Another Fuel Good Day Recipient

Valley Action Abilities was the recipient of the funds from the Rosthern location of the Saskatoon Co-op Fuel Good Days fundraiser. After all the numbers were tallied, Valley Action received $2097.12. Executive Director of Valley Action Abilities, Cameron Nicolle, told this reporter that the funds will be used along with the money raised during their fall fundraiser, to pay for a new Handi-van. The van has already been ordered and will be added to the existing fleet of vehicles Valley Action already has. Until recently, they had been able to utilize the handi-van owned by the Town of Rosthern, but having a new handi-van to use instead of having to rely on their other aging one will allow for greater flexibility for the programs the VAA runs.

The Fall Fundraiser this year featured a Filipino meal and desserts along with a silent auction, live cake auction, 50/50 draw and a draw for a wine basket put together by the Board of Directors. The cakes for the cake auction were each created by a different branch of the agency making a fun competition between them. The fall banquet which has had a variety of different themes over the years, has been around for a long time, but this is the first since 2019 and approximately 220 people came out to support the return of the fundraiser. The day program was responsible for the main meal while the group homes and the childcare centres provided the desserts. The cost for the meal was ‘by donation’ and after expenses were deducted, the final total raised was just over $ 11,000.

Nicolle stated that there are two important facets of the fall banquet firstly is fundraising of course, but secondly it is an opportunity to educate the community. Valley Action has their collective fingers in many pies and the fall banquet is an opportunity to make the community aware of all they do. The banquet is also an opportunity to bring all of their different agencies together at a single event. VAA employs approximately 90 employees who most times do not cross each others’ paths. Valley Action operates three group homes in the community of Rosthern, which provides homes for fifteen individuals. The residents in these homes have access to any part of, and fully participate in, the life of the town including seasonal celebrations, coffee outings and local hockey games to name but a few. As well Valley Action operates a day program which provides services to 40 individuals from the surrounding area including Wakaw, Hague and Duck Lake. As an integral part of the community, Valley Action works closely with a wide range of community partners, such as churches, organizations and individuals, to grow and maintain meaningful and productive relationships for everyone involved. As part of their commitment to the community they also operate a coin-operated laundromat in Rosthern, a SARCAN recycling depot and two daycares one in Rosthern and one in nearby Duck Lake. Rosthern Learning Tree Childcare provides licensed care for 30 children aged 6 weeks to 6 years and is attached to the Rosthern Community School. The Little Ducklings Childcare is attached to the back of Stobart Community School in Duck Lake and has spaces for 51 children aged 6 weeks to 6 years and also offers a teen parent program.

Valley Action Abilities formed in 1972 when a parent group interested in having residential, social and vocational options for their children with intellectual disabilities in their own communities banded together. Based in Rosthern, it has grown over the years to expand their services to support those with mental health issues, refugees, the underemployed and many others. Valley Action Abilities operates under the direction of a local board of volunteer directors. These volunteers represent all walks of life in the community, coming together as business owners, professionals, family members, retirees, and other interested community members to set policy and guide the direction of the organization.

Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder