Arlene B. Marmer, Jaime I. Eichenbaum (left) and Paulette A. Schuster (right) established the JAS Partnership in October of 1996. As seasoned certified recreation therapists, we each brought into the partnership professionalism, years of experience and expertise, leadership, commitment and specialization with a variety of ages and populations in clinical and community settings.
Each met one another many years ago. Jaime was a counselor at a summer residential camp and it was there that she met Paulette who was the arts and crafts specialist. Arlene and Jaime completed their recreation therapy internships at different times with Paulette, who was working for the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. Arlene worked at Rancho Los Amigos, a substance abuse survivor, exceptional writer and strong clinical background, as well as past Director of the CPRS RT Section, tireless work with legislation. From the time we met, we had tremendous respect for what each had to offer, strong ethics, love for the field and an endearing friendship and maintained a professional working relationship.
Our business began with lucrative short term special projects writing training manuals, developing therapeutic programs for specialized group homes and expanded to monthly consultations to Nursing Homes, Secured Alzheimer’s Facilities, and Hospice Care.
Our original long term goal to develop a website, become a quality continuing education provider, and offer CEU workshops to Activity Directors and Recreation Therapists.
Arlene Marmer passed away in 1999 and was never able to see us make our long term goal. We kept our name in honor of her memory as a proficient prolific writer, risk taker, accomplished professional, and avid advocate and supporter of recreation therapy. We were blessed to have her in our lives.
We shared a spiritual connection and respect for the Southwest and American Indian Culture. We chose the Kokopelli as our logo, it is known as a fertility god, prankster, healer and story teller. Kokopelli has been a source of wonder throughout the country for centuries. Kokopelli embodies the true American Southwest, and dates back over 3,000 years ago, when the first petroglyphs were carved. Although his true origins are unknown, this traveling, flute-playing Casanova is a sacred figure to many Southwestern Native Americans. Carvings of this hunch-backed flute-playing figure have been found painted and carved into rock walls and boulders throughout the Southwest.
There are many myths of the famous Kokopelli. One of which is that he traveled from village to village bringing the changing of winter to spring; melting the snow and bringing about rain for a successful harvest. It is also said that the hunch on his back depicted the sacks of seeds and songs he carried. Kokopelli’s flute is said to be heard in the spring’s breeze, while bringing warmth.
Whatever the true meaning of Kokopelli is, he has been a source of music making , dancing, good health and spreading joy to those around him.
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