Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, the Niagara County chapter of NYSARC Inc., has announced receipt of a $6,000 grant from the trustees of the NYSARC Trusts to support recreational opportunities for more than 150 individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities served by the agency who live in the community.
The grant was used to supplement the costs of outings to enable greater participation in community-based, integrated recreational activities such as attending movies, hockey games at Niagara University and a performance at the Lancaster Opera House. Additionally, the funds supported a bowling tournament, game nights, holiday party and a talent show. The talent show was open to the public and held at the Historic Riviera Theatre. It featured Youngstown resident Jennifer Stuart.
Winners of the 2014 talent show included Ryan Zygmut and Melissa Marino, first place; David Bandinelli, second place; Jacob Siracuse, third place; and Jackie Gayle, fourth place.
Recreational therapy provides remarkable rewards for individuals living with a developmental disability as it aids the development of skills necessary to enhance their functional independence and to promote a higher quality of life for them and their family. While giving family members a well-deserved "break" or respite, recreational activities enable an individual to also make new friends and enrich their lives through participation in a variety of social and physically oriented community-based activities. Both youth (10-18 years old) and adult (19 years old and older) activities are available to eligible individuals residing in Niagara County and neighboring communities. Experienced and caring employees provide appropriate supervision to all participants in a group setting.
OUN notes a variety of social activities are offered, ranging from sporting events to musicals, movies, concerts, theme parks, plus many others. There are also selected physical activities, such as roller-skating, dances and community walks to promote exercise as an important component of an individual's life - at any age. Camp Happiness, a June weeklong day camp on Lake Ontario, is also available as an activity. For information on how to enroll your family member, call 716-504-2617 or visit www.opportunitiesunlimited.org.
The NYSARC Trusts administer supplemental needs trusts that enable people who have disabilities to remain in their home and community and retain their Medicaid-eligible services. The trustees utilize remainder funds to benefit other persons with disabilities, including unfunded chapter guardianship as provided by statute.
In addition to the recreation grant, the trustees awarded $1,225,500 to support chapter guardianship programs. Information on how you may benefit from a NYSARC Trust is available by calling 1-800-735-8924 or emailing [email protected].
The mission of the Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara Foundation is to provide a long-term source of financial support to Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara that ensures people with developmental disabilities have opportunities toward independence and integration within the community.