What an incredible week it has been! On April 3, the Recipe for Success Culinary Adventure and Charity Auction raised $42,000 for LiveWorkPlay in support of a welcoming community for people with intellectual disabilities. Highlights included the food, the co-hosts Derick Fage and Sandy Sharkey, and the wonderful atmosphere which included a strong contingent of support from the City of Ottawa Mayor and Council. About 250 people were in attendance, and the feedback has never been more positive. Functional improvements included a double of pay stations from 2 to 4 (when those 100+ silent auction winners are announced, it gets a bit wild!) and of course it was great to have Derick back for the 1-2 punch with Sandy! Everyone remarked on their great teamwork and appreciated that they completed the entire live auction ahead of schedule – less than an hour! – while raising more than $20,000! When added to the silent auction and sponsorships, more than $42,000 was raised for LiveWorkPlay!
On April 4, LiveWorkPlay member Cooper Gage was one of the guest speakers at this year’s EARN conference at Ottawa City Hall. As an employee of TD Bank for more than 10 years, he spoke about his experiences in the workplace, as well as other aspects of his life, such as having a home of his own (after learning that living with a roommate was not his thing) and being a part of the community and sharing his interests with other people, who may or may not have a disability . For example, his Running Room community, and taking part in marathons! Blair Organ from TD spoke to the benefits of employing Cooper and other people with intellectual disabilities and how the partnership with LiveWorkPlay has helped build and maintain this success. The Employment Accessibility Resource Network (EARN) Ottawa is a United Way/Centraide Ottawa community initiative that brings together employers and service providers with a goal of increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
On April 8, Jim Carter and Chris Jones appeared on CTV Ottawa Morning Live to discuss how they came to be matched by LiveWorkPlay to enjoy a variety of shared interests, including running in the Ottawa Race Weekend. Keenan Wellar explained how the volunteer matching initiative that brings together people like Jim and Chris, and why it is important. Also mentioned: Volunteer Ottawa and Meals on Wheels Ottawa!
LiveWorkPlay benefits from the contributions of some 150 volunteers – and growing! They host Friday night social meet-ups in the community, they respond to opportunities to spend one-on-one time with our members, they form the membership of the board of directors, and they participate on task forces, including support for employment and fundraising activities. Those are just a few examples!
Volunteer Canada and Investors Group are encouraging Canadians to thank the 13.3 million Canadians who volunteer from coast to coast. From now until April 12, call into the “Volunt-Hear” Hotline 1-855-372-5077 to leave a brief thank you message. You can also send thank you notes through Twitter using the hashtag #NVW2014. Why not thank a LiveWorkPlay volunteer today?!?