The Possibility

Mar 07, 2011
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Have a challenge? Find a solution. Many years ago Max Larcen wanted to work, but could not find employment. Max has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair. His father, Garth, has experience in the restaurant business. Max had a challenge. Garth found a solution.

The solution, Max’s Positive Vibe Café, which became reality in 2005, creating an employment opportunity for Max, as well as others in the community.  For over five years, Max’s Positive Vibe Café has provided training and employment for those with disabilities, and at the same time, the Larsens have developed a new restaurant model. Along the way, Max and Garth have been recognized for their efforts at the local, national and international level.

The restaurant, established as a nonprofit organization, trains and employs people in food service. The mission statement reads, “The GLMD Foundation/Positive Vibe Café will create an evolving model for training and employing people with disabilities in order that they enjoy the satisfaction of being gainfully employed and fully contributing members of our community. This focus will allow their confidence to self-actualize through the development of their diverse talents.”

Max’s Positive Vibe Café, through their Food Service Training Program has graduated over 430 individuals, all with scholarships. Students, recruited through county schools, local rehabilitation services, group homes and word-of-mouth, participate in a four-week program. All levels of disabilities can apply. Students learn hands-on basic food service skills and other necessary components of the restaurant business to be competitive in the job market. Self-confidence, and self-esteem, grow and develop, preparing every graduate to job search, interview and work in the food service industry. Max’s Positive Vibe Café celebrated its 50th graduating class this past December and opened a second location in the city of Richmond.

Shirley Carson Walker details the journey of Max and Garth Larcen in the recently released book, The Possibility.  The book jacket states that the journey is, “More than just a true story of a father’s love for his son. It is an examination into the complex issues surrounding people with disabilities, and the impact they have on family and friends. It’s a testament to how a training program for the disabled can improve lives – and how determination, love, and the support of a giving community can make the world a more loving place for everyone.”

Learn more about the restaurant, its catering service, and The Possibility on the website, http://www.positivevibecafe.com/

Author: Cary Wing