More than 80 people are challenging themselves to new heights – that is being rapelled from the new Manitoba Hydro building at 360 Portage Avenue.
This is a 250 foot drop, which each team or individual participant will daringly take on Wed. Aug. 17, for the 12th Annual Easter Seals™ Drop Zone in support of the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities.
On her GoFundMe page, Nicole Savard, a cancer survivor and mom of two children ages nine and four, explains she is taking this challenge as a way to say thank you to SMD for their help and encouragement, such as the Parking Permit Program.
Diana Simpson, Fund Development Coordinator of SMD Foundation/Easter Seals™ Manitoba describes the enormous interest in the event.
“We have had weddings, proposals, police officers and their dogs rappelling,” she says. This includes many Manitobans with disabilities taking on the challenge.
Check out this police dog and his handler practicing their rappelling:
“What I find inspiring is why many of the people want to take part in the event,” says Simpson. “Many lives have been touched by a disability – either themselves or a family member and they use the Drop Zone as a way of giving back.”
Simpson adds, “SMD provides support to over 47,000 Manitobans and their families each year through a variety of programs and services in Winnipeg and six rural offices throughout the province.”
Natalie Mulaire, Chief Operating Officer, SMD Self-Help Clearinghouse, SMD Services Community Inclusion and Supports, describes the services they offer.
“The Outreach Therapy Program at SMD [helps children] ages five and under to receive a variety of services either at their homes or in nearby communities [in Manitoba],” explains Mulaire.
“[This is] using a family-centered model…The services bring together parents, siblings, child care providers, therapists and service coordinators who all play an important role in supporting a child’s growth and development. This is aimed at children with developmental disabilities.”
Muliaire adds, “Case management services are provided for children from the moment they and their families first become involved with SMD until the time they leave school, or turn 21.”
She also says, service coordinators help get a diagnosis when necessary, identify the unique needs of each family, gain access to specialized resources and advocate on behalf of families and members.
“Recreation programs are to help children and adults have an equal opportunity to enjoy different aspects of community living,” says Mulaire.
“To make such programming possible, SMD offers year-round support to various service providers and community-based programs throughout Manitoba. This support can take many forms including funding, partnership building, coordinating activity schedules and recruiting the volunteers who help make different programs possible.”
Mulaire adds, ‘The Power Wheelchair Hockey League, a fast, competitive sport has been adapted to fit the skills and abilities of each player. The season runs from late September to April with games on Sundays at the St. James Civic Centre. This program is open to all ages.”
For last year’s event, watch here:
If you are interested in helping out, here’s how:
To donate, SMD also accepts general donations to Drop Zone by contacting DSimpson@smd.mb.ca or for other ways to support SMD visit: https://www.smd.mb.ca/smd-foundation/lotteries/home_sweet_home_lottery
Or to become a volunteer, visit: https://www.smd.mb.ca/smd/volunteering
To become a member, families can self-refer to programs available for their children or medical professionals they are dealing with may also send in a referral. For Outreach Therapy parents can self-refer by contacting the Children’s Therapy Initiative (CTI) at SSCY or call 204-975-3265.