Learning disabilities office continues funding search

The Red Deer chapter of the Learning Disabilities Association of Central Alberta continues to keep its doors open as the search for a solid source of sustainable funding continues.

The local chapter faced possible closure this past June with provincial grants and other sources of funding having dried up over the past while. Finding those sources of long-term, ongoing funding is still critical to the local office’s operations, said Sheryl Krill, executive director.

She has submitted several funding grants and is awaiting word on the results. In the meantime, Krill and her staff continue to pick up donations here and there to cover month-to-month expenses. “It’s about these operating costs that come up every two weeks,” said Krill.

Anyone interested in donating to the LDAA is welcome to do so. Tax receipts for donations of $20 or more are also available. A major fundraiser called Mystery Date…With a Star is also in the works for Oct. 28. Pre-dinner reception runs at the Red Deer Lodge at 5 p.m. with dinner at participating restaurants and venues at 7 p.m.

Krill also noted that a major fundraising initiative held by a local corporation would made a tremendous difference as well.

Meanwhile, there have been a couple of bright spots funding-wise over the summer.

Red Deer student Natasha Walz, 12, been really helped with her math skills by the LDAA and wanted to give something back to help the local office keep their doors open.

Earlier this summer, she received three tickets to pop megastar Justin Bieber’s Edmonton concert in September. She later decided to donate the tickets to the LDAA so they could use them in a fundraising raffle. Her generosity helped raise $1,100 for the LDAA, as an anonymous group purchased the tickets and then returned them to Natasha so she could attend the show.

A barbecue and carwash also brought in $1,272 for the cause as well in early August as well.

Krill said summer reading programs have been busy and tutorial services are in continual demand as well. Losing the services wouldn’t bode well for those battling learning disorders, she said.

“We care about them because we know that they have something very special to contribute.”

The LDAA has been serving families for the past 21 years but of late has been facing dire financial pressures. The office receives referrals from psychologists, schools, teachers, doctors, Family and School Wellness, Children’s Services, Mental Health, the 49th Street Youth Centre, Neighbourhood Places and by word of mouth from clients.

For more information about the fall fundraiser, call the LDAA office at 403-340-3885. Tickets are $125 each and are available through the Black Knight Inn Ticket Centre.

Call 403-755-6626 or 1-800-661-8793 for more details.

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