Be­yond 21 cam­paign hits $235,000 mark

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News The News.

BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL

Staff Fundrais­ing ef­forts aimed at re­mod­el­ing the new home for Be­yond 21, the Corn­wall-based non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion helping young de­vel­op­men­tally-chal­lenged adults across Stor­mont, Dun­das and Glen­garry, are ap­proach­ing the one-third mark.

“I am de­lighted to re­port that as of to­day (July 8) the to­tal of our cam­paign is just over $235,000,” of the $750,000 goal, Tish Humphries, Be­yond 21 board pres­i­dent, told

“It is a bit of a challenge in the sum­mer­time with folks on va­ca­tion, but it is go­ing very well.”

Mrs. Humphries, a Lan­caster res­i­dent and Be­yond 21 co­founder, ex­plained that the pro­ceeds of the cap­i­tal cam­paign – which kicked off May 1 and is slated to run through May 2020 – will be used for an ex­ten­sive over­haul of the for­mer Matco Floor and Wall Ltd. build­ing at 1924 Pitt St. Among the ren­o­va­tions that will be done are the in­stal­la­tion of ac­ces­si­ble wash­rooms, with one hav­ing the nec­es­sary equip­ment for com­plex care par­tic­i­pants; as well as the con­struc­tion of a teach­ing kitchen, built ac­cord­ing to East­ern On­tario Health Unit guide­lines; a craft room; a recre­ation space; and a room for those who are sen­sory sensitive.

Be­yond 21 was launched in Jan­uary 2012 in con­junc­tion with the Up­per Canada Leger Cen­tre of Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing (UCLCET), us­ing pub­lic in­put as well as in­for­ma­tion gleaned from con­sul­ta­tions from sim­i­lar grass­roots pro­grams in four other On­tario cities – Aurora, Brant­ford, Markham and North Bay. The group, which takes its name from the cut-off age for pro­vin­cial high school at­ten­dance, was formed with a vision of en­abling adults – 21 years of age and older, and thus no longer el­i­gi­ble for the school sys­tem – with de­vel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties, to live “con­nected and re­spected” lives, while also build­ing com­mu­nity and peer con­nec­tions.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion of­fers a num­ber of day­time ac­tiv­i­ties for par­tic­i­pants – in­clud­ing art and cooking lessons, horse­back rid­ing, swim­ming and read­ers’ the­atre.

It also ad­dresses sev­eral “qual­ity of life” top­ics, namely: health-re­lated mat­ters such as med­i­cal needs; nu­tri­tion and phys­i­cal fit­ness; so­cial­iza­tion/life skills; and em­ploy­ment/job skills.

Be­yond 21 op­er­ated out of the T.R. Leger School – for­merly Gen­eral Vanier In­ter­me­di­ate /Sec­ondary School – on Cum­ber­land Street in Corn­wall for its first six years.

How­ever, when the Catholic District School Board of East­ern On­tario pur­chased the build­ing from the Up­per Canada District School Board in March 2018, the or­ga­ni­za­tion had to move. Shortly there­after, lead­ers at Knox-St. Paul’s United Church on Twelfth Street ap­proached the Be­yond 21 board, of­fer­ing them space in the church’s lower level – an of­fer the board gra­ciously ac­cepted.

“We were de­lighted to find the space, but it just meets our needs for a short-term ba­sis,” said Mrs. Humphries. “We cur­rently serve over 50 fam­i­lies with 21 on a wait­ing list, due to the fact that we don’t have enough space. Our new build­ing will al­low us to look at getting that list down.

“The pri­vate fun­der who pur­chased the build­ing for us al­ways said we need a place to hang our flag,” she added. “Now we have one.” Be­yond 21 hopes to be in its new digs by Novem­ber 1. To do­nate visit be­yond21.org/site/do­nate

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