Organizations: The Frazer Center
During the 1940s, Ann Lane’s daughter, Anita, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP). Most doctors in that era recommended institutionalization.
Lane was determined, though, to keep her child at home and engage her in the surrounding community. With the help of her friend, Becky Frazer, she established a social group for children with CP in the basement of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta.
“These were strong-willed women who wanted to give special-needs kids a normal life,” says Paige Kubik, executive director of the organization, which has evolved into the Frazer Center, a place that offers an array of services and resources to both children and adults.
The group quickly outgrew the church basement, so Lane and Frazer organized a memorable fundraising campaign that involved several celebrities of the day, including Ed Sullivan, Fess Parker and Yvonne DeCarlo, who paraded down Peachtree Street. They generated enough funds for a trust that enabled the organization to relocate in 1952 to a scenic estate once owned by the founder of Equifax.
Today, the Frazer Center focuses on two missions. It offers an “inclusive child development program” for 250 children a year, both with and without disabilities. “The kids without disabilities learn how to be compassionate and recognize that everyone brings different skills and talents to teamwork,” Kubik says, “and the kids with disabilities make new friends who are good role models. Everybody wins.”
A separate program for adults with disabilities empowers them to find employment, engage in volunteer work and develop hobbies for a more meaningful and independent life.
The campus, a sprawling greenspace of 39 acres with trails and a garden, is open to the public and often used as a venue for weddings and corporate events as well as a film location. “There’s a confluence here of history, nurturing and nature,” Kubik says.