A Message from the Associate Director

By the time you receive this newsletter Thanksgiving will have recently passed.  I hope everyone had a blessed day.

This time of year we give thanks to everyone who assists Independence Plus.  We are grateful for our wonderful staff who magically come together when they are needed the most.  We are also very thankful for Thomas Schell.  He recently joined our Board of Directors and has put in numerous volunteer hours doing repairs to our building and upkeep to our vans.  His enthusiasm to see Independence Plus thrive is infectious.  We are also grateful for our 20th  year of service to our community (see p. 3)!

We are extremely grateful to various foundations and individuals that have either provided grant money or donations throughout the year.  A shout out goes to the Allstate Foundation for a grant donation this month in the amount of $1,000.00. Because we are funded by the state, many (including staff and members’ families) falsely believe that all our bills are taken care of.   State monies help us squeak by from month to month.  Foundations and individuals allow us to provide extras that can mean so much to our cause.  Presently  we are seeking monies to purchase a portable electric lift that will make life alot safer for members and staff.  This grant money from Allstate Foundation will certainly help us towards this goal.

On the back page of this newsletter is a donation form.  If you can, please help us out!  Any and all donations no matter how large or small are greatly appreciated.  Arizonans can receive state tax credit as well.

May your holidays be full of thanks, blessings, health, and peace!

2018 Arizona State Fair

WOW!  Another great year of competition for Independence Plus at the Arizona State Fair held each year during the month of October.  In Home Arts we took 1st Place for Holiday/Valentines Day category.  1st Place for Holiday/Halloween. 1st Place for Model Kit Building.  And Honorable Mention for Holiday/Christmas. We also took Honorable Mention for Wood Crafts.  Our Associate director, Dr. Greg, took 2nd place in the pro photography division with his panoramic picture entitled, “Elephant and the Stars”   WAY TO GO INDEPENDENCE PLUS!!!

Special Olympics Bowling

Brunswick Zone Desert Sky Lanes – Phoenix, Arizona

Regional Special Olympics bowling took place on November 13, 2018.  Five  members participated.    This year we won 2 Gold, 1 Silver, and 1 Bronze Medals.  We also had 1 fourth place ribbon winner.  Congratulations to everyone that participated.  You are ALL winners!

Happy Halloween

Wednesday, October 31st, was a fun day at Independence Plus.  Each program area had their own game or activity.  Rooms then took  turns visiting all the other program areas.  Photo Booth in Yucca.  Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin in Juniper.  Ghost Pin Bowling in Ocotillo, Trunk-or-Treat in Cholla and Dancing in Sahuaro.  Arts & Crafts began at 9:00 AM.  10:00 AM brought In-House Movies to our program areas.  Lunch was served starting at 11:30PM with a beautifully decorated table of goodies.  Room games and activities started around 12:30 PM.   At 1:30 PM members voted for the Best Staff Costume and staff voted for the Best Member Costume.  At 3:00 PM ISP and regular educational activities took place.  All in all it was a full day at Independence Plus!

Independence Plus 20th Anniversary Celebration!

On Friday November 16th we celebrated our 20 year Anniversary of “Serving the Special Needs of Arizona” at Sahuaro Ranch Park in Glendale.  Weather was magnificent and everyone had a great time!  Everybody brought items of their choice to place in the time capsule/chest.  Delicious food was prepared and served by Dedicated Catering who’s owner is also a parent to one of our members. Members assisted set up by putting out tablecloths and tabletop handmade decorations. Trophies were awarded to our members and board of directors as our way of saying thanks!  Staff received special engraved pens that are also have a flashlight at one end.  Of course, a round of applause went out to our director and founder, David Brieno.  Without him there would be no Independence Plus!

Thank you Stundt Foundation!

Earlier this year we received a grant from the Sundt Foundation for $2,000 to help towards developing sensory room areas .  6 interactive wall panels have been purchased and installed.  3 of them went into Ocotillo and the other 3 went into Sahuaro.  These panels help members to react with their environment through touch, sound, and stimulation such as vibration..  We look forward to adding other sensory room devices as we obtain more funding from other grants.  Thank you again Sundt Foundation for supporting Independence Plus!!