History of CATRD


CATRD springs from pioneer volunteers who were part of Volunteer Venture an organization that offered educational sessions for volunteers to teach them about programming.  From here the Plenary Council was formed to assist Recreation Consultant (Dotti Mullen) and field workers in developing continuing education for volunteers working in nursing homes with residents.

As the years progressed, the state of Connecticut required all homes to have a recreation director, so continued the seminars to provide quality programs.

The Plenary Council was comprised of regional representatives, meeting with the State of Connecticut.  Money issues were raised by the State and thus we broke away and formed a separate professional organization, CATRD in 1980.  We were incorporated in June 1981 and began to do seminars and conferences.  We continue today to pursue even higher standards of education for Therapeutic Recreation Directors and those serving our seniors.

Dotti Mullen and Polly Avery did much for the professionalism in training, attitude and practice of recreation in convalescent homes in Connecticut.  Polly and Dotti worked on policies, procedures and types of programs with eleven region members from the State of Connecticut.

When CATRD was formed and incorporated, the board consisted of elected officers and eleven region representatives from all over the state.  They met and continue to meet the first Thursday of the month to do business of therapeutic recreation in the state.  The board plans seminars and conferences, has a web site, a newsletter and more to keep the TRD’s of Connecticut current on the trends, issues and new ideas / activities in our field.  The board offers the Dotti Mullen Grant and Polly Avery Lifetime Achievement Award for our members.

January 22, 1988, Governor William O’Neill declared that professionals in recreation in the state of Connecticut, men and woman who are TRD’s that do so much to improve the quality of life of our elderly and disabled residents.  Each year it is celebrated.  (Job Well Done!)

Change is always necessary.  We must have diligence and willingness to look to the future and plan so that we can provide for you, our members.