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Search for Adventure Celebrates 20 Years!

Our unique and inclusive travel program, Search for Adventure (SFA), has officially marked its 20th year of providing unforgettable adventures! SFA allows residents to not just dream of their ideal vacation, but to live those dreams too.

Search for Adventure got its start when Toad&Co. CEO Gordon Seabury met John Lipscomb, Search's former CEO. The two men began a plan to employ people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to pick and pack orders for Toad&Co at Search’s warehouse, Planet Access Company. This warehouse resulted in the seed money that allowed Search for Adventure to become a reality!

The first trip then began with a Search resident, Diane, and her dream to travel to Graceland in Memphis, TN. Diane had always wanted to visit Graceland as she is a big fan of Elvis and his music. In 2004, Search Community Inclusion Coordinator, Jennifer Gledhill, planned a trip around Diane's vision for a perfect vacation and invited other residents to join in the fun. 

Following the trip to Graceland, Search residents experienced the transformative power of experiencing their dream vacations. The journey not only offered a fantastic opportunity for residents and staff but also opened doors to community life beyond the Chicagoland area. It also served as a platform to further our mission of creating more accessible spaces and spreading awareness about intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Since 2004, over 200 people have embarked on transformative journeys to over 43 unique destinations, including a Bahamas Disney Cruise, Shenandoah, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and more. These trips are not just about the destination, but about the personal growth and empowerment that each person experiences. The destinations are determined by where people most want to visit, allowing our team building personalized, customized travel experiences.

SFA encompasses Search's mission of a whole life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are thrilled to honor 20 years of this program, which breaks down barriers to a full life for people with disabilities and empowers them to dream bigger every year!

About this milestone, Jennifer shared, "It's been a privilege and a joy to lead our journeys across America. At the end of the day, I'm proud to tell my son what I do every day in my career. Enriching lives is such a noble endeavor and I'm so grateful that Search leadership has always made these adventures a priority - even in the most challenging of times.”

We are deeply grateful to our partners and supporters, including Toad&Co. and 1% for the Planet, who have made Search for Adventure possible. Learn more about them in our 2024 Trailblazers Honorees article.

If you are interested in hearing more about Search for Adventure, watch our 2024 Trailblazers video.

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