‘This is the positive side of humanity’

Englewood residents turn out in droves for new neighbor


Englewood showed its neighborly spirit on June 4, as dozens of people turned out for a parade and party for a new resident who has quickly earned a lot of love.

Dozens of people in cars, on foot, on bikes, or riding aboard an antique auto and a fire truck paraded past the South Delaware Street home of Kevin Adams for his 44th birthday.

Adams, who has Down syndrome, lives with his big sister Kristen. She brought her brother to Englewood from New Mexico 18 months ago, shortly after their mother passed away — just a few months after their father’s passing.

It’s been a tough time for the siblings. Kristen had to reapply for Kevin’s state benefits in Colorado, facing down a long waiting list and causing financial strain. Kevin has struggled, and Kristen is working with him to regain his speech skills.

But when Kristen met Barb Lotze of Visiting Angels, a senior assistance group, the two became fast friends.

Lotze invited the siblings along to see a drive-by parade for a 91-year-old around Easter, and Kevin was transfixed. Kristen and Lotze decided to set up a similar shindig for Kevin.

In the afternoon heat of June 4, it all came together. The parade rolled by, filled with neighbors, replete with honking and streamers and balloons. Some of Kevin’s friends and caretakers were there, eager to celebrate the man with a goofy sense of humor.

Kevin watched from the front yard with a sly grin, taking in the grand celebration just for him.

Afterward, neighbors settled in for two of Kevin’s favorite things: catering courtesy of Olive Garden, his favorite restaurant, and live classical music performed by a four-piece band.

Lotze deserved all the credit for the party, said Kristen, who choked up as she saw the outpouring of love for her brother who has endured a lot.

“It’s just beautiful,” Kristen said. “Kevin’s the light of my life. I’m grateful he can see the people who love him. It hasn’t always been like this for people with special needs.”

For Lotze, who has years of experience bringing joy to the lives of people in tough situations, it was to be expected.

“This is the positive side of humanity,” she said.


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