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Faith Kaplan


Screening of film on November 8 co-produced by former Winnipegger Will Hechter will support GROW

By Faith Kaplan, October 27, 2010

Take me out to the ball game? OK – as long as it’s a movie. And a fundraiser. For a really good cause: building community.

Karyn Lazareck was determined that her son Jordan would have the same opportunities as his two older brothers. This wouldn’t have been unusual, except that Jordan had special needs which our community wasn’t easily able or ready to support. Karyn’s response to this was to change us into a more inclusive community where children like Jordan would be welcome and accepted and supported. This goal became her life’s work and Jordan had a bar mitzvah, went away to summer camp, finished high school, and attended post secondary studies in the United States. He continued to inspire his mother as she expanded her efforts beyond the Jewish community to create G.R.O.W. Gaining Resources Our Way, a life skills program for young adults with special needs. G.R.O.W.’s vision is for each individual with social and intellectual disabilities to feel a sense of belonging to his/her community through engagement in community life.

An intensive two week summer life skills program was created several years ago to prepare young adults with special needs for independent living. The program offers skill development, recreation and socialization in a supportive environment at a cottage in Gimli, Manitoba. The success of G.R.O.W. in Gimli led to the creation of an innovative transitional day program for young adults that focuses on preparing participants for independent living through life skills training, peer socialization, and engagement in community life. The program curriculum, developed in conjunction with the University of Manitoba’s Occupational Therapy Department, teaches life management skills, social skills development, health and healthy living, recreational skills development and skills that will enhance vocational opportunities. This non-denominational program is located at 93 Willow Avenue and is a program of the Rady Jewish Community Centre.

Initially, G.R.O.W. was funded through grants from The Winnipeg Foundation, The Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, Mel and Karyn Lazareck and The Jordan Lazareck Fund. While the Provincial Supported Living Program now also provides funding, this ambitious undertaking requires broader community support and awareness, so Karyn assembled a committee chaired by Susan Micflikier to produce the Winnipeg premiere of "Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story". This film is narrated by Dustin Hoffman and features a star studded cast including Sandy Koufax, "Hammerin' Hank" Greenberg, Larry King, Yogi Berra and Ron Howard. Directed and produced by the award winning filmmaker Peter Miller and co-produced by Winnipegger Will Hechter, this film will premiere on Monday, November 8th at 7:00 pm at the Park Theatre and Movie Cafe, 698 Osborne Street. Each ticket includes a Yankee Stadium ballpark gourmet dinner (hot dog, chips, beer, and pop). Door prizes and a silent auction will round out the evening’s fundraising. Tickets are limited and available through the Rady Centre.

See you during the seventh inning stretch!

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