One of our favorite things here at the Cerebral Palsy Association of Colorado Springs is getting to know the individuals and their families in the special needs community. Each has their own story, but we are in a unique place to empathize with each other and offer support. We want to laugh with you, cry with you, and walk beside you.
Visit our other webpages to learn more about the specific services we offer, but if you have additional questions, we would love to hear from you. If we don’t know the answer to your question, we will help you find it. In addition to our financial assistance, lending closet, and community event programs, we want to make you aware of other community resources available to you and your family.
CPACS was founded in 1947 by a group of friends and family members of people with CP. Their mission was very similar to ours today—to ensure that their loved ones received the best medical treatment and educational opportunities available.
For a time, the organization functioned as a local chapter of the national United Cerebral Palsy Association, but in 1985, the Colorado Springs chapter decided to disaffiliate and became the Cerebral Palsy Association of Colorado Springs—the organization that we know and love today.
CPACS was a community fund partner of Pikes Peak United Way, as well as an affiliated member of the Pikes Peak Partnership. Currently, however, the CPACS functions as an independent agency serving individuals with CP and is funded by private donations, grants, and fundraisers.
CPACS is run by an amazing group of volunteer board members and our executive director, Nora Lee Apland. Board members commit to serving a three-year term. The board meets monthly to vote on financial assistance requests, share ideas for the future of CPACS, and offer valuable business insights. Board members also help organize our fundraisers and community events.
CPACS’s executive director is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization. Though she is technically a paid staff member, Nora Lee also donates a large percentage of her time, so that more of the organization’s resources can go toward helping families in need. The executive director is also present during monthly board meetings to offer insight, but is not a voting member.
Nora Lee has been Executive Director of the Cerebral Palsy Association of Colorado Springs since September 2019. She accepted the position with enthusiasm and drive to develop good relationships with our families, other associations, our donors, board members and our community! She has a very special interest in CP, as her 15-year-old granddaughter, Avalee is living with it. She has experienced firsthand the celebrations of many milestones, achievements, and the growing independence in Avalee’s journey, as well as many other children and adults living with CP and neuromotor disorders. She has also witnessed the many struggles that come along with disabilities: whether it is financial, physical, mental, the “not knowing,” and where to turn for assistance and resources as well. Fortunately, Nora Lee has also seen so many good, kind, and generous people, organizations, and foundations willing to help adults and families with children that are living with special needs, CPACS being one of them! She is honored to be part of this outstanding organization! Nora Lee believes in giving back to the community and helping where there is a need. It is with this passion that Nora Lee wants to continue the success of the Cerebral Palsy Association of Colorado Springs. Giving where there is need, helping wherever and whenever she can in order to ensure the independence, inclusion and advocacy for those living with any special need—always believing that CP stands for Celebrating Potential!!
Nora Lee is a mother of two amazing and accomplished children: Brad and Ashley. She loves spending time with them as well as her six grandchildren! When not volunteering at CPACS or Cool C.A.T.S. (Children of All Types Succeeding) events, you will find Nora Lee in her garden, dabbling in photography, or enjoying a hiking trail.
Christi has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Colorado Springs for over 20 years and operates her own private practice. She is honored to have been invited into people’s lives providing psychotherapy for all these years. Her goal is to help people learn how to help themselves, to achieve a quality life, and to help people/families obtain their unique individual goals. She specializes in working with people that are ‘differently abled’ and their families or caregivers. She started working with people with disabilities in 1989 and has had the privilege of working with people in residential, vocational, mental health, and educational settings.
Christi is married and has four wonderful grown children, 3 sons and a daughter. As an official empty nester, she and her husband love to travel. They have been fortunate to travel all over the world, visiting Europe with all its rich history or traveling to other places in the world to visit other cultures and (of course) try new foods. They both also like to go for extensive motorcycle trips in the United States. Besides being a therapist, being on the back of a motorcycle is one of Christi’s favorite things to do. It is her philosophy to work hard in order to play hard!
This is actually the second time that she has been on the Board of Directors for CPACS. There are many agencies and resources in Colorado Springs, but CPACS is an agency that has so much heart! One of the many things that this agency provides is a sense of community which is often lacking in the busy hustle and bustle of the world we live in today. It also is an agency that truly helps people and their families with their unique needs. When people feel that they are falling through the cracks of life, CPACS gives people and their families a helping hand.
Courtney and her husband of 9 years have two beautiful children, ages 5 and 9. Graduating in 2007 with an Associate Degree of Business Management, she worked in the financial industry for 10 years before the birth of her son. Her family moved to Colorado Springs from Fort Worth, Texas in the fall of 2018 due to the poor medical care their medically complex son with CP was receiving. They had to make this hard decision to relocate away from all their family and friends after the birth of their son turned their lives upside down with significant medical expenses and uncertainty of his future. Over time, Courtney became more comfortable with her new life and decided it would be great for her to get involved within the special needs community. She currently is employed as her son’s in-home caregiver, spending most of her time taking care of his day-to-day needs.
When Courtney and her family first relocated to Colorado, they did not have any equipment for her son, and that is where CPACS stepped in. They were able to find and lend everything needed for their family to get settled and relieve some of the immediate stress they were under. Working with Nora Lee was incredibly easy for Courtney, and she made her feel welcomed immediately. After talking with Nora Lee over time, Courtney decided that CPACS was a great fit for her to be able to help other families that are in similar situations. Some of Courtney’s hobbies include hiking, paddle boarding, crafting, and watching her daughter play softball.
April O’Neil joined The Cerebral Palsy Association of Colorado Springs board four years ago in March 2018. April has extensive experience in working with the non-profit space and currently serves as Treasurer. April has twenty five years in the financial services industry and twenty seven years leadership experience. She currently works for First Interstate Bank as a Commercial Relationship Manager III when she is not volunteering. April recently completed eight years serving on the board and the Education and Finance committees for Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado. April currently serves on School District 11-Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC). She is a current board member for the ARC of The Pikes Peak Region. She serves on the board for the SMALLS, which serves as a networking platform supporting Small Government contractors, subcontractors and service providers. April is a four year member of the Colorado Springs Chamber where she maintains a position with the Small Business Advisory Council (SBAC) and co-chair of the Marketing sub-committee. April is committed to the Colorado Springs community and has been a resident for twenty four years.
She is the daughter of a military father, who served over 20 years in the US Army. She attended high school at Fountain Ft. Carson and college at Pikes Peak community college. She is married to her husband Ken who also served in the US Navy and they have their son Jadyn. April has a passion for being an advocate and providing support for those who are impacted by developmental and intellectual disabilities. Her son Jadyn is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which is her number one reason for giving back and sharing how The Cerebral Palsy Association of Colorado Springs can assist with those in need within our community. The Cerebral Palsy Association of Colorado Springs has been instrumental to providing support, resources and events for individuals and families to get involved. In her free time, she enjoys decorating, cooking and baking, gardening, running, hiking, traveling and spending time with her two dogs Maxx and Lucy.
Justin has served on the Board of Directors for the Cerebral Palsy Association of Colorado Springs since December 2018. During this time, he has greatly enjoyed seeing the impact that the Association has had on the greater Colorado Springs area. Along with his work with CPACS, Justin is currently an Assistant Principal at a local Middle School where he gets to attend school with his daughter everyday who lives with CP. Justin also has an older daughter and son who are twins that recently graduated from high school. He and his wife have enjoyed working with the CP community of Colorado Springs and hope to support in any way they can in the future.
Jordan moved to Colorado Springs from Dallas, Texas in January of 2019. He graduated from Abilene Christian University in 2015 and was a substitute teacher for 2 years in the Dallas area. Through teaching special education classes and involvement in community events, Jordan quickly found his passion for serving others. He is the Community Relations Representative for Team Select Home Care in Colorado Springs and loves helping individuals and families alike get connected with resources that benefit their lives. What drew him to joining the CPACS board was their involvement within the community, the wonderful resources CPACS connects their members with and all the fun events CPACS is a part of! Some of his favorite hobbies are disc golf, sand volleyball, making music, and hiking with his fiancé and their 10-year-old Shih Tzu, Chai.
Soon after graduating college, Jan Adams became a teacher out in Missouri for 2 years. Then in the summer of 1971, she and her husband moved to Colorado Springs where they both had teaching jobs. Jan taught at the Colorado School for The Deaf and the Blind where she met Sara Berge, a lovely woman who had a son with CP which had halted her teaching for several years. Jan “retired” from CSDB in 1997 and moved back to Missouri where she taught another 10 years. In 2011, her son and his family came back to Colorado due to his job. So, in 2013, Jan also moved back. Her friend Sara had become the Executive Director of CPACS at that time and “voluntold” her to help with a project. After helping with that need, Jan ended up joining the board. It was a great learning opportunity for her and a chance to gain more connection, understanding, and experience with this part of the Colorado Springs Community. She also serves on the Board of the Colorado Springs Parkinson’s Support group since her husband has Parkinson’s. Over the years, she has worked with a great group of people on the board which is so fortunate to have a varied group of professionals serving with an exceptional Executive Director!
The Cerebral Palsy Association is so appreciative and thankful for the dedication, compassion, and time that Jan has shared of herself all these years to CPACS, even as President for a time! She continues to be the heart and soul of our association!
Laura Amundson has served on the Board of Directors of the Cerebral Palsy Association since April of 2014. As someone with CP herself, Laura loves being able to relate to the needs of our clients and loves the Cerebral Palsy Association community. She has lived in Colorado Springs since the age of 5 and loves how beautiful it is. While she doesn’t have any children of her own, she does have 4 nieces and 6 nephews, one of which she shares a birthday with! She has enjoyed taking care of children since the age of 13.
When not spending time with her family, Laura enjoys going to the gym, riding her new adult trike, spending time with friends, and giving speeches in toastmasters. She also enjoys reading, playing board games and card games, watching movies, cooking, and baking!
Evelyn is a social butterfly who loves to be in community. Originally from San Francisco, she found herself in Colorado Springs in 2007. She is also a single mother of two, ages 14 and 8, juggling both home life, therapy, and running a business that allows her to engage in the community which she loves so much. This gave Evelyn the flexibility needed to care for her daughter’s unique needs. She loves seeing her daughter progress and also appreciates her son’s helping to care for her daughter. Evelyn enjoys staying active, being outdoors, and traveling with (or without her kids). She will also tell you that she is a big “foodie!”
Living in Colorado has been a blessing for her, with all the resources available to her such as CPACS. After seeking an equipment loan from CPACS, Evelyn was very happy that they had what she needed. She also learned all about the wonderful things CPACS does for the community as well.
For the past four years, Evelyn has been an independent Health and Life insurance agent, gaining knowledge about healthcare and state assistance for families just like her own, along with the senior community. Like most parents, she question why her child had to be born with CP but now believes that this is her purpose. Evelyn also tries to host monthly parent lunches in order to foster support for one another as parents and caregivers. She is excited to have found an opening as a board member for CPACS and hopes to bring more awareness and expansion to this great organization.
Kyle is originally from Southern California and moved to Colorado back in 2017. He graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara with a kinesiology degree but was quickly pulled into the IDD field after discovering the heartfelt joys of advocating and supporting the special needs population. Combining Kyle’s love for the IDD community, along with his passion for sports, he found his calling with Special Olympics Colorado as the Southeast Regional Manager. He is proud to have the opportunity to continue to support and grow the community as a part of the CPACS board.