The Independent

By:  John Campbell

CAMPBELLFORD – For the third year in a row, students at Kent Public School lent a hand with Community Living Campbellford/Brighton’s Appetite for Awareness last week.

Patrick Muldoon’s Grade 4/5 class helped assemble 330 brown bag lunches June 1 for delivery to employees of businesses in Campbellford, Brighton and Warkworth. The purpose was twofold: to raise awareness of what Community Living does, among the students as well as the adults who purchased lunches for $6 apiece, and to raise money for the agency’s outcome sponsorship fund.

Ninety-five per cent of the food was donated by businesses in the three communities.

The fund makes money available to people the agency supports to “subsidize things they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford,” said Dawn Lee, manager of quality enhancement and community development. “Sometimes it’s medical equipment, sometimes it’s a trip of a lifetime,” she said, which could include the cost of a staff member accompanying the person with an intellectual disability.

“In the last three years, we’ve been able to raise close to $15,000, mostly through staff initiatives,” she said. Anywhere from 20 to 30 requests for financial assistance are received each year.

Appetite for Awareness started out years ago solely as a Community Living fundraiser but recently it turned into a community initiative with the involvement of local students, Ms. Lee said.

The children talk about Community Living in class and then work with some of its clients and workers, and the experience improves their understanding of the agency’s function and the people it serves, Mr. Muldoon said.

“The whole point of the event is to raise awareness of Community Living and people with disabilities, and respectful treatment toward people,” Ms. Lee said. “We believe all kids belong together. We believe in an integrated school system. To have the kids involved is a priority … We find this entire community really inclusive.”

Two more fundraisers will take place this year. There’s a golf tournament July 9 at Pine Ridge, and tickets are currently being sold until Oct. 7 for a draw that features a $2,500 travel voucher as first prize; second prize is a $500 gift certificate for beef, and third prize is a $150 voucher for a spa. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 705-653-1821.