TERRE HAUTE —
“Toe out. Heel down. Point toes. Come together.”
Six youngsters took those instructions during ballet class at the Vigo County YMCA on Tuesday as a group from the United Way of the Wabash Valley toured the Y’s summer camp program.
Children in another classroom looked up briefly from their journaling efforts as youth program director Nicole Fry explained some of the aspects of the camp program to the United Way board members, donors and campaign cabinet members taking the annual agency tour.
Today, more than 300 community volunteers will be helping more than two dozen United Way agencies with projects ranging from painting to cleaning to installing fencing to landscaping and other labor-intensive efforts during Day of Action 2012.
The tours of the Vigo County YMCA, Happiness Bag and Catholic Charities of Terre Haute on Thursday gave United Way board members and sponsors a close-up look at the agencies that benefit from United Way funding.
“We really appreciate your support,” said the YMCA’s Fry. “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for your support.”
At Happiness Bag, Director Jodi Moan agreed that United Way funding makes a difference for the agency, which provides recreational and learning programs for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities.
Happiness Bag has operated on a shoestring budget for many years, Moan said, but because of the agency’s success, the program has outgrown its current facility of 16 years.
Happiness Bag participants learn daily living skills, self-help and how to stay save in their home and the community.
“It’s not a typical daycare service,” Moan said.
Most recently, Happiness Bag had 90 athletes competing in the Special Olympics. One participant — an 83-year-old man participants won a gold medal in bocce.
All of the athletes go through eight weeks of training before competing in bowling, bocce, swimming, and track and field.
Moan said the program is now looking for volunteers to play in a softball league through July with challenger teams. A unified volleyball league runs through September. In the fall, athletes compete in swimming and bowling. Basketball season runs from December to March.
Anyone interested in supporting the United Way of the Wabash Valley can go online to www.uwwv.org.
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at (812) 231-4254 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.
TERRE HAUTE —
“Toe out. Heel down. Point toes. Come together.”
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