YMCA to Assist KARES

Tuesday afternoon the clients, parents, friends and staff at the RENEW KARES home gathered for a special announcement. Sheridan Media's Mary Jo Johnson has more.

Catherine Johnson has been the KARES Coordinator for the past ten years. She tells us about a change in partnership KARES is now entering.

Because of budget shortfalls, RENEW is no longer able to provide funding for KARES. Parents will be responsible for fundraising, and donations are very much welcome to help the program. Sheridan YMCA Director Jay McGinnis comments on the role the Y will now have in helping KARES to continue.

KARES provides child habilitation and respite services for special needs children from birth to age 21. Children are able to go to the home, located on RENEW's property, at any time, whether it be for afterschool programs or a place to hang out to give parents a break.

Just before the little announcement party, I had a chance to visit with my buddy Amber, one of the clients KARES has served.

Amber is 20, and attends Special Education classes at Sheridan High School. She'll be able to enjoy KARES services until she's 21. From there, her family will be able to choose from the several special needs agencies in Sheridan.

Johnson will continue her role as KARES Coordinator, and the organization will be run by a board comprised of parents, providers and a community advocate. As for KARES' new name, Johnson indicates that that will be the first item on the agenda for the board to determine.

To send a donation or for more information, contact:

KARES, c/o Jay McGinnis, Sheridan County YMCA, 417 N. Jefferson Street, Sheridan, WY 82801
or call (307) 674-7488

Pictures courtesy of Ace Young, RENEW. First shot is of YMCA Director Jay McGinnis, Catherine Johnson, KARES Coordinator, and Sandy Thiel, VP of RENEW. Second shot is of Stormie Vigil, thanking Thiel for the years RENEW assisted the KARES program.

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