Valley Action Abilities received funding from the Rosthern location from the Saskatoon Co-op Fuel Good Days fundraiser. After counting all the numbers, Valley Action received $2,097.12. Valley Action Ability CEO Cameron Nicolle told this reporter that the funds will be used along with money raised during their fall fundraiser to pay for a new Handi-van. The van has already been ordered and will be added to the existing fleet of vehicles that Valley Action already has. Until recently they had been able to use the hand van owned by the City of Rosthern, but having a new hand van to use instead of having to rely on their old one will allow more flexibility for the programs that VAA run. .
This year’s fall fundraiser featured a Filipino meal and desserts along with a silent auction, live cake auction, 50/50 raffle and a wine basket raffle hosted by the Board of Directors. Each of the cakes for the cake auction was created by a different branch of the agency having a fun competition against each other. The fall banquet, which has had a variety of different themes over the years, has been around for a long time, but this is the first since 2019 and approximately 220 people turned out to support the return of fundraising. The day program provided the main meal while the foster homes and day care centers provided the desserts. The cost of the meal was ‘per donation’ and after deducting expenses, the final total raised was just over $11,000.
Nicolle said there are two important facets to the fall banquet: first, fundraising, of course, but second, it’s an opportunity to educate the community. Valley Action has their collective fingers in a lot of pies and the fall banquet is a chance for the community to be aware of all they do. The banquet is also an opportunity to bring all your different agencies together in one event. VAA employs approximately 90 employees who most of the time don’t cross paths. Valley Action operates three group homes in the Rosthern community, providing homes for fifteen people. Residents of these houses have access to and fully participate in any part of city life, including seasonal celebrations, coffee nights out, and local hockey games, to name just a few. In addition, Valley Action operates a day program serving 40 people from the surrounding area, including Wakaw, Hague and Duck Lake. As an integral part of the community, Valley Action works closely with a wide range of community partners, such as churches, organizations and individuals, to develop and maintain meaningful and productive relationships for all involved. As part of their commitment to the community, they also operate a coin-operated laundromat in Rosthern, a SARCAN recycling depot, and two day care centers, one in Rosthern and one in nearby Duck Lake. Rosthern Learning Tree Childcare provides licensed care for 30 children aged 6 weeks to 6 years and is attached to Rosthern Community School. Little Ducklings Childcare is attached to the rear of Stobart Community School in Duck Lake and has spaces for 51 children ages 6 weeks to 6 years and also offers a program for teen parents.
Valley Action Ability was formed in 1972 when a group of parents interested in providing residential, social and vocational options for their children with intellectual disabilities came together in their own communities. Based in Rosthern, it has grown over the years to expand its services to help people with mental health problems, refugees, the underemployed and many others. Valley Action Abilities operates under the direction of a local volunteer board of directors. These volunteers represent all walks of life in the community, coming together as business owners, professionals, family members, retirees, and other interested community members to set policy and guide the direction of the organization.
Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Wakaw Recorder