General News

CLASS celebrates 60th anniversary with $100,000 donation

October 13, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The Community Living Association for South Simcoe (CLASS) is celebrating 60 years as an organization that supports people with developmental disabilities.

CLASS held an anniversary celebration at the Gibson Centre in Alliston on Thursday, Sept. 29, with several hundred people from CLASS and members of the public attending.

The event featured food, an art show from CLASS members, speeches, and a monetary donation, followed by a dance in the Honda Performance Centre with a professional DJ.

“This is the 60th anniversary of CLASS and we are coming together as a community event, and to give back to the community as well,” explained Barbara Barta, marketing and communications manager at Class. “We have food and fun stuff going on including an art show that is put on by people who are supported. Tonight, we are receiving a very generous donation from Alan and Brenda Lundy in memory of Alan’s brother. Some of that money will be earmarked to help people who can’t afford our summer camps – they can apply for funding. There will be the purchase of items for our group homes, and obviously some of it will be invested so we can grow it, and provide support. CLASS provides developmental disability supports for people. We have group homes all throughout South Simcoe including Alliston, Beeton, Tottenham, Innisfil and Bradford. We have 18 group homes and community-based programs in Alliston and Bradford, and that’s where we have people from the community come out for the day. We take them out into the community and they integrate, and we help with some transportation and job coaching. We do a lot.”

The highlight of the night was a $100,000 donation from local residents Alan and Brenda Lundy.

Mr. Lundy’s late brother Neil, was a member of CLASS at one time. He appreciates what they did for his brother and other residents and is hoping to inspire others to give as well.

“It’s amazing how far this organization has changed and the number of lives it has touched,” Mr. Lundy said. “Like many of us here, our lives have been touched by a family member involved in the CLASS programs. Later, when Neil grew up, he attended a group home in Barrie, and this became an extended family. He enjoyed the friendship of other residents and all the true caring of all those who worked there. He loved spending a day at summer camp in Springwater Park. He enjoyed going to workshops and accomplishing the tasks he could, giving him the self-worth that we all need.”

Brenda Lundy said Neil’s life helped her to put life in a proper perspective and made her realize what really counts.

“It can be a very difficult walk through life with a person facing a lot of challenges,” Ms. Lundy said. “Together through laughter and tears, we can achieve many things. Neil was blessed with a great network of support from family, volunteers, and of course CLASS. This why we feel so happy to meet here to celebrate 60 years with all its unsung heroes, that keep this wonderful organization moving forward in such positive ways.”

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