First of all, welcome to Elizabeth Varnum, the new part time Independent Living Specialist. Elizabeth’s office hours are from 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday. In the past, Serenity has held that position full time, but she has reduced her hours to part time, with office hours from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The offices will be closed from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch. The Independent Living Specialists provide information and referral services, assistance in identifying and securing appropriate benefits, services, and community resources, as well as providing self-advocacy and other independent living skills training to enhance self-confidence, decision-making, and problem-solving skills to improve the overall independence, quality of life, and community participation of individuals with disabilities.
To enhance community participation, we periodically host a variety of social activities throughout the year. Currently we have plans for an exciting, fun-filled social activity and would like you to join us for a Karaoke & Comedy Night on Saturday, May 14th, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hamilton City Hall Community Center, 223 South 2nd Street in Hamilton. We will have the honor of entertainment by comedian Mike Beers of Missoula as well as having a variety of Karaoke selections. Be sure to get your vocal chords ready and join in the fun! Give us a call at 363-5242 to let us know if you plan to attend. We will be serving food & soft drinks, so we’ll need a head count. Future social activities may include a picnic in July, a gathering at Daly Mansion in September, and a Wii Bowling Tournament in November, all of which are in early planning stages. Bitterroot Glory Days will be held at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds over the 4th of July weekend, which is filled with a variety of activities and equestrian events. Last year, one of the activities included Summit’s “wheelchair challenge,” which proved very educational to those who accepted the challenge, so we are considering taking part in the event again this year. Stay tuned for further information on all the upcoming activities and events.
On June 17th, Summit will be participating in the local Relay for Life, which begins at 6 p.m. at the Corvallis Community Event Center track and the relay ends the following morning at 8 a.m. with a free breakfast provided by the Knights of Columbus. Our team name is the Summit Survivors and we are still looking for team members if you are interested in joining the cause. We’re also accepting donations and will be having a few fundraisers, including a car wash, a bake sale at the local Farmers Market, etc. So if you are interested in assisting with any of the fundraising or activities, please give us a call at 363-5242, as we are accepting volunteers of all shapes and sizes.
The Bitterroot Valley People First Aktion Club will be assisting with the Relay for Life activities and fundraising, as well having their next social activity, a club potluck, on Friday, May 20th at United Methodist-American Baptist Church at 211 North 6th Street in Hamilton.
As the 2011 legislative session comes to a close, don’t forget to thank those legislators who listened and supported you throughout the session, and be prepared for more advocacy efforts if they call a special session!
Joanne Verwolf, Ravalli County Coordinator