Folks in southeastern Saskatchewan are getting excited for 2017 United Way Telethon in Estevan, including the 15 member agencies of this year's event held on October 27th and 28th at the Legion Hall.
Among those groups is the Sask. Abilities Council, who provide services for children and adults with disabilities. One of the most recognizable of their programs is Camp Easter Seal.
"That's a five day camping experience out at Watrous, at Manitou Beach," said Executive Director Ian Wilkinson.
Other services often seen from the organization include parking passes, orthopedic services, special needs equipment and specialized communication devices.
"It's been all about inclusion in our communities, and focus on helping people meet their goals as they describe them. There's all sorts of barriers for people with disabilities, and sometimes it can be the support that an organization like us can provide, a piece of equipment or access to a program that helps us reduce or eliminate some of those," Wilkinson stated, adding that the camp is a great experience for people who otherwise can't enjoy accessible camping.
He added that United Way's funding is essential to what they do.
"We rely a great deal on them and other organizations. In Saskatchewan we need to raise about 1.7 million dollars a year to support our programs, and United Way Estevan is a key part of that."
This year's money will go towards the programs and access to specialized equipment, as well as sending local kids to camp.
"We greatly appreciate the support from the community. Estevan and it's United Way are critical to our success," Wilkinson concluded.