Auxiliary Board and Advisory Council Build Friendships

This week, Center for Independent Futures’ Auxiliary Board and Advisory Council held a joint meeting to get to know each other better and build friendships. The Auxiliary Board, made up of young professionals with and without disabilities, plans fundraisers and events like SPARK. Participants join the Advisory Council to help with events and plan their own fundraisers, like the upcoming Backyard BBQ.

Members of the Auxiliary Board & Advisory Council pose after playing charades to build friendships and community
Members of the Auxiliary Board & Advisory Council pose after playing charades

o start a great night, the groups introduced themselves and what brings them to Center for Independent Futures. Over the last few months, several new members have joined the Auxiliary Board. This meeting offered the opportunity to get to know the Center for Independent Futures community better in a fun and exciting way.

Build Friendships With a Game

At this meeting, the two groups decided they would play charades as a fun community building activity. Anu Rajendran, Auxiliary Board chair, chose a game, and the group divided into two teams, mixing the groups together. The group shared lots of laughter and joy through this game. But this carefree fun wasn’t the only way these groups celebrated.

Niki Moe, the liaison between the two groups, picked up a couple of extra-large pizzas from Gigio’s Pizzeria. The board and council greatly appreciated the pizzas, and purchasing the pizzas supports Center for Independent Futures too. Throughout the month of June, you can contribute to building independent futures too. Just order any kind of extra large pizza from Gigio’s, either by walking in or over the phone, and Gigio’s will donate $2.00 to Center for Independent Futures.

Growing Friendships to Build Community

After playing charades and enjoying pizza together, the Auxiliary Board and Advisory Council members went their separate ways – but that won’t be the end of these relationships. As we move forward, the two groups look forward to building deeper friendships. With plans to have more joint meetings, expect friendships to grow and communities to expand.

California, Here We Come!

Logo for Club 21 in red with blue and green people illustrations to the left.With the bitterly cold weather hovering over the Chicago Area, three of the Center for Independent Futures staff will cheerfully head off to sunny California to present at the Annual “Tools for the Journey” Conference sponsored by Club 21 Learning and Resource Center. Club 21’s mission is to provide the educational tools and resources that enable individuals with Down syndrome to be fully included. Founded in 2009, the organization offers a variety of services for individuals and their families designed to support, educate, advocate and celebrate.

Meeting with Club 21

In April 2017, a phone call from Nancy Litteken, Club 21’s Executive Photo of Club 21 ED Nancy LittekenDirector, began our relationship with this eight-year-old California non-profit. We discovered very quickly that our values are the same, and that this organization has made incredible strides to support individuals and families in their area. As our conversations continued, Nancy and her team immediately saw the value of our Full Life Process™, and they are piloting the online application in California.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to bring our work to the west coast,” remarks Ann Sickon. “Nancy and her team are creative and innovative, and we anticipate a long relationship that will benefit both of our organizations.” Presentations at the “Tools for the Journey” Conference will focus on Center for Independent Futures’ Full Life Process™ online application, the Bridge Builders & Community Connectors Project to foster Community Inclusion, and our New Futures Initiative Training to create community-based housing solutions.

For more Conference information and registration, visit Club 21’s website.

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