Rauch Imagine Awards Honor Blue River Services Staff and Consumer

On March 7, Rauch, Inc., Blue River Services, Inc. and RBR Alliance, Inc. staff and community leaders celebrated the 20th Imagine Awards at Caesar’s Southern Indiana.

Thanks to the sponsors, donors, attendees, volunteers, auctioneer Shaun Logsdon and local musician Jackson Snelling for making the 20th Annual Imagine Awards such a resounding success. More than 340 people came out for a remarkable performance by Jackson and a live auction that raised more than $44,000 to help Rauch purchase four new wheelchair accessible vehicles - WOW. Congratulations to award winners Jerry Beverly, Donna Davis and Metro United Way - Louisville!!



The vision of the Imagine Awards is to celebrate those who are committed to making a better community and world for people with disabilities... "A Community Where Everyone Belongs." 

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HCCF Grant Helps Build Home for Adults with Disabilities

Blue River Services, Inc. received $50,000 to leverage a $525,000 grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to construct a new single room occupancy group home for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This new construction, which will be built in New Salisbury, will replace the current group home on Marvy Lane in Palmyra.

“This grant helps leverage funding to construct a new home for residents with profound disabilities,” Daniel J. Lowe, CEO of Blue River Services, said. “We are grateful for the foundation’s support of this important project.”

The Harrison County Community Foundation (HCCF) grant was made possible by generous support from community donors and Caesars Southern Indiana.

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First Winter Festival Event Brings Together Dozens of Adults with Disabilities

It was a Winter Wonderland at First Capital Christian Church in Corydon January 18. Blue River Services, Inc. staff hosted the winter-themed festival aimed at bringing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities together for an afternoon of fun. Surrounded by shiny snowflakes and music, more than 100 people turned out to socialize, dance, play games, decorate cookies and do crafts. There was even a hot cocoa station with whipped cream, exploding chocolate marshmallow balls and sprinkles.

Festival-goers were also excited to see Elsa and Anna from Frozen, who posed for pictures and joined everyone on the dance floor.

One of the most popular areas though, was the snowball toss game. Similar to the rules of the classic Cornhole game, players in snowball toss could also win prizes. Every player that got the snowball into the “ice” hole on the board won a prize!

This free public event was sponsored by Blue River Services, Inc. We can’t thank our volunteers enough for making this a special day – DJ Jess Rocks, students from Corydon High School who volunteered at the craft area and all of our wonderful staff.

If you are interested in receiving information about Blue River’s special events and news, please contact Dawn Pigg at dpigg@brsinc.org or 812-738-2018.

 

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Stepping Stone Residents to Benefit From Regions Bank Donation

With generous support from Regions Bank, Blue River Services, Inc. will supply essential resources for residents at Stepping Stone Apartments, a permanent supportive housing development for homeless young adults with disabilities.

Regions is presenting Blue River with a $2,000 donation to demonstrate its commitment to affordable housing, one of its key investment areas supporting economic and community development. The gift arrives just in time for the holidays.

“For more than six decades, Blue River Services has been dedicated to empowering people with disabilities and helping them overcome barriers to independence,” said Nicole Woodson, Community Development Manager for Regions in Indiana. “We’re pleased to lend our support to their efforts to help provide safe housing, employment   training and access to community resources for their Harrison County clients.

When youth age out of the foster care system, many find themselves on the cusp of adulthood and homelessness. Stepping Stone was built in 2011 to address the unique needs of this population. By combining affordable housing with support services, Blue River helps reduce homelessness among adults 18-25, while ensuring residents continue to receive needed services, such as case management, therapy, driver’s education, and job training and placement. Agency staff also work with residents to bridge the gap to other services by providing food, clothing, apartment furnishings, transportation, and other essentials until outside assistance or income can be established.

“Through this program, we are helping youth transition into adulthood by giving them the resources they need to become self-sufficient and live happy, healthy lives,” said Liz Tyree, Director of Youth Services. “Our staff often serve in the parental/caregiver role to give these young people the tools they need to overcome barriers. Without generous support from community partners like Regions Bank, this crucial program would not exist.”

If you or someone you know needs assistance, please visit www.brsinc.org or call 812-738-4902 for more information.

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Blue River Rendition of The Amazing Race Teaches Teamwork

 

CBS may be the original proprietor of The Amazing Race reality TV show, but the Community Relations Department at BRS has redefined it as a fundamental team building series for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

In the American competition show, teams of two race around the world in competition with other teams to complete challenges, solve clues and win the grand prize of one million dollars. The concept led Blue River Services COO Tammy Seitz to create the agency’s version as a friendly competition with clever challenges designed to capitalize and improve upon social, decision making, fine motor and problem solving skills while interacting with the community.

Now in its third year, the month-long race between the Corydon and Salem habilitation groups took place throughout October. The teams competed one day each week, receiving clues with information leading them to the destination of their next challenge. The goal was to complete the challenges in the least amount of time without incurring any penalties.

The teams made their way to the administration building to take a picture with CEO Daniel J. Lowe for the first clue. Teamwork was key in the next challenge popping a bag full of balloons while wearing oven mitts then piecing together the letters inside to spell out the location of their next stop. Another day, a challenging selfie scavenger hunt led the groups across the county to pose with local celebrities and 19 other items on the list.

One of the favorite challenges included a visit to Salem Industries where each group had to find a smiley face at the bottom of a container. The best way to reach the bottom? Eat M&Ms! After eating their way to success in this challenge, it was time to prepare for the final day of the race.

On a dramatic final day of seven challenges, the Corydon team narrowly won, reclaiming bragging rights and a trophy from Salem’s win last year.
“This event has grown in both size and popularity,” said Seitz. “Several of the consumers have asked if we can do this activity every month! They really enjoyed and benefitted from interaction with their peers, community members and Blue River staff.”

As the Corydon team celebrated their win, the Salem team was already looking ahead to next year’s race. “We will get you next time,” they said.

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