Oshawa – On Wednesday, Community Living Oshawa/Clarington (CLOC) kicked off its 65th Anniversary year by holding a Pub Night at Kedron Dells Golf Club. In the room to celebrate were people who receive services from the organization, along with families, MPPs, dignitaries, Board members and community partners.
Established in 1953 by a small group of parents who were concerned about the lack of services within the community for their developmentally disabled children, CLOC’s origins can be found in meetings held around kitchen tables in personal family homes. These meetings soon shifted to a more formal setting at a UAW hall, all in the name of raising enough money to create a school, work opportunities and residences for people with developmental disabilities.
When it began, CLOC (then known as ODAMR) provided educational opportunities to just 20 people, and funded the school by collecting change on street corners and providing catering services, which often kept the mothers of these families up working until 3am. Fast forward 65 years and CLOC provides services to more than 450 people, has a work force of more than 350, and provides support through residential services, employment training, supported independent living, an advocacy group, daily activities and respite for children within Durham Region. Funding of more that 18 million dollars annually is provided by the Ministry, and CLOC has its own growing fundraising initiative.
Darlene, who has used services for more than 40 years, attests to the impact that CLOC has had on her life, “I joined POWER (CLOC’s self-advocate group) almost 3 years ago and it has really helped me out with my self confidence and standing up for my rights and the rights of other people. I used to be afraid to speak out, but I am now able to share my ideas, learn new things, and give presentations about being a person who has a developmental disability”.
Many events will take place throughout the year in order to commemorate the organization’s 65th Anniversary, including ‘CLOC Through the Decades Cocktail Celebration’ on May 10th at Kedron Dells Golf Club; an exciting evening of history, great food and music, and a large silent auction. Tickets for the event will be $65 and go on sale soon.