CHAMPAIGN — An organization that provides financial help to improve the lives of adults with intellectual disabilities, or what used to be known as mental retardation, is seeking the local community's support.
Champaign Community Advocacy and Mentoring Resources will hold its annual fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m. July 13, a barbecue dinner with music entertainment and a silent auction, at Alto Vineyards in Champaign.
Tickets are $25, and because everything that comes with the ticket has been donated, the entire ticket proceeds will go to support the grants the organization makes directly to adults in the area with intellectual disabilities, said Adelle Renzaglia, vice president of the board.
The organization is run entirely by volunteers and is dependent 100 percent by donations, she said.
CCAMR formerly operated a group home but had to sell the home when the state became delinquent on payments, Renzaglia said.
The organization now focuses on making small grants of $100 to $2,000 to people with intellectual disabilities to help them pay for things they need to live more independently or enrich their lives, she said.
"It's little grants like these that aren't a huge amount of money, but that improve the lives of folks," says Stacy Dymond, a fellow board member.
Dymond and Renzaglia say they don't know how many people in the local community may need this help.
"There are probably hundreds of people in Champaign County who have intellectual disabilities, and they can apply for our personalized grants," Renzaglia said. "As the word is getting out, we get more and more applicants."
People applying for the grants are largely underemployed, she said, "and the supports that they get are minimal, so we have people who can't buy food who have applied to us."
The organization has also helped local disabled adults with such needs as dental work and making rooms in their homes accessible.
The fundraiser will feature music by Candy Foster and Shades of Blue, and the barbecue dinner will include desserts.
Ticket holders will get a commemorative wine glass, and if they want to fill it, there's a cash bar.
The silent auction will include jewelry, works of art, signed Illini sports items and packages and gift cards from local businesses.
Tickets are available at Alto Vineyards, 4210 N. Duncan Road, C, and will be available at the door. For a link to more information, see http://www.ccamr.wordpress.com .