LiveWorkPlay is a Canadian charitable organization supporting people with intellectual disabilities to have a good life in the Ottawa area community. LiveWorkPlay is an affiliate of Community Living Ontario . The LiveWorkPlayNews is a monthly email and blog communication. Please scroll to the bottom for subscription and contact information.
IN THIS ISSUE...
1) A TEARFUL RETURN FROM THE TURKS
2) RDSP & ESTATES CONFERENCE FEBRUARY 27
3) DUELING CHEFS 2010: FEBRUARY 22
4) WELCOME MICHELLE & WINTER PHOTOS
5) AUCTION HELPERS: TIME TO GET BUZZING
6) VOLUNTEER & MATCHING NEWS
7) ANNUAL CONFERENCE MAY 26-29
8) SOCIAL MEDIA SWARM
9) SPREADING THE WORD TO EMPLOYERS
10) YOUTH MEMBERS: JOIN US MARCH BREAK
11) BEE WELCOMING AS WE HOST THE REGION
12) THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
A TEARFUL RETURN FROM TURKS
After planning and saving up for a year 16 adult members from LiveWorkPlay met in the back parking lot of Heartwood House at 04:45 on January 15 so they could be shuttled to Montreal for their flight to Turks & Caicos. Final destination: Club Med Turkoise! Check out the five photo albums (12345) and three videos (123) to get a real feel for this little piece of heaven on earth.
Club Med is known for its all-inclusive vacations, but there is more to it than drinks and food. It has been the LiveWorkPlay experience that Club Med is also inclusive when it comes to how people are treated: with respect and as equals. Everyone from LiveWorkPlay was fully included in all of the resort's activities - everything from dancing to snorkelling - and it wasn't just the staff. There were many relationships formed with other guests, so much so that there have been invitations flowing back and forth via email and on Facebook in an effort to reconnect and spend time together in the future.
There were a few tears shed when this trip came to an end, and although some were sad to say goodbye to the beautiful beaches and warm weather, it was the newfound friends that they were most upset about leaving behind
Support was provided by staff members Julie Kingstone, Allison Moores, Grace Hudson, and Daniel Harris. Fran Childs, Keenan Wellar, Jen Bosworth, and volunteer Jeff Manthorpe provided shuttle service to and from Montreal. And of course parents and other family and friends got everyone to and from Heartwood House at some very odd hours!
LiveWorkPlay supports these travel excursions for a variety of reasons that you can read about on our website but the level of interaction with people from outside the group was a somewhat unexpected but very welcome outcome.
There is another trip coming up for adult members who chose Club Med Sandpiper (Florida) instead of Turks & Caicos. They depart on March 7 and return on March 12. And this year youth members will enjoy their first international trip, heading to New York City from July 12-15.
RDSP & ESTATES CONFERENCE FEBRUARY 27
The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a new tool to help you plan for the financial well-being of your relative with a disability. Already thousands of families and individuals across the country are setting up the plan, and an estimated 500,000 Canadians will benefit from this plan over time.
Contributions to the plan grow on a tax-deferred basis. Additionally the Federal Government has established matching grants and contributions to assist people with low income. The Ontario Government has exempted the RDSP and income from an RDSP in determining eligibility for income support under the Ontario Disability Support Program. This means the beneficiary will be able to save and use income from their RDSP whenever they want, for whatever they want.
A fundamental aspect of estate planning is to have an appropriately structured will that is valid and takes into consideration tax laws, probate fees, and other considerations. If you die without a will or if your will is not found to be valid, your assets will be distributed according to a government formula that is unlikely to align with your intentions. Trusts (including specialized trusts such as absolute discretionary trusts or "Henson Trust") may be a solution that works for many individuals and families, but there are alternatives or additions to trust fund strategies that may be worthy of consideration, such as ownership of a principal residence.
Spend the day with lawyer Brendon Pooran on February 27 and learn all about estate planning and the RDSP. For more information and to register see rdsp.liveworkplay.ca and don't delay, this is a very hot topic!
DUELING CHEFS 2010 FEBRUARY 22
Time is running out and there are just 10 seats left! Do you enjoy an occasional night out for some fine dining with friends and family? LiveWorkPlay has been chosen as one of the charities to benefit from DUELING CHEFS 2010 at Juniper restaurant. Our night is February 22nd! The competition will be Castlegarth from White Lake so get ready for a deliciously entertaining evening!
Each guest will receive drinks in the lounge while enjoying canapé creations from Juniper/ Your dining experience will consist of a three course tasting menu from each of the two teams. Each course is paired with showcase wine selections for the evening!
Tickets are $135.00 (plus tax and gratuity) with all food and beverages INCLUDED. Call 613-728-0220 for reservations. Please note that you must reserve directly with Juniper which is hosting this event at 245 Richmond Road. You can get more information including photos and videos from chefs.liveworkplay.ca.
WELCOME MICHELLE & WINTER PHOTOS
Michelle Struthers (pictured right)is currently completing a placement with LiveWorkPlay as part of her Social Work program at Carleton University. She has quickly become involved in all aspects of our work, but has particularly enjoyed hosting the photography group.
Michelle has compiled winter photographs from the group and posted them to the LiveWorkPlay fan page on Facebook. Don't worry, you don't need a Facebook account to see the photos. More and more photos get added to the album each week!
AUCTION HELPERS: TIME TO GET BUZZING
The Bank of America Culinary Adventure and Charity Auction for LiveWorkPlay is coming up on April 8. That's just 2 short months away for the hardworking people like YOU that make it all happen by selling tickets, recruiting donations, and getting sponsors!
Tickets are now available to the public at recipeforsucces.ca and you can get your auction package (for recruiting donations of items and/or sponsors) at auction.liveworkplay.ca if you don't know the password, ask Keenan.
Aside from Bank of America returning as our title sponsor some of the big news so far is that VIA Rail has donate a return trip to Quebec City and WestJet is giving a return trip from anywhere they fly and that includes among other destinations Honolulu and even the Turks & Caicos!
VOLUNTEER & MATCHING NEWS
The pass has slowed a bit from the frenzy in the fall, but volunteer recruitment continues to soar. One of the most popular areas of growth is with one to one matching, where a volunteer and a member spend time together enjoying a common interest or activity.
Warren Murphy and his match Karen Bedard have a third party involved in the time they spend together, and that is Finch. The three of them have been enjoying walks and as you can see everyone is pretty happy about that (Karen is smiling too, but she's holding the camera so you probably can't tell).
Fran Childs has been hosting "coffee talk" gatherings for volunteers on a regular basis. These have been well attended with a dozen or more on most occasions . The next coffee talk is February 23 and there is also an orientation for newcomers on February 6, as well as First Aid & CPR training opportunities on February 20 and 27.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE MAY 26-29
The Community Living Ontario Annual Conference 2010 offers the federation an opportunity to re-commit to the inclusion of people who have an intellectual disability, to share ideas and successful practices, and shape our future direction together.
LiveWorkPlay is once again supporting members to attend by offering a subsidy to four individuals. For just $300 successful applicants will enjoy round trip transportation, a two-night stay at the Best Western Richmond Hill (North Toronto, attached to the conference centre) as well as staff support. You can download the simple application form from the link above, or pick up a copy from LiveWorkPlay (they are available on the bulletin board of the computer lab door).
SOCIAL MEDIA SWARM
LiveWorkPlay was an early adopter of social media like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter but things have really taken off in the last couple of months. The Facebook fan page is right on the verge of 1000 members, but more importantly, it is seeing lots of action and interaction not only from insiders but from interested people across Ontario, Canada, and the world!
The LiveWorkPlay Twitter account @GetBuzzed has already crossed the 1000 member milestone, and just like the fan page is attracting interest from all sorts of new connections that have been made from all over the planet.
Although the LiveWorkPlay.ca website is certainly loaded with interesting information, more and more people are choosing the fan page instead. Why? It's immediate, and it's interactive - your comments are what make it fresh and interesting. So, if you haven't tried it, take the plunge - drop by fans.liveworkplay.ca and have your say today!
SPREADING THE WORD TO EMPLOYERS
Dan Patton and Jen Bosworth combined for a one-two knockout punch for a presentation to Business Takes Action: Dispelling the Myths, Accommodating People with Disabilities.
Business Takes Action (BTA) is a Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) initiative aimed at promoting the benefits of hiring qualified persons with disabilities to meet skill shortages.
Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS), BTA is mandated to ensure that organizations are equipped with up-to-date information on policy, legislation and tools to achieve excellence in accessibility and accommodation. They want to help your business remove the physical and attitudinal barriers associated with hiring persons with disabilities.
Jen is of course the Manager of Employment Supports for LiveWorkPlay, and Dan is a member of the Board of Directors. On this day however Dan was representing his employer Bank of America and sharing information and stories about the longstanding relationship between Bank of America (formerly MBNA Bank of Canada) and LiveWorkPlay at the Ottawa headquarters where many people with intellectual disabilities are currently competitively employed.
YOUTH MEMBERS: JOIN US FOR MARCH BREAK
LiveWorkPlay friday night youth members are invited to LiveWorkPlay headquarters on Tuesday, March 16, for a special luncheon with Professor Mona Paré of the University of Ottawa and LiveWorkPlay staff members.
You will be talking about your experiences in school, sharing a lunch together (free), enjoy some conversation, and you are welcome to stay the afternoon and enjoy the computer lab with your peers. Invitations are being handed out on Friday night, so don't forget to put it on the fridge door when you get home!
BEE WELCOMING AS WE HOST THE REGION
On Saturday, April 10, LiveWorkPlay will host the Eastern Regional meeting of Community Living Ontario. Guests will be arriving from Morrisburg, Renfrew, Pembroke, and many other local communities.
The agenda has yet to be released but Regional Chair Noreene Adam is hoping for greater attendance by people with intellectual disabilities and their family members. Travelling to the meetings is always a challenge, so this is a great opportunity for LiveWorkPlay members to enjoy the benefits of having the meeting right in their home town!
LiveWorkPlay will have various hosting duties and a small team of volunteers will be needed. Please talk to Fran Childs if you are interested!
YOUR SUPPORT APPRECIATED
If you would like to make a donation to LiveWorkPlay, please click here to donate online or use our new PDF donation form, which now has options for credit card and pre-authorized withdrawals. You may also specify how you would like your donation to be used.
We are no longer in United Way Ottawa/Centraide campaign season (but of course donations are appreciated throughout the year) and this is a great time to contribute to LiveWorkPlay and any other charities that you support. You can download a United Way donation form that already has the LiveWorkPlay information included. The United Way supports LiveWorkPlay youth services!
We hope you have enjoyed this 38th edition of LiveWorkPlayNews. If you have received an email about this blog in error and/or you would prefer not to receive future LiveWorkPlayNews messages, simply click here and follow the simple instructions. Click here for the web page that can be used by newcomers who would like to join LiveWorkPlayNews. Feel free to share the address with friends, colleagues, and family who might like to subscribe. Send story ideas to Keenan Wellar.