Most golfers in Port Washington enjoy a round or two for fun or business. But for those who participated in Independent Living Association, Inc’s Golf and Games Tournament, the stakes went well beyond basic bragging rights.
Making a Difference in the Community
On Friday, September 13, golf enthusiasts and do-gooders alike took over the Harbor Links Golf Course for a good cause. Proceeds went to support a new Day Habilitation program recently launched by ILA designed to promote community involvement, independent living, and socialization for program participants.
For more than 30 years, ILA has been providing a number of services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. One such service is ILA’s unique day habilitation program “Day Hab Without Walls”, supervised by Nicole Sawyers, who has been with ILA for 26 years. The non-traditional, non-cookie cutter approach that Nicole and her co-workers have developed give participants options to develop the life skills that matter to them.
Through the program, a number of the individuals are gainfully employed and others volunteer their services. Individuals work in soup kitchens, flower shops, and pet stores, and volunteer with Meals on Wheels. They learn valuable computer and business skills, and also enjoy outings to amusement parks and museums.
Why Fundraising is Essential to ILA’s Efforts
Day Habilitation is just one of many services ILA provides to strengthen the community by teaching and encouraging independence to the participants so they can give back to the community.
Nicole says that ILA is a family-based culture. The entire staff is vested in keeping the program successful, and it’s making a noticeable difference. For example Jared didn’t fit into other day habs, but when given the opportunity to make a movie and create characters, he’s thrived here. Xavier has a passion for 3D computer art and Michael loves taking photos and visiting museums.
All of this takes money. Fundraising efforts such as the Golf Tournament are essential to continue this program as well as the others. Funds are needed for vehicles, drivers, supplies, and a myriad of other ongoing needs. ILA has plans to expand this one-of-a-kind program.
“Our approach is based on the individual and how we help them reach their goals,” says Nicole, citing the individualized approach as one of their biggest contributors to the success of the program.
How to Get Involved
The golf tournament was the 13th annual outing. Funds collected from this event will help to support the Day Habilitation program, which is funded predominantly from money donated by dedicated supporters.
You can support ILA by donating to the fund that will allow ILA to continue making a difference in the community.