It’s A Living Community

Posted: April 17, 2016 in Community, Family
Tags: , , , , , ,

goofs2      Every two years our local Community Living, the West Nipissing Community Living, puts on an evening called their Gala. It’s a swank evening with a theme. There’s been Vegas Night, An Evening In Paris, Hollywood Nights, to name a few. This year it was ‘Moroccan Nights’. I admit I had my apprehensions initially when this theme was decided upon. I couldn’t wrap my head around it but when I saw what the team at Community Living had in mind, I warmed up to the idea.

My wife Anne and I are closely affiliated with Community Living for a variety of reasons. We have several relatives and friends who benefit from the services provided there. I am on the Board of Directors, and best of all, sit on the Gala Finding committee, which disperses the funds to the individuals who need the money for so many reasons.

When I see the people at Community Living work with the individuals they support, I totally see why they do it. It is humbling. When you are talking about people who have the same hopes and dreams as you and I, but often lack the means or resources to get there, Community Living is there to act as their advocates, to provide an atmosphere of dignity and respect, to be their umbrella from the rain.

We have been most fortunate to be involved with Community Living, to be accepted as a bit player, as part of the puzzle that incorporates the whole. I have grown to love these people as family. And of course, have gained a greater understanding of the people they support. We are facing a time in our own family when Community Living might play a pivotal role in the development of our own son, now 22 years old, who may require a variety of services and support as time goes by.

The Gala is the premiere fund raiser for the fund. I can tell you as a sponsor and a volunteer that the funds are used for best of purposes. Those that attend dress in their finest, are treated to an incredible meal which is catered by Blue Mandolin Catering, people whom I consider friends. There is a live auction and a silent auction, the place is decorated beautifully. We were treated to an incredible Belly Dancing show that was intense and beautiful and so spot on for the soiree. There was dancing afterwards for those who wanted to stay and continue to party.

After the Gala, all those involved are exhausted. My wife and I provided some of the entertainment, something that does not come naturally to us as we have our own issues with autism and social impairment. It is a difficult 4 months of getting people together to practice, arrange music, attempt to put together something that will honour the evening.

This year my sons and I rented tux’s, something I had always wanted to do with them. We had the opportunity to share it with my youngest son’s girlfriend, a person who is exactly the type of person we try to surround ourselves with. It was a fine family moment.

This community proved once more just how giving they are. The corporate sponsors were extremely generous, as were all attendees. Although the main purpose of the evening is to fundraise, the fact that awareness and most importantly acceptance are also at the forefront is just as important.

Hats off West Nipissing Community Living. Great job!

 

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