Community Living celebrates inclusion

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Community Living Month is celebrated across the province during the month of May.

The month celebrates the accomplishments, gifts and talents that people who have an intellectual disability bring to their communities. Community Living staff also advocate for inclusion in all areas of life.

To launch the month-long celebration, local Community Living personnel encourage everyone in their business, school, and social network to support Community Living Chatham-Kent (CLC-K) by wearing blue and green on May 1.

You can send photos to info@clc-k.ca and show how you are celebrating. Use “#inclusion” while sharing on social media.

As part of the many events and activities that are planned for the month, CLC-K is participating in an Ontario-wide initiative on May 4, called Shine a Light on Community Living. Participate in this initiative by changing your building’s exterior lights to blue and green in support of the Community Living movement.

CLC-K will host the Annual Flag Raising and Community BBQ on May 8, at 11 a.m. For a donation, enjoy a freshly barbecued hotdog, chips, and a drink. The barbecue will run until 1 p.m.

The Community Living Flag will be raised at the Chatham-Kent Civic Centre, located at 315 King St. W. in Chatham, along with flags being raised at city centres in Ridgetown, Blenheim and Tilbury during the month of May. The ceremony at the Civic Centre will include a greeting from Mayor Randy Hope; Ron Coristine, CLC-K Executive Director; a Leader within Program Graduate; as well as award presentations.

The Joyce M. Carr Champion Award is presented annually by CLC-K to a business that has made a difference in the community by hiring a person who has a disability, and encouraging others to do the same. The award is named in honour of Joyce Carr, a former manager at CLC-K, who believed in employment for every person.

The 2018 Joyce M. Carr Champion Award honours Tilbury Foodland. Merrick and Denise McCall manage Tilbury Foodland. They are a champion leader in the community providing opportunities to people who have an intellectual disability. Tilbury Foodland has been a part of CLC-K’s JOBWORX Employment Services for over 15 years.

The Rob McLandress Make a Dream Come True Fund recipients for 2018 will also be announced.

The fund was made possible through a bequest to CLC-K by the late Father James Williams. Father Williams was an ongoing supporter of the work of CLC-K and his bequest was made in honour of the late Rob McLandress, whose family he was very close to.

Two awards of $1,000 each are given annually to two people who have an intellectual disability in order to help them fulfill a dream.

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