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Grant gives Vernon Venture access to creative connections

A $5,000 donation will help Venture Connections buy equipment for therapeutic art, music programs

A big heart for art will help a local group in helping others get creative.

Venture Connections, with Vernon’s Venture Training, is thrilled with a $5,000 grant courtesy of Western Financial Group.

The donation allows Venture Connections to purchase adaptive equipment, easels, audio instruments, karaoke and additional supplies for therapeutic art and inclusive music programs.

“The funds allow us to expand programming and offer more opportunities for participants to express their diverse abilities, challenges, and interests through art and music,” said co-program coordinator Shelly Kopera. “Our artists reflect a deep sense of accomplishment, self-worth and pride as they pursue their unique talents.

“Moving forward, many participants are excited to prepare for an upcoming art auction and event that will be done in collaboration with Venture’s ACT (Accessing Community Training) program to highlight some of their masterpieces.”

It came to Kopera and fellow program coordinator Chellaine Harms’ attention that Western Financial Group would be awarding a $5,000 grant to a worthy, local non-profit society or cause. Venture is a non-profit organization that has been advocating for individuals with disabilities through a variety of programs and employment opportunities for more than 65 years in the Vernon area.

“We eagerly applied, not expecting that we would make the final cut,” said Harms. “We were humbled and grateful to receive this substantial contribution.”

Kopera and Harms say it’s the generous support from the community and business partners that allows them to pursue its mission to provide rewarding opportunities, self-advocacy, community access and equality for program participants.

“We are so grateful,” said the women. “Your generosity and support have not gone unnoticed. Thank you.”

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