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Woman's caregiving star twinkles for 30 years

November 20, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Eileene Carbaugh first applied to work at the Anita Lynne Home when she was two months shy of her 16th birthday.

"I was told I was too young, but Mrs. Audrey Tebbs hired me anyway just to care for her own daughter, Anita Lynne, who was just a year older than me." Carbaugh said.

Richard and Audrey Tebbs founded the Anita Lynne Home in 1970 for their daughter, who had cerebral palsy, and for others with developmental disabilities.

When Carbaugh reached the age of 16, she was hired to care for other residents of the home, which now is known as Star Community Inc. Thirty years later, she's still there.

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Twice during those years since 1977, Carbaugh took other jobs because of family considerations. But each time, she returned to Star Community.

Now a crew leader, Carbaugh said she misses caring for Anita Lynne, who died last year at the age of 48.

"My thoughts of Anita are many ... just being with her made me happy that I could be there to help her and to love her," Carbaugh said. "She was dear to me like a sister. I miss her laughter and smiles, but I also know she is in better hands."

Carbaugh's attachment with the other residents she cares for now also is special.

"When I go away on vacation, I worry about them," she said. "I cry when they cry."

Two of the residents she cares for have been at the home since Carbaugh started her employment. Of the 35 residents, six or seven have been with the home since its beginning.

"I could go anywhere and get more money for work, but I like getting five or six hugs a day," said Carbaugh, a wife and mother of two children.

A United Way agency, Star Community Inc. serves residents older than 21 with development disabilities. The Broadfording Church Road complex has eight buildings for its residential program and a work-training program known as Star Ventures.

The Star Equestrian Therapeutic Riding Center is at 13674 Greencastle Pike.

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