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YL Capernaum Bowling Night May 25

Young Life Capernaum is hosting it’s first event in Lake County on Friday, May 25.  Abled and disabled youth are invited to bowl at the Brunswick Zone, 316 Center Drive in Vernon Hills at 6:30pm.

Young Life  Capernaum represents a growing movement among Christian churches to reach out to those with disabilities and promote peer friendship through club, camp, service and other activities.  There are several Young Life groups in Lake County, but this is the first Capaernaum group in the county.   TheNemoNews has reported on efforts to organize this new group.  There is already a group in Naperville.

The Young Life website describes the project as follows.

Young Life Capernaum gives young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the chance to experience fun and adventure, to develop fulfilling friendships and to challenge their limits while building self-esteem through club, camp and other exciting activities. Young Life staff and volunteers model Christ’s unconditional love and acceptance as they walk alongside these young adults — filling their lives with love and support.


For more information on this group or the bowling outing, contact Tasha Taylor at 847-735-9595 or Melisa Roberts at 847-504-7128,

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Valor Games Midwest Registration Begins

Registration for the Second Annual Valor Games Midwest began this week.  The games are for disabled veterans and wounded, ill and injured active duty service members.  The games will be held  August 13-15 at various Chicago venues including Soldier Field and US Cellular Field.  Events include shot put, discus, cycling, archery, power-lifting and indoor rowing.  Applications will be reviewed and participants will be notified of their acceptance for the competition by July 15.

Last year, many of the 100+ participants had little or no previous experience.  In addition, applicants may apply for a 4-day introductory sports camp before the games.  The camp is sponsored by   the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. All costs for Valor Games participants are covered, with the exception of transportation to and from Chicago. Those that participate in the camp will receive a travel stipend.

Organizers are seeking additional volunteers and sponsors.   Other events during the games will include a (Careerbuilder) job fair, veterans resource fair and more.  Current supporters include U.S. Paralympics, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Chicago Park District.

For more information contact:  Susan Katz, Director of Paralympic & Disability Sport, (312) 861-4848,



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Transportation “Listening Session” May 24

Community leTransporationaders hope to hear from citizens about the transportation needs of the disabled and elderly on Thursday, May 24th at 7pm.  This “Listening Session” will be held at Lake Forest High School.  It is one of a series of sessions conducted by the Lake County Center for Independent Living.  Findings from these sessions will be presented to PACE to help address county-wide needs.

This listening session will focus on the needs in the townships of Morraine, West Deerfield, Libertyville, Vernon Hills and Fremont.  A collaborative committee of supervisors and others is currently studying special needs for transportation in those townships.

For more information about the initiative or the meeting contact Laura Mellon, Lake County Center for Independent Living, at 847-949-4440 or

A similar initiative in 2010 was very successful.  It resulted in the “Lake County Northwest Demonstration Dial-a-Ride Project” which provides additional transportation services for a coalition of townships including Antioch, Avon, Grant, and Lake Villa.

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Young Life Capernaum Information Meeting Planned

Young Life Capernaum is a Christian ministry for teenagers and young adults with disabilities.  A group forming in Lake County will have an informational meeting on Sunday, April 22, from 3-4:30pm at Trinity International University in Deerfield.  The meeting will take place in the Waybright Center Conference Rooms.  Families, individuals, and potential volunteers are invited to attend. There are other Young Life groups in the Lake County area, but this is the first one aiming at the special needs community in Lake County.
From the email:
All of us desire friendship, adventure, purpose, and direction of life. Teens and young adults with disabilities are no different! Our goal for Capernaum in Lake County will be to provide teens and young adults with disabilities the chance to experience growing and fulfilling friendships, to engage in activities that challenge their physical limits, to grow their potential, to explore the relevance of faith in their lives, and to have fun!!
For more information contact Tasha Taylor at 847-735-9595.
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Woodstock Autism Fair-April 20

Woodstock Autism FairYou can expect to visit booths that offer resources and support to the Autism Community at the upcoming Autism Fair in Woodstock.  So far there are vendors representing doctors, therapists, chiropractors, support groups, service providers, and more. Information about supplements and social groups will be available.

The Autism Fair will take place in Woodstock on Friday, April 20, 2012.  The fair will be held from 5:30pm-7:30pm at:

Spectrum Support, LLC
1575 W. Lake Shore Drive
Woodstock, IL 60098

The fair is being hosted by School District 155, Options & Advocacy and Spectrum Support.  For more information contact Dorene Swanson at Options & Advocacy
At (815) 477-4720 ext. 249,

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Best Buddies Prom Draws Over 135

The 7th Annual Best Buddies Prom at Vernon Hills High School (VCHS) drew over 135 students from all over the Lake County Area.   VCHS Club members hosted “An Evening with the Stars” according to Karen Martin, school chapter sponsor.   In addition to food, dancing and games they rolled out a red carpet and took pictures of the gala attendees.

Adding to the fun, this year Best Buy donated the use of an XBox and games for the students to use.  Moreover, the Best Buy employee service group also helped conduct the event.

Best Buddies is a national organization that promotes friendship and inclusion between those with disabilities and those without.  Clubs exist at the middle school, high school and college levels.  There are several such clubs in the Lake County area according to Ms. Martin.

For more information contact Karen Martin at 847-932-2121.
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Polar Plunge raises $61K for Special Olympics

Volunteers raised over $61,ooo for Special Olympics on February 26, 2012.  The Plunge was held in Fox Lake and the fund will benefit athletes in Northeastern Illinois Area 13.  For more information and pictures read the Lake County Journal article here.

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