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June 4th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 22
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Community Support Society holds 50th anniversary
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Ezra Black Photo
On May 28, these workers were producing blasting stakes at the Community Support Society’s woodworking shop in Coleman. Much of the equipment was donated by community philanthropic organizations.
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
Mike Ritrovato, 59, says he’s proud to have been a part of the Crowsnest Community Support Society.
“I couldn’t work out in the community because of my health,” says Ritrovato. “I’m retired now but I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.”
On May 28, the Crowsnest Community Support Society celebrated 50 years of serving the community’s special needs people at Mountain View Industries in Coleman.
“It’s been one of the best things I’ve ever gotten involved in,” says Cliff Reiling, volunteer and spokesperson for the Society. “You can actually make a difference. I can’t believe the success this organization has had since it started.”
Reiling says that the community offered very little opportunities to special needs people before the Society was founded. He says they would often face lives of isolation.
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“They had to stay home with mum and dad and nobody would know they existed. That was the way it was in those days,” says Reiling.
After the Society was founded things slowly improved. Reiling remembers when the only job for members was the fabrication of plastic flowers for funeral processions.
Today special needs people in the community can work at the Bagatelle Thrift Store, which was opened in Coleman in 1984 or at a woodworking shop, that produces usable products for different companies.
The society employs about 40 staff and serves 22 special needs adults in the community. It runs residential homes with overnight staff, supports people living independently with basic assistance and connects their clients with employers.
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June 4th ~ Vol. 84 No. 22
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