JUST Friends Adult Day Services is but one of a number of local social service agencies that have been forced to make hard choices as to the extent of their mission because of increasing cuts in state and federal funding.
The value of this particular local organization, which strives to provide a structured environment for clients handicapped by age and/or illness in pursuing even routine activities, has been well documented in its 25-year history.
The beneficiaries of this program are not only the individuals served but their full-time caregivers, many of whom have to juggle their careers and lives to provide their loved ones with a family-based environment.
It has experienced tremendous growth in its quarter-century history, not just in the clients served but in surroundings.
Today it occupies enhanced space in Mill Race Center.
Instead of cutting back on services, supporters of the organization have embarked on several fundraising programs to augment the money received from state and federal governments.
It is to their benefit that other local institutions have joined in the effort.
One significant ongoing partnership has been with Mill Race Center, which has opened fundraising initiatives to help benefit Just Friends.
The two groups partnered on two upcoming cash-generating efforts.
Unfortunately one of them had to be postponed because of a poor initial response.
The shelved event was a relatively innovative project called the White River Classic No-Limit Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament originally scheduled for June 30.
Organizers hoped to have a minimum of 120 participants, but by the registration deadline, only 40 people had enrolled. Organizers decided to postpone the event until next year instead of an outright cancellation.
The second event — the Amazing Mill Race dinner and silent auction Aug. 4 — is still very much on schedule.
In years past this event has been seen as Mill Race Center’s major fundraising event.
It has been broadened this year to include the active participation of the local Chinese Association.
Mill Race Center and Just Friends are interdependent partners, representing a range of services available to local residents that few other communities can provide.
It is vital that the community support both of these organizations as they pursue their particular missions.
Although both organizations are identified in many minds with the senior population, the effect they have had is much more diverse.
In so many aspects, they affect the lives of every resident, regardless of age.
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