On April 11, Algonquin’s public relations program will be hosting a glow-in-the-dark dodgeball tournament, as part of a fundraiser for the LiveWorkPlay organization.
LiveWorkPlay is a Canadian charitable organization for people with intellectual disabilities. It was founded in Ottawa in 1995. The organization operates with the purpose of helping the community welcome people with intellectual disabilities to live, work and play as valued citizens.
In the public relations program, a charity is selected every year and a fundraiser is hosted. The public relations program decided to go with this organisation, not only because they stand for a great cause, but also because Kate Valentine, first-year public relations student and campaign manager for the fundraiser, has a sister with Down Syndrome who has found success with the help of the charity.
Valentine, who is a 24-year-old public relations student at Algonquin, says that by working with the organization, her sister has been able to find work and take steps towards a goal in her life.
“My sister has been with the organization for a few years now but has never truly worked towards a set goal. By using the charity, she’s been able to find a sense of purpose,” says Valentine. “Her ultimate goal is to find herself an apartment, which she will be able to pay for with her job at Tim Hortons that the organization has helped find for her.”
What differentiates LiveWorkPlay from other organizations like it is that every plan is individualized, and that the charity focuses on making each plan a person-oriented one.
“I think it’s important that people living with disabilities are given the same opportunities as everyone else,” says Valentine. “As a community, we have grown accustomed to separating people who are different. We need to be more understanding and inclusive, this way we can solve issues caused by seclusion. With the same amount of support, anyone can do anything.”
Taraneh Dohmer, a 25-year-old public relations student at Algonquin, strongly believes in the values the organization stands for and is excited to start the fundraising campaign.
“I think it helps not only people with disabilities, but also helps us see the barriers we put in communities and realize that people with disabilities have amazing things to offer,” says Dohmer. “They have so much to teach us and we have so much to learn.”
The glow-in-the-dark dodgeball tournament is one of 11 charity fundraisers the public relations program will be hosting in order to raise money for the charity. Other events include a 90’s night, a tea party, and a barbecue.
“The sport is the same one you love, but with really cool colours, and with all of your friends,” says Dohmer. “It’s a whole new experience.”
There will be registrations for teams of 5 and 10. Registration fees for teams of 5 will be set at $10 per person, while the fess for teams of 10 will be set for $13.50 per person.