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LiveWorkPlay News FEBRUARY 2010 (Archived)

LiveWorkPlay News FEBRUARY 2010 (Archived)




The second of two trips for adult members at LiveWorkPlay is heading off to Florida on March 7 for a week of fun in the sun! The first trip was to Turks and Caicos in January, and you can check out the five photo albums (12345) and three videos (123) from that trip!

The upcoming excursion to Club Med Sandpiper will of course lead to photos and videos of its own, and they will be published on our fan page as they come available.

This is the second of three trips being supported by LiveWorkPlay this year. Next up will be a trip to New York City for youth members in July. Four adult members will also be travelling to Richmond Hill at the end of May to take part in the Community Living Ontario annual conference.


Just how interesting is the LiveWorkPlay staff environment? Well, it’s a matter of opinion, but what is known is that we have attracted a placement student all the way from Germany! Aline Hagenlocher joins us from the Social Work program at Esslingen. She is all at once getting used to speaking English all day long, living in a new city, and learning the culture of a new organization. Please make her feel welcome!

It was a full house for the most recent weekly LiveWorkPlay staff meeting. As she always does, part-time staff member Jennifer Cunningham dropped in and with placement students Michelle Struthers and Aline joining the mix, that was an all-time staff meeting record with attendance of 11. Missing from the meeting were Amanda Manuel who works on Fridays, and the K-9 Unit which was not active today.


The auction is heating up with daily news and announcements of donations and sponsorships. Check out our new “Auction Buzz Box” at which is currently announcing a $1000 sponsorship from Pylon Electronics, hinting at a new and unusual auction item, announcing a trip for two from WestJet, and more!
Of course there is not much point if nobody attends! Accordingly tickets are for sale online and tickets you can hold in your hand are also available for sale and for re-selling to friends, family, neighbours, and colleagues. Those who are unable to attend but want to show their support can simply donate the $20 ticket price and there is a form available to all ticket sellers to make that easy to manage.

It’s only a month away so if you are planning on recruiting donations of auction items NOW is the time. It often takes donors a few weeks to accept the information, put together the donation, and arrange for a pickup. Remember you can get you complete donation recruitment package online. The usual login and password applies!


There are so many amazing stories to share about the LiveWorkPlay volunteer matching initiative but for this issue we will share just one! It is the story of long-time LiveWorkPlay member Stephen Mullins and his volunteer match AJ Dubuc.

LiveWorkPlay matches are all about sharing interests, and AJ and Stephen have definitely connected through their mutual passion for vehicles! During their time together they not only talk about cars, trucks, stereo systems, and a variety of related topics but they enjoy checking out dealerships and accessory stores and getting answers to various questions that keep the conversations rolling.

It’s hard to find out what Stephen is up to these days because he doesn’t have any time to spend hanging out at LiveWorkPlay headquarters. His father Jim recently told CEO Keenan Wellar “Stephen’s schedule is busier than anyone I know and he loves it.” It’s not that LiveWorkPlay is not involved, but the role has changed to background support for coordinating and facilitating the goals Stephen identifies. He is in the driver’s seat, and what he wants out of life doesn’t currently include hanging out with staff members, and that’s just fine. Life is not a program!


The LiveWorkPlay One-Day Conference on Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), Wills, Trusts, Estates and the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) took place on February 27 at Hampton Inn Ottawa. There was a strong turnout of 50 who came to hear from lawyer Brendon Pooran. Also on hand as an audience member was LiveWorkPlay Board Member and lawyer Mitchell Leitman, who often joined with Mr. Pooran in helping to answer the many insightful questions that flowed throughout the day.

The morning session had a focus on ODSP, Wills, Trusts, and Estates. There were many questions about how absolute discretionary trusts (sometimes called Henson Trusts) can be used to manage assets and protect people with disabilities from losing benefits such as ODSP.

After a pleasant lunch filled with many interesting conversations (about 50% of the audience had never attended a LiveWorkPlay event) Mr. Pooran turned his focus to the RDSP. The RDSP provides a uniquely Canadian opportunity to contribute to the financial security of people with disabilities with benefits that include government contributions called the Canada Disability Savings Grant and the Canada Disability Savings Bond. You can read up on the RDSP on the HRSDC website.

LiveWorkPlay would like to thank The Law Foundation of Ontario for sponsoring the morning session and the RDSP Ontario program for sponsoring the afternoon. RDSP Ontario is made possible by many partners including the Government of Canada and Community Living Ontario.


It was a magical evening at Ottawa’s Juniper Restaurant on February 22. Juniper faced off against Castlegarth in a battle for the hearts and stomachs of 50 lucky diners, with proceeds to LiveWorkPlay. Each restaurant team worked throughout the afternoon to prepare using a set list of ingredients and the surprise ingredient which turned out to be maple syrup!

Attendees included a large contingent organized by Michael Sangster of Telus, Marlene Floyd, Cecelia Taylor, Wendy Mitchell and guests representing the LiveWorkPlay Board of Directors, parents of members including Susan Torrie and Holmer Berthiaume, and an interesting group from the nearby Metropole building that took a great interest in learning more about LiveWorkPlay as they dined on gourmet tasting plates paired with specially selected wines.

Check out photos and video from LiveWorkPlay and get even more details including a complete description of the evening from Ron Eade’s column in the Ottawa Citizen.

Although it was Juniper that took home the honours with a narrow victory over Castlegarth, the real winner is people with disabilities in the Ottawa community, with more than $3000 raised for LiveWorkPlay! Special thanks to all the sponsors please support them with your business!


They say if March comes in like a lamb, it will go out like a lion. Well, if that is the case and the bad weather does come, LiveWorkPlay has plenty of indoor activities to offer!

First up on Friday, March 26 is the Spring Fling Family Feast. And by “family” we mean everyone and anyone with a connection to the LiveWorkPlay community – members, volunteers, parents, staff, partners, and their friends and colleagues. Following the popularity of the Festive Family Feast in December a similar format will be followed – a delicious meal at St. Anthony Banquet Hall followed by live entertainment with musicial Dave Milliken. Don’t forget to register in advance we need time to order the right number of meals

Next up on Sunday, March 28 is Label Free Zone Workshop. The Label Free Zone is a new website by the National Film Board of Canada. Are you a person with a developmental or intellectual disability who is interested in the internet, video making, and sharing your stories and opinions online? Or a supporter such as a staff member, volunteer, or family member that would like to learn how to help interested individuals to express themselves? You are in luck!

The National Film Board of Canada has partnered with LiveWorkPlay and People First of Canada to offer this free workshop, introduce the new Label Free Zone website, and help you learn how to use it. This event will include a presentation by representatives of People First of Ontario who will explain the People First movement and provide an opportunity for those who are interested to explore membership options.

Although the workshop is free, you must register in advance in order to attend. The session will take place at the Ottawa Library Main Branch on Metcalfe – remember, no advance registration, no admission!

It’s not about the numbers, it’s about the interactions that lead to a better life for people with intellectual disabilities, but over the past month LiveWorkPlay has reached a few social media milestones that are worth noting.

First came our Twitter account @GetBuzzed with 1000 followers, and then came the Facebook page with 1000 fans. And this very blog you are reading now has 100 followers on Networked Blogs. If you are feeling a bit understimulated, check out the latest in LiveWorkPlay social media innovation with our TweetSwarm page – there are updates about everything: the auction, volunteer training, member trips, staff meetings, and more!

This is only the beginning. Please keep inviting your friends, family, and colleagues to join our social networks, and stay tuned for LiveWorkPlay to make a buzz with even more social media innovation. We are also sharing what we know with community partners. Pictured above is LiveWorkPlay CEO and co-founder Keenan Wellar hosting a social media workshop at Heartwood House on February 23. Keenan has also authored an article for an upcoming issue of Dialect magazine.


On Saturday, April 10, LiveWorkPlay will host the Eastern Regional meeting of Community Living Ontario. Guests will be arriving from Morrisburg, Renfrew, Pembroke, and many other local communities.

The agenda has yet to be released but Regional Chair Noreene Adam is hoping for greater attendance by people with intellectual disabilities and their family members. Travelling to the meetings is always a challenge, so this is a great opportunity for LiveWorkPlay members to enjoy the benefits of having the meeting right in their home town!

LiveWorkPlay will have various hosting duties and a small team of volunteers will be needed. Please talk to Fran Childs if you are interested!


If you would like to make a donation to LiveWorkPlay, please click here to donate online or use our new PDF donation form, which now has options for credit card and pre-authorized withdrawals. You may also specify how you would like your donation to be used.

We are no longer in United Way Ottawa/Centraide campaign season (but of course donations are appreciated throughout the year) and this is a great time to contribute to LiveWorkPlay and any other charities that you support. You can download a United Way donation form that already has the LiveWorkPlay information included. The United Way supports LiveWorkPlay youth services!

We hope you have enjoyed this 39th edition of the LiveWorkPlay Blog. If you have received an email about this blog in error and/or you would prefer not to receive future LiveWorkPlay blog messages, simply click here and follow the simple instructions. Click here for the web page that can be used by newcomers who would like to receive LiveWorkPlay Blog email notifications. You can also subscribe using Networked Blogs. Please your friends, colleagues, and family membes to subscribe. Send story ideas to Keenan Wellar.