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What Are Developmental Disabilities (DD)?


It May Not Be What You Think!


Developmental Disabilities refer to a severe, ongoing disability that:

  • Can be attributed to a mental or physical impairment

  • Has been diagnosed before the age of 22

  • Will continue indefinitely

  • Results in substantial limitations in at least three of seven major life functions

  • Requires service for an extended period of time



Gilmore Center, Inc., known as Happy Hours Training Center in its early years, was founded in 1957 in the basement of a local church.  GCI, then Happy Hours, was established as a babysitting service that would allow people with children labeled with DD to be able to work. At that time children and adults with “mental retardation” were kept home and, at times, hidden from view.


GCI grew larger and larger and moved from one place to another as needs changed and in the mid 60’s was recognized as a Training Center for people with Mental Retardation.  GCI was then able to receive monies from the State of Georgia. Again GCI grew until in 1978 a new building was completed and dedicated for use by Happy Hours Training Center to serve all people needing special services, provided by Happy Hours Training Center, in Upson County.


In the mid 80s all of the children were mainlined into school.  GCI became an adult’s only center. Also in the 80s the name was changed to Gilmore Center to honor its founder Mrs. Vera Gilmore who was a respected and honored lady in Thomaston and Upson County for her contributions to the MR community. From these beginnings we have kept moving forward, never looking back, never wanting to look back and achieving a wealth of goals for the organization and the people it serves. 



GCI Mission, Vision and Core Values


Our Mission:


To provide supports and services that will allow choice and personal growth for people within their community. 


Our Vision:


G. C. I. will see people achieve personal dreams that allow themselves to realize goals of independence, responsibility and happiness in their community. 


Our Core Values:


Integrity First,

Service to All

Excellence in All We Do


These values set a common standard for conduct afforded our staff. These values must inspire a trust that unifies this organization. We must practice them daily ourselves in order to receive the same values from the people we serve.


To all of the people we serve, GCI is expected to be everything to everyone. By living up to these three guidelines we are able to substantially satisfy and serve the people of Thomaston, Upson County and across the state of Georgia.



The staff of GCI is excellent we are a proud and excited organization to be able to boast of such a quality staff. All staff members have accomplished the rigors of DSP training or Direct Support Professional not only to be able to add the prestigious title DSP onto their names but to also be able to serve people with more confidence, vigor and care. These staff members are also, I am proud to say, my friends:




Jim Aaron, Executive Director - 31 years of service


Patricia Walker, Program Coordinator - 36 years of service


Sylvia Ellington, QMRP - 22 years of service and a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from Mercer University


Carol Denham, Account Tech - 36 years of service


Patsy Meeks, Supported Employment Coordinator - 35 years of service


Annie Grant, Residential Manager – 10 years of service


Sharon Boyt, Assessment Coordinator - 7 years of service


The above individuals are the CORE staff that are the representatives of each area of the organization and make most of the decisions together, after consulting with staff and consumers alike, that allows the center to move forward smoothly. Together they have over 175 years of experience.


Day Program Staff


Lynita Napier                               Brenda Mewbourn                        Wendall Mewbourn

Lavone Perry                               Laneidra Raines                          Dorothy Self


Residential Staff


Sylvia Stroud House Manager                Shirley Chaney                         Patricia Davis

Carolyn Price House Manager                Dorothine Gray                         Deborah Hammond

Tesha Jones House Manager                Jo Dean Wornum                       Josephine Walker

Melissa McMulllin                                       Kathy Harris                            Tomekia Harris


Part-Time Staff


Carol Raines                                Charnita Tinsley                         Emily Hortman

Mateesa Walker



Because of people like you who donate money to GCI, we are able to carry on projects that otherwise would be dropped. The services offered are of a higher caliber and staff is better trained simply because people have chosen to give. If you feel our organization is worth a gift please send gifts to:


Gilmore Center, Inc.

P.O. Box 1093

103 Civic Center Drive

Thomaston, GA. 30286


Thank you in advance for your kind gift.




We also accept donations of clothes, furniture, books, rugs, household items etc.  We use these as donations to families who need help or simply to add to one of our very large garage sales. Proceeds always go to the GCI account.



Jim Aaron, Director