Beyond 21 looks for community help to fund programming

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Clients of Beyond 21 enjoy plenty of activities.

CORNWALL, Ontario - The fundraising season in Cornwall is short - and a local agency that helps developmentally-challenged adults is looking to make hay while the sun shines.

Actually, the sun will play a limited role this time around.

Beyond 21 has a pair of events planned in the coming weeks, highlighted by a Moon River Run along the St. Lawrence - a nighttime event that will showcase the waterfront in a way that many residents may be unfamiliar with.

"I've run along there at night, and with the moon it is just beautiful," said Jane McLaren, program manager at Beyond 21.

The events take place this summer, as fundraising activities this fall are blacked out for some agencies while the local United Way ramps up its activities.

The Moon River Run takes place July 12, with a one-kilometre family sunset event at 7 p.m., as well as a five-kilometre timed event at 8:30 p.m.

In addition Beyond 21 is hosting a House Tour and Spring Market June 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tour tickets ($25) are available at Scotiabank locations in Cornwall and Alexandria.

Five homes and 40 vendors will be featured during the tour.

McLaren and Tish Humphries, who helped spearhead the creation of Beyond 21, agreed the fundraising events are "critical" to the long-0term viability of the agency's programming.

"We receive no government funding," said McLaren, adding more than 20 individuals take part in Beyond 21 events and a wait list has been created for others. "We're growing. We're getting there for sure."

Humphries' daughter Emma is part of Beyond 21, or B21 as it’s known.

She had trouble describing the benefit of B21 to its clients.

"I don't know if there's a word to describe it," she said, adding developmentally-challenged adults are forced to leave the school system at age 21 and options for care or societal inclusion are very limited. "When we were looking for things there was absolutely nothing.

"And I got the same response from other families. They didn't know what to do."

More information on the events can be found here and here.

Organizations: House Tour, Scotiabank

Geographic location: CORNWALL, Ontario, Alexandria

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