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SAC Developmental Disabilities Fund makes a powerful impact

The SAC Developmental Disabilities Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region annually supports community organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people with developmental disabilities through education, independence, and social opportunities.

Photo courtesy of MyTeam Triumph

The fund provided $24,500 in grants to 14 nonprofit organizations to support inclusive and accessible programs from equine therapy to installing inclusive playground equipment.

The fund traces its roots to the Sheltered Activity Center (SAC), which was formed by concerned citizens and parents of children with developmental disabilities in 1964 and operated until 1989. Larry Abler and John Cumicek founded the SAC Developmental Disabilities Fund in 1990 to continue the center’s mission. The fund has awarded more than $700,000 in grants to community organizations since it was launched.

The SAC Developmental Disabilities Fund provides annual support of $5,000 each to SOAR Fox Cities and Special Olympics Wisconsin-Fox Cities. Other grants awarded in 2023 include:

  • The Building for Kids: $2,000 to upgrade its Space Station, a room designed for kids and adults who might need some space during their museum visit.
  • myTEAM TRIUMPH: $2,000 for its Fox Valley Adaptive Athlete Program, which pairs individuals with diverse abilities with athletes to participate in endurance events.
  • VPI: $1,500 to start a fundraising store to raise money for its community programs. The store also serves as an apparel employment training opportunity for VPI clients.
  • Brillion Optimist Club: $1,000 to install accessible equipment at Horn Park playground, including a zip line, accessible pieces, and musical equipment.
  • Community Alternatives, Inc.: $1,000 for its member social event.
  • Exceptional Equestrians program

    Exceptional Equestrians: $1,000 for hippotherapy and equine-experimental services for individuals and their families living with physical or cognitive disabilities.

  • Lakeside Packaging Plus: $1,000 for the Inclusive Artistry Program, which provides individuals with disabilities access to meaningful art education and opportunities for artistic expression by offering art classes and open studio hours.
  • New Hope Center, Inc.: $1,000 to improve offerings at its day services program.
  • Reflections of Grace Performing Arts School (pictured at top): $1,000 to expand the Dance 4 All program into the Fox Cities, which incorporates inclusive, adaptive, and integrated dance classes for children, adults and seniors with disabilities.
  • Trout Museum of Art: $1,000 for Project Purpose, a collaborative mural experience led by the museum in partnership with the Appleton Area School District Special Education Autism and Intellectual Disability departments to empower students to express themselves and emphasize their abilities and talents through art.
  • WisconSibs: $1,000 to support WisconSibs Sibsack, curated kits that contain helpful, engaging items designed to assist families in learning more about disabilities for children aged 3-5.
  • YMCA of The Fox Cities: $1,000 to improve assistive, gross motor and sensory equipment at Camp Hope and Camp Inspiration.

What does a Community Foundation do? Glad you asked! Learn more here.

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