- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
Five different projects were submitted by local non-profit organizations for review by this year’s class. The class had discussions and meetings over both, and at their October meeting it was announced, based upon a vote.
The Red River Valley Down Syndrome Society is in the middle of purchasing a new building for their REACH Center (Raising Expectations & Creating Hope) on Lamar Street. This lead them to request funds for this expansion and renovations in the project outline/presentation submitted to the Leadership Lamar County class.
RRVDSS is an organization that services those in the northeast Texas, southeast Oklahoma and southwest Arkansas areas. Its mission is to improve the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and other disabilities through support, education, awareness and advocacy. They work to realize the complete acceptance and inclusion of individuals with mental disabilities into all aspects of family and community.
Each individual with Down syndrome, or other disability, has his/her own unique personalities, talents and capabilities and need advocates and support in this community — allowing for a better transition into family and community. This is what the Red River Valley Down Syndrome Society is here to do.
The RRVDSS’ REACH Center is a lifelong education and resource center for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities, their families, educators and employers. They offer one-on-one tutoring, small group instruction for preschool and adult age groups, host educational workshops and trainings for both parents and educators, provide social opportunities for both children and adults with mental disabilities, and provide an up-to-date resource library for the use of our families and educators.
With this larger and more permanent location that the Leadership Lamar County class shall work towards raising funds for, the REACH Center can offer even more programs to the community of Lamar County including a teen/adult educational recreation afternoon program. This program would fill a great need in the community for people in this age group with mental disabilities.
More classrooms are needed, as well as a ‘rec room’ and a dedicated (and safe) nursery for childcare during parent education sessions.
The RRVDSS is asking for the Leadership class to help with these needs, by providing the funds required to make these needed changes, which should be completed in 6-12 months.
The Leadership class has decided on several ways to raise these funds. The biggest and main fundraiser will be the local favorite, Dancing with the Stars. However, there will also be a big golf tournament, softball tournament, basketball tournament, a ‘save-your-dimes-for-Down-syndrome’ campaign — which will fill empty soda bottles with dimes, custom t-shirts, and many other things.
The Leadership class will decide upon the dancers for Dancing with the Stars at their November meeting, with nominations and voting being held in the weeks before.
There will be more Leadership Lamar County updates, such as the dancers for Dancing with the Stars, locations of fundraisers, meeting updates, and more.