All in all it was a fun morning and a positive experience. ~Charlotte

This year the Run for Autism family fun walk was held at Julia Davis Park in Downtown Boise. It was great seeing all the children and adults with autism, alongside their families and providers supporting such a nice cause! They had multiple booths and vendors for people to browse and enjoy while waiting for the event to begin. The race couldn’t have been anymore blessed by gorgeous spring weather. While walking on the greenbelt in the warm sunshine, participants enjoyed walking alongside the Boise River, saying hello to the giraffes looking over the wall at the zoo and reading the many inspirational quotes that were alongside the walking path put there to support this wonderful event! ~Victoria


Autism Walk – April 2017

Gem State Developmental Center has once again sponsored the annual autism walk. The weather was nice and everyone appeared to have a good time. Charlotte Dringle, Linda Hagen, Donna York, Anna Crane, Kathleen George, Victoria Pyle along with their families were able to enjoy the fun and support a very important cause. There were booths, food and t-shirts that made the whole event enjoyable along with a raffle at the end of the walk. We look forward to more fun next year!

Miss Amazing Pageant – February 2017

The 5th Annual Idaho Miss Amazing Pageant was held the weekend of February 10th-11th, 2017, at the Nampa Civic Center and Gem State Developmental Center proudly showcased 5 of its participants as pageant contestants: Suzanne, Stefanie C., Brooke, Stephanie P., and Brenda.

DJ and Will also served as right-hand men! They accompanied the beautiful ladies onto the stage during the Formal Evening Wear Showcase. It was also their night to feel special and to be able to help these women feel the spotlight on them. DJ commented “It was awesome. We got to meet a lot of new people and talk to the other escorts. We get to meet a lot of girls that do it, as well as get a chance to be on the news”. Will also added “It was fun; it was fun and I want to do it again”.

What started 5 years ago with less than 40 contestants held at a local high school has become a popular annual event where young girls and women WANT to be a part of this pageant. This is a strong testament to the impact the Idaho Miss Amazing Pageant has made to so many young girls and women who have found a platform to display their unique, beautiful, and amazing personality and ambition to others. It is an experience that has inspired all of them to empower themselves and to dream big and reach their full potential.

Cabin Fever Reliever – February 2017

On Saturday, February 4th, we participated in the Cabin Fever Reliever event at the Karcher Mall. We were excited to have the opportunity to promote GSDC in the community. There were many children and adults attracted to our table, interested in taking a turn at the spinning wheel for a chance to win a prize and to see what we were promoting. It was a very fun and enjoyable experience that we were glad to be involved in and we hope to be a part of more of these events in the future.


Fall Art Festival – October 2016

On the 14th of October, we held an Art Festival at our Meridian facility showcasing our participants art from throughout the year including their Western Idaho Fair entries. Our Nampa facility joined the party, where we played music and had lots of fun dancing and socializing.

We also had some delicious caramel corn that our participants made. We had tons of fun hosting this Festival, giving our participants an opportunity to show off their beautiful art and talent as well as enjoying the afternoon socializing with others. We’re looking forward to hosting another Festival next year, and hoping that you can join us!

Community Block Party – September 2016

GSDC joined the fun at the Meridian Community Block Party at Kleiner Park on Saturday 9/17. It was a wonderful turn out and stayed busy the whole day. There were lots of booths to visit, fun activities for the children and yummy food vendor. We’ve added a new flag and table runner to our booth, which will hopefully make it easier to find us at these great events. We had lots of fun and can’t wait to participate again next year!

Groove Coffee Partnership – June 2016

Gem State Developmental Center has partnered with Groove Café in Meridian, located at 1800 N Locust Grove Rd, Meridian, ID 83646. It is open from 7am-7pm, Monday-Saturday, and has a relaxed indoor area and a convenient drive-thru. When you stop in for your coffee, pick up one of our brochures or current newsletter. Don’t forget to check your cup for a GSDC sticker, if you get a sticker that says your drink is free, then it’s on us!

Autism Walk – April 2016

Gem State Developmental Center sponsored the 2016 Treasure Valley Autism Walk and Run again this year. Anna Crane, Clinical Director of Children Services, and Jamie White, Developmental Specialist II/Behavior Interventionist, took part in the the walk with other GSDC families and employees. They enjoyed walking alongside and striking up conversation with new and familiar faces. This is such a great event that we’re looking forward to next year and hope you can join us!

Miss Amazing Pageant – March 2016

This year, GSDC partnered with Cinderella’s Closet to sponsor our young ladies participating in the event by giving them an “all expense paid field trip” to Cinderella’s Closet. Here they picked their special dress, shoes and jewelery that they would wear to the pageant. In addition, some ofthe ladies were interviewed by KBOI Channel 2 and KTVB Channel 7, who were both there to capture this fun and memorable event.

The pageant was 2 fun-filled days of excitement and memories. It started April 8th with the Talent Show, and was followed the next day by the Formal Evening Showcase. This event allowed the young ladies to display their beauty. Each contestant walked away as a Pageant Princess, receiving a trophy and a crown for participating.

We are also very proud to have one of our participants, Chantell Rupe, crowned as the State Queen in her division! We would also like to give a big shoutout to DJ C., Will M. and Paulo H. who served as escorts for the ladies. Everyone helped make this a memorable night that none of us will soon forget.


Community Block Party – September 2015

“Providing Exceptional Service for Extraordinary People”. The 6th Annual Community Block Party at Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park on Saturday 9/19/15 provided Gem State Developmental Center the perfect opportunity to promote our company and services in a fun, family-oriented setting. Our booth allowed parents and adults to get to know more about GSDC and how we serve the community with our programs. And the kids couldn’t get enough of the freebie stuff, of course. Our staff spent the day being a part of the Meridian community and sharing personal stories with others of what makes GSDC so “exceptional.” We look forward to being a sponsor next year!

Miss Amazing Pageant – March 2015

The weekend of March 27/28, 2015 was a busy, fun-filled and amazing one for almost 70 young girls and women with disabilities who took part in the 3rd Annual Idaho Miss Amazing Pageant at the Nampa Civic Center. Gem State Developmental Center was represented by 3 contestants: Mia Homeister, Emily Lopez and Brenda Ward; and 2 male escorts: DJ Casper and William Martindale.

This year again exemplified the goals and desires of the Idaho Miss Amazing Pageant to give these young girls and women a platform to be recognized – and for all of them it was a night in the spotlight, a night of memories, and foremost, a night to remember.

Click here for the Idaho Miss Amazing 2015 Photo Gallery!


Ride for Autism – Sept 2014

Gem State Developmental Center was proud to participate in the annual “Ride for Autism” sponsored by the Treasure Valley Autism Society and High Desert Harley Davidson. Nearly 200 riders took off from the High Desert Harley Davidson store at 10am in awesome fashion. A police escort was provided by Meridian City police on motorcycles and the ride was led by 2 adult men with autism. The riders had a beautiful trip to Marsing and stopped for lunch. After the ride was over, raffle prizes were announced, the band started playing and burgers were flying back at the Harley store in Meridian. Funds raised from the ride registration and raffle prizes will help the Treasure Valley Autism Society with increasing awareness and education of autism spectrum disorders.

Autism Walk – April 2014

Gem State Developmental Center was one of the proud sponsors for the Autism Society of the Treasure Valley 2014 Autism Walk and Run. It was a bright, beautiful and brisk morning for a walk or a run. Brooke Allen, Intern; Lilibeth de la Pena, Developmental Specialist II; Anna Crane, Clinical Supervisor; Susan Hill, LSW and Meghan Barker, the Behavior Interventionist participated in the walk with other GSDC families and staff. Meghan says “it was a lot of fun to race for a group of people that I love to work with and help build and practice skills to help them be successful.” She also finished in the top 10 of the women for the race. Other staff had a lot of fun talking to kids and families that came to the Gem State booth for prizes and treats. We look forward to being a sponsor next year!

Miss Amazing Pageant – February 2014

High “LIGHTS” of the 2nd Annual Idaho Miss Amazing Pageant, held on Saturday, 2/8/2014, at the Boise State University’s Special Events Center, included a fun-filled night of almost 40 young girls and women with disabilities showcasing their truest abilities and skills in the Interview, Talent Show, Introduction and Evening Gown categories.

The “CAMERA” of the professional photographer, as well as the video camera captured the celebration of the pageantry with the amazing talents from the Talent Show, and the glamour of all the contestants in their beautiful evening gowns and giving a boost to their confidence and self-esteem.

The night was full of “ACTION” with the contestants making new friends, renewing friendships from last year, having lots of fun, and most importantly, making a lifetime of memories. This pageant will continue to become more popular each year with not only increasing contestant participation, but more significantly, increasing awareness of young girls and women with disabilities that they truly have abilities within themselves to showcase what is amazing within each individual.


Buddy Walk – October 2013

Recently, GSDC participated in the Buddy Walk to support the Down Syndrome Association. It was a one mile walk from the Capitol building to Julia Davis Park. Everyone who participated got a cool t-shirt and a lunch voucher. We had about ten staff involved and all had a blast! We marched with our banner and some of our clients who were stoked to be a part of the event. Upon arriving at the finish line there were games and entertainment set up for all of the participants. Pizza with fruit and cookies were served! It was a great time and a wonderful way to celebrate all of our friends that have Down Syndrome!

Celebrating 30 years in business – Aug 2013

While there are many Developmental Disability Agencies, GSDC has the claim to fame to be the 1st and longest DDA providing 30 years of assistance and quality services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Martin and Rosalie Landholm, owners of GSDC, opened their doors in 1983 as the first non-governmental administered and managed DDA in the state of Idaho.

Over the course of thirty years, GSDC has served thousands of individuals and employed hundreds of employees at their 4 centers in Meridian and Nampa. There have been innumerable changes, challenges, amazing stories, as well as opportunities to take action as experts and leaders in this field. As we continue to work hard to assist and enhance the lives of those that receive services and those that render such services, we are optimistic about the future and poised to meet all new challenges to the upmost success.

We are proud of our accomplishments, the advancements in our industry, achievements of people with disabilities, and their successes towards maximizing their strengths to better their lives, their families, and our community. GSDC wishes to thank everyone who is a part of our wonderful history, our community, and our state for making “what we do” such a gratifying and priceless experience.

GSDC Celebrates 30 Years (Meridian Press 2013)

Cable One Movie Night – August 2013

This summer GSDC was one of the sponsors of Cable One’s Movie Night in the Park. The weather was perfect and the people were streaming in so that they could watch Madagascar 3. On their way to get a great spot they stopped at our booth for some face painting and a chance to win some prizes! We handed out all sorts of fun things like candy, fans, frisbees, yo-yos and chip clips! All of our staff had a great time helping this little party come alive and mingling with people from our community. Many of our participants and their families came for this cool event too! All in all, it was a great night!

Miss Amazing Pageant – Feb 2013

GSDC was very fortunate to have four of its own clients participate in the 1st Annual Idaho Miss Amazing Pageant earlier this year in Kuna, Idaho. The Idaho Miss Amazing Pageant celebrates the abilities of girls and young women with disabilities and this served as a foundation and inspiration for Stefanie Christensen, Mia Homeister, Courtney Schreiber, and Brenda Ward to showcase their talent and beauty within the presence of other girls and young women.

Over the course of 2 evenings in early February 2013, these young ladies, along with about 30 other contestants got to feel what it is like to be in the spotlight, with displaying their talented skills such as singing and rapping the first night, and then modeling themselves in evening wear the following night in the presence of their family and friends. It was truly an opportunity of a lifetime for these young women that they will never forget with many memories and rewards they gained from it. They not only gained many new friends from the pageantry experience, but more importantly, they gained the confidence, self-esteem, and ability to realize that they are all beautiful in their own unique way and that dreams do come true.

Channel 7 honored the Idaho Miss Amazing Pageant with a Seven’s Hero broadcast segment highlighting many aspects of the pageant and interviewed one of GSDC’s clients, Mia Homeister and allowed her to showcase her talent of a rap song she wrote especially for the pageant about having a disability. Courtney Schreiber won the Miss Queen title for her division.