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Everyone likes a little vacation now and then…including the individuals who participate in our Weekend Ventures Program. However, Weekend Ventures is more than just an opportunity for attendees to get some time away. This important respite program also benefits the participants’ caregivers, who get a much needed break. Emily Orr, Reach’s Director of Adaptive Recreation and Inclusion says of Weekend Ventures, “It’s a really needed service in our community.”

Young adults on a boat ride

Weekend Ventures participants enjoy a boat ride on Leech Lake

Reach does all it can to offer this program, hosting six outings each year, including going to the Mall of America, Valleyfair, the Children’s Theatre, a camp/lake setting, and more. Participants enjoy seeing their friends and visiting fun places, and the program is in demand. Emily reports having a waiting list, as all of the 2019 outings were already filled up by this past February.

Part of the reason for the waiting list is the necessary number of staff members needing to attend each outing. Reach aims to offer a staff-to-participant ratio of 1:2, in order to appropriately meet the needs of the individuals with disabilities using this program. Since the average number of facilitation hours each staff member logs for each outing is 40, expenses add up quickly.

Reach allocated funds raised at its 2019 summer fundraiser, Reach “On Tap” for the Weekend Ventures Program. There, a video was shown to better explain the program and illustrate the current financial needs. While the event was a success, the budget for Weekend Ventures’ growth is significant. We encourage others to watch the video and consider a donation toward this vital program, or any of Reach’s services.

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