- by Andy Rausch and Joe Reinecker
This year, like always, Southeast Kansas Independent Living will be having an annual meeting and Christmas dinner. This year the event will be held on Friday, December 6th at the Parsons VFW 704 (105 Main St.). It will begin at 5:30 pm and last until 11:00 pm. According to SKIL CEO/President Shari Coatney, this year's keynote speaker will be a representative from the Disability Rights Center who will be discussing the importance of disability voting in the 2020 election.
“Next year's election is an important one, so we're going to end this year getting revved up for that,” explained Coatney.
There will also be a 50/50 drawing. “That's fun and exciting, and it's also a way for us to help pay for the dinner. And somebody will get to go home with some extra cash in their pocket.” There will also be door prizes awarded. Also, SKIL will be doing a food drive and attendees are encouraged to bring canned foods.
As usual, there will also be an awards ceremony for deserving individuals. “We have a wonderful group of people accepting awards this year, and that's exciting,” said Coatney. “The board members had so many worthy nominations for people to be recognized this year, and that's a really cool thing.”
Coatney says the primary goal for the dinner is to provide people who don't get out of their homes very often to have a place to go and have fun during the holidays. “It offers the opportunity for socialization to people who don't normally get that,” said Coatney. “A lot of people with disabilities don't have many opportunities to let their hair down and have fun and be accepted for who they are and whatever their abilities and limitations are. They can dance and not feel uncomfortable dancing in a wheelchair.”
This year's caterer will again be Mom's Best, but the selection will be different. In the past few years, they have served roast beef. This year, however, there will be chicken and noodles. “We've had them cater the past few years and it always works out smoothly,” said Coatney. “The food is good and they take care of everything, such as serving food and cleaning up afterward.”
The event is open to SKIL customers, employees, and the general public. Come out and join us!