EAST ALTON — IMPACT-Center for Independent Living will recognize its 30th anniversary with a fundraising banquet celebration from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, at Julia’s Banquet Center.
“We are a nonprofit organization that promotes pride and respect of people with disabilities by sharing the tools that are necessary to promote independent living and advocacy,” IMPACT Executive Director Cathy Contarino said. “We offer care counseling, mentoring, skills training and referrals. One major part of our organization is to teach self-advocacy so people with disabilities know their own rights so they can protect themselves. Education is so important.”
The fundraising celebration offers an opportunity to network, enjoy dinner and a cash bar, participate in a silent auction, see a video, hear success stories and socialize.
“We offer so many services and provide so many options to people with disabilities or for families who have a disabled loved one,” Contarino said. “Many people don’t know that it’s required that 51 percent of our staff and board have some sort of disability. When we speak, we speak from experience ourselves.”
Located in Alton, one service IMPACT offers is skills training for people who would like to be a personal assistant to a person with a disability. People interested in becoming a personal assistant can apply for training at IMPACT and if approved would be trained to fulfill a client’s particular need.
“What’s great about the program is if we have a client in need, we can train a person for that particular need,” Contarino said. “It’s personalized and no prior education or experience is necessary. I use a wheelchair myself and I have a personal assistant that will help me with specific needs. The personal assistant is hired by the individual they were trained for, not an agency.”
IMPACT’s funding is in danger if the state is unable to approve a budget. Roughly 90 percent of IMPACT’s funding comes from government sources.
“We have small reserves, but we don’t know how long that will last us if funding is cut,” Contarino said. “We operate on a monthly basis and submit to the state for reimbursement. We hope that if the budget is passed, we will be able to continue operating at normal capacity. It would be devastating if we had to go to part time and lay individuals off.”
Several options are available to sponsor the organization. A Friend of IMPACT can donate $25 to $100; the bronze tier lists at $101 to $150; the silver tier ranges from $151 to $200 and gold sponsorships are any amounts more than $200. Sponsorships can be mailed to IMPACT Center for Independent Living, 2735 E. Broadway, Alton, IL 62002. IMPACT CIL is a 501(c)3 organization and donations are tax-deductible.
For information, visit www.impactcil.org and click on the news and events tab.
IMPACT also is asking businesses to donate items, services or merchandise toward the silent auction with a minimum donation value of $50 by Thursday, Aug. 13. Call Jenna Ferguson at (618) 474-5321 to make arrangements to have the item delivered or picked up.