Meet Toni Johnston
Toni will soon be blowing out candles on her cake celebrating her 80th birthday at Cedars surrounded by her friends in a loving and supportive environment.
Toni clearly remembers being dropped off at Cedars when she was just 5 years old. She heard her mother's footsteps walking away from her and the door closing.
Sadly, this was common in those days as families were unable to care for their children with developmental disabilities due to the stigma and challenges associated with disabilities and the absence of a "state-funded" community service system.
Immediately embraced by Cedars staff and residents, Toni was not alone. She has been supported and loved ever since, calling Cedars home for 75 years.
Toni is a very talented artist, with her work often requested at the Artist Within gallery. Her style varies from defined still life art to a looser and more fluid style.
Toni was one of the first weavers in the Textile Arts Collaborative weaving program and quickly became a master weaver. She was very talented at making place mats and rag rugs, and her beautiful handwovens have graced many homes throughout the years. Toni still enjoys weaving on her loom in the Cedars Senior Program.
For many years, Toni would ride her bike from her home at Cedars Ross Campus to the Textile Arts Collaborative in San Rafael every weekend to feed and take care of the rabbits, sheep and goats. She was the sole animal caregiver on the weekends and she never missed a day.
Toni was also one of our first participants to retire into the Cedars Senior Program when it was created and enjoys her time there weaving, painting, playing games, and going on outings to museums. Toni loves photography and always carries a camera with her. She has many albums and loves to look through them and talk about fond memories.
Toni has lived a full and productive life filled with love at Cedars for 75 years