Jordan Kaersenhout

Jordan Kaersenhout

Fund-raising for festival

Big hearts and hot dogs were at the top of the menu for the Community Links Program

Big hearts and hot dogs were at the top of the menu for the Community Links Program  which started their spring fund-raising push last Wednesday with a by-donation barbecue in front of the Overwaitea Foods store in Port Hardy.

The group, which falls under the North Island Community Services Society, helps adults suffering from developmental, brain injury and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (F.A.S.D) live productive and inclusive lives.

“Transparency is everything in this job. We get our clients out in the public eye more and more, that way people won’t shy away from them,” said Mark Bennett, the group’s lead Adult Resource Worker.

The group’s current fund-raising campaign is earmarked towards bringing clients from the Tri-Port area to the 45th annual Operation Trackshoes, a non-competitive sporting event held in Victoria, this June.

Operation Trackshoes is a weekend-long provincial sports festival for people with developmental disabilities. The festival includes a full-length competitive track and field meet, events for people in wheelchairs, and fun and recreational events as well.

The result of these types of events are invaluable for his clients, says Bennett, and allows them an opportunity to feel included and be active.  The Community Links Program helps its members take care of life’s little details that can seem simple to those not suffering from brain injury or developmental problems.

“We help them out with life skills like banking, grocery shopping, budgeting, and how to cook at home for the ones who live on their own,” said Bennett.

In the coming months, Community Links will alternate their barbecue fund-raising efforts between Overwaitea Foods in Port Hardy and the Super Valu Grocery Store in Port McNeill.  The barbecues will be held the last Wednesday of every month.

Over 20 members are expected to attend the Operation Trackshoes event.