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STRIDE wild game dinner is Saturday

For more than a decade, the community has gathered to share in a dinner with proceeds benefiting a program to help provide services to individuals with disabilities.

The tradition continues this year, with the STRIDE Wild Game dinner and auction set for Saturday at Stock Farm, located at 2490 VanMeter Road. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased at the gate. All proceeds benefit STRIDE (Supporting Therapeutic Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities Everyday).

A buffet-style dinner, provided by Craig deVilliers from Graze Market and Cafe, will be at 7 p.m. with a live auction to follow. There will also be a silent auction throughout the night. The Big River Band will also perform.

According to STRIDE fundraising chair Lauren Frazer, there will be more than 100 items to bid on in the two auctions Saturday. Including a Whitetail Heaven Florida Osceola turkey hunt for two, guest inquisitor on “Hey, Kentucky” TV show, a Heart of Texas bowhunting trip, various UK memorabilia, Bengals football tickets, vacation packages to Destin, Florida, and St. Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, and a Big Green Egg grill, among many others.

Some big ticket items will be announced this week on the event’s Facebook page at facebook.com/strideauction.

Frazer said STRIDE has hosted a summer dinner fundraiser for 12 years, but a few years ago decided to switch it to a wild game dinner.

“We felt like it was time to revamp things and try to pull in a difference audience,” she said. “Me being kind of outdoorsy myself and enjoying hunting, I thought a wild game dinner would be an interesting concept for Clark County.”

Frazer said adding the wild game theme has allowed STRIDE to offer an experience different than many other fundraising dinners.

“With things like hunting packages, kayaks and other outdoors equipment, it’s something different than you see at a lot of area auctions,” she said. “You see a lot of the same things at auctions, but for us, we wanted to reach a broader audience and gear it towards our community and some of their interests.”

Frazer said some STRIDE participants will also be at the dinner so supporters can learn first-hand the impact the program has in the community.

STRIDE initially started as a day therapy program for adults with disabilities but has grown to offer services for children and teens, too.

“We have grown from adults to add our Polly Wogs program,” Frazer said. “We also have a summer camp for children in school and high school. It’s grown so much in even just the past five years. We even have people coming from other counties to participate because there’s nothing else like it in their communities.”

According to the STRIDE website, the program offers therapeutic recreation programs to teach life skills and daily living skills while offering social opportunities and more to improve quality of life for individuals with disabilities. The program began in 2000.

“Therapeutic recreation has been used as a way to offer more experiences to individuals with disabilities, those with mental illness, and several other situations,” according to the STRIDE website. “It is based on providing an outlet that the participants enjoy and therefore more open to change and development through their participation. This process is at the core of the STRIDE Program.”

Frazer said through the program, participants can learn anything from cooking to handling money, how to do laundry and other household tasks.

“We also offer respite for the families,” she said, “which is huge. When you have a child with a disability, it is a different reality. There’s a new approach with the understanding you will be a caretaker for the rest of your life.

“To offer programs that allow parents to just go shopping alone or go on a date night is something that is also very special about the program.”

Through the Michelle P. Waiver program. STRIDE can also allow individuals to set goals and work one-on-one with a STRIDE employee to reach those goals.

“Those goals might be getting a job or improving their physical fitness,” Frazer said. “It might be learning things like safety. Each one has a unique goal and the program really allows them to thrive within our community.”

For more information about STRIDE or the dinner, visit strideky.org.

About Whitney Leggett

Whitney Leggett is managing editor of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. To contact her, email whitney.leggett@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0049.

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