Sensory-Friendly Spring Fling

Following the success of our Sensory-Friendly Halloween Party in October, we have decided to host another free community event for families of children with autism in the Blackstone Valley area.

We will be hosting our first Sensory-Friendly Spring Fling on Thursday, April 19th from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm at our Community Day Program and 670 Douglas Street in Uxbridge.  Join us for fun spring-themed sensory activities, gardening projects, adaptive yoga designed especially for kids, musical entertainment featuring drum circles, and more!

Entertainment and drum circles will be provided by Mike Leo Drum Circles and Rhythm-Based Entertainment.  Mike is a great performer with many years of experience working with individuals with disabilities.  He gets everyone involved in making music however they feel comfortable!  He has tons of different percussion instruments available for kids to experiment with.

Adaptive yoga sessions will be held at 4:30, 5:00, and 5:30 with Lisa Irvine, an occupational therapist and certified yoga instructor.  Lisa is also certified through our partnership with Shri Yoga, which provides training to lead evidence-based adaptive classes for many different populations, including children, individuals with developmental disabilities, and individuals with autism and other sensory disorders.

Other activities will be facilitated by Venture’s own experienced clinicians and trained staff members, such as sensory exploration, gardening projects, crafts, and make-your-own snacks.  Kids will also have access to our two state-of-the-art sensory rooms for quiet space if needed.

We hope you’ll be able to join us!  Click here for more information about our Sensory-Friendly Spring Fling.  Please RSVP to Paige Mador at 774-922-1135 or pmador@venturecs.org with the number of children and adults attending.

Wine & Beer Festival Next Week – Order Your Tickets Now!

Don’t forget to order your tickets for the upcoming 13th Annual Wine & Beer Festival.  Join us on Thursday, November 2nd at 5:30 pm at Old Sturbridge Village’s Oliver Wight Tavern to sip, sample and support!  We are grateful to be working with our generous sponsor, Ted’s Package Store of Charlton, once again this year.  Many thanks for their support over the years!

This year’s event will include beer tastings from local breweries Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers in Framingham, Down the Road Beer Company in Everett, Greater Good Imperial Brewing in Williamsburg, Wormtown Brewery in Worcester, and Grey Sail Brewing of Rhode Island in Westerly.  We are also glad to be welcoming back local vineyard Hardwick Winery.  Other featured beverages include Sazerac bourbon, Gallo sweet wines, Josh Cabernet Sauvignon, Old New England Egg Nog, Beso del Sol Sangria, Luc Belaire Rosé, The Prisoner Red Blend, and Saldo Zinfandel.

We are also excited to welcome 19 Crimes, who will be hosting a photo booth with your customized photo printed on a bottle of wine for the first 100 guests.  19 Crimes has been named the 2017 Wine Brand of the Year – click here to check out a video about their interesting history.

Guests will also enjoy snacks from Old Sturbridge Village – including the famous mashed potato bar – and games to win prizes.  This year’s raffle will be an awesome wagon fully equipped to stock your home bar, complete with beer, wine, liquor and mixers.  We hope you can join us!  Click here to buy your tickets in advance.

Many thanks to the distributors attending our event – Martignetti Company, Constellation Brands, Commonwealth Wine & Spirits, Atlas Distributing, Horizon Beverage, M.S. Walker, and Ruby Wines; as well as our generous sponsors:  Starkweather & Shepley, TD Bank, Cornerstone Bank, MDG Employee Benefit Solutions, WB Mason, Bank Hometown, Blum Shapiro, C.K. Smith & Company, Country Bank, Group 7 Design, and OFS Optics.

Sensory-Friendly Halloween

For many children, Halloween is an exciting time of year.  Choosing a costume, trick or treating, parties with friends, celebrations at school, and other autumn activities can be a lot of fun.  But for children with autism or other sensory processing concerns, it can be stressful.  Here are some helpful tips to make Halloween fun for everyone:

  1. Prepare your child by talking with them about what to expect when trick-or-treating. Show them a movie or read them a book where other children are trick-or-treating.  You might even try using different rooms in your house to practice knocking on the door and saying “trick or treat”.  You could also do a practice run at the home of a family member or friend.
  2. Lots of children with sensory concerns are very sensitive to different clothing items. Halloween costumes can be itchy, tight, awkward, or otherwise just plain uncomfortable!  Have your child try on their costume and spend a couple hours wearing it around the house so they can get used to it.  This will allow you time to make adjustments if necessary, like cutting off tags or layering over a more comfortable shirt.  Click here for more about sensory-friendly costumes and be sure to check out Pinterest for lots of great ideas.
  3. Help your child identify which candies they like, and let them know about some types that can turn your mouth a different color, get stuck in your teeth, or be very sour.
  4. Pumpkin carving is a great Halloween tradition. For many kids, the sensory experience of playing with “pumpkin guts” can be really fun!  However, others might not enjoy that sensation.  There are other ways to incorporate jack-o-lanterns besides carving – kids can decorate pumpkins with paint or stickers instead.  Click here for some great ideas that don’t include carving.
  5. If your child is going trick-or-treating and has trouble communicating, you can make a card that says something like, “Hello, my name is ______ and I have autism. I might have trouble saying ‘trick or treat’ or ‘Happy Halloween’ but I am trying my best.  Thank you!”  Your child could hand it to the person answering the door or you could attach it to their treat bucket.  Click here for a printable card or create a customized one.
  6. Don’t feel pressured to participate in trick-or-treating (or any other activities for that matter) if they don’t work for your child. It’s not for everyone, and that’s okay.  You might have just as much fun staying in for movie night!

Venture will also be hosting its first Sensory-Friendly Not-So-Spooky Halloween Event on Thursday, October 26th from 4 – 6 pm at our Community Day Services Program, 670 Douglas Street, Uxbridge, Mass.  The event is free and focused for children 12 and under with autism and other sensory concerns.  Event volunteers will include clinicians and direct care staff with experience working with people with special needs.  Activities will include practice trick or treating, scavenger hunt for prizes, activities, games, crafts, snacks, and access to our sensory room for a quiet space if needed.  Please RSVP with number of people attending to pmador@venturecs.org.

20th Annual Charity Golf Classic

Venture is looking forward to the summer with the 20th Annual Charity Golf Classic! Over the years, we have received an outpouring of community support at this event, and this year we are even more excited that the location of our golf tournament is right down the street from our brand-new day services program in Uxbridge.

If you’ve already registered – THANK YOU! We also still have plenty of registration spaces available to golfers who are interested in joining us.  Enjoy 18 holes of golf at the beautiful Blissful Meadows Golf Club in Uxbridge, including golf cart, golfer gift, continental breakfast, boxed lunch and dinner.  There are plenty of chances to win prizes, with fun games and contests on eleven holes.

After a great day out on the course, golfers will enjoy an Italian buffet dinner in the club’s new pavilion, complete with lawn games, cash bar and silent auction that will include summer trips and family outings, gift certificates, creative gift baskets, and more.

We’d also like to recognize our many generous sponsors for this event: Starkweather & Shepley, Fallon Health, MDG Employee Benefit Solutions, Southbridge Savings Bank, C.K. Smith & Company, Country Bank, Group 7 Design, OFS Optics, Arland Tool & Manufacturing, Bank Hometown, Dave’s Pest Control, Guaranty Glass & Mirror, Howe Lumber, JD LeBlanc Electric, Load Controls, Osterman Propane, Quality Van Sales, Savers Bank, Southbridge Credit Union, Al Brousseau Flooring, Cormier Jewelers, Cosgrove & Blatt, Gaudet Landscaping, Guardian Life Insurance, Stephenson & Brook, TMG Carpentry, All Star Incentive Marketing, and ACT Leasing. Thank you for your support!

Sponsorship opportunities are still available with great benefits for you and your business.

We hope you’ll consider joining us on Friday, June 16th at Blissful Meadows Golf Club for a great outing to support programs for people with disabilities, including adaptive equipment and assistive technology.  For more information, contact Paige Mador at 774-922-1135 or pmador@venturecs.org.

Register online today!

Thank You, Golfers!

We would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who attended and supported our 19th Annual Charity Golf Classic on Friday, June 17th. We were lucky to have wonderful weather at the beautiful Blissful Meadows Golf Club and great company from our many supporters and community partners! All of the proceeds from our fundraising events are used to directly benefit programs and services at Venture.

Congratulations to our first place winners, TJ Breau, John Mariano, and Dave Smith from the Lightning Strikes Pest Control team. Coming in second were our friends from WB Mason, Tm Dutille, Ryan Matson, Nik Lavoie, and Brendan Gregory. Contest winners for Closest to the Pin were Sean Cottrell, TJ Breau, Tim Olson, and Jim Foskett. The two golfers who swung the Longest Drive were Kerrie Mason and Tim Dutille. Congratulations to everyone!

Thank you to all the golfers, sponsors, and volunteers who made this a great day of golf, awareness, and fundraising for an important cause – especially our sponsors, Insurance Professionals of New England, Fallon Health, TD Bank, Forensic Risk Alliance, MDG Associates, Southbridge Savings Bank, and Jim Carafotes from Dunkin Donuts of Sturbridge and Southbridge.

Don’t forget to check out our Flickr page for photos of the event!

19th Annual Charity Golf Classic

Venture is excited to start the summer with the 19th Annual Charity Golf Classic! Over the years, we have received an outpouring of community support at this event, and this year we are even more excited that the location of our golf tournament is right down the street from our new facility in Uxbridge. We are looking forward to having an even greater presence in this community and this event is another great way to become familiar with our new neighbors.

If you’ve already registered – THANK YOU! We also still have plenty of registration spaces available to golfers who are interested in joining us!  Enjoy 18 holes of golf at the beautiful Blissful Meadows Golf Club in Uxbridge, including golf cart, golfer gift, continental breakfast, boxed lunch and dinner.  Prizes for contests include $10,000 cash, a brand-new Ford Mustang, golf vacation for two, golf clubs and pro shop gift certificates. There are plenty of chances to win prizes, with fun games and contests on ten holes!

After a great day out on the course, golfers will enjoy an Italian buffet dinner in the club’s brand new pavilion, complete with lawn games, cash bar and silent auction that will include summer trips and family outings, gift certificates, creative gift baskets, and more.

We’d also like to recognize our many generous sponsors for this event: Insurance Professionals of New England, Fallon Health, Forensic Risk Alliance, MDG Associates, Southbridge Savings Bank, TD Bank, James Carafotes, Agawam Medical Supply, Blum Shapiro, OFS Optics, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, R.C. Shaw Sprinkler Company, WB Mason, CK Smith Superior, Country Bank, Hometown Bank, Load Controls, Osterman Propane, ACT Leasing, Quality Van Sales, Savers Bank, and Southbridge Credit Union. Thank you for supporting our mission!

We hope you’ll consider joining us on Friday, June 17th at Blissful Meadows Golf Club for a great outing to support our programs for people with disabilities.  For more information, contact Paige Mador at 774-922-1135 or pmador@venturecs.org.  Or, register online today!

Advancing Autism Services

Venture was proud join Bridgewell as a sponsor of their annual autism conference in Framingham yesterday.  The focus of this year’s event, Conquering the Cliff: Autism’s Journey into Adulthood, provided a great opportunity for us to prepare for our new autism outreach center in Uxbridge.  At Venture, we believe it is our responsibility to address the needs of the disability community in a meaningful way and this conference provided a helpful step in our process of building innovative programs and services for children with autism and their families.  We were able to talk to parents who are working to prepare their children for a bright future.  Many wonder how their kids will receive job training, or where they might live.  Many parents worry about who will advocate for their adult children when they are no longer able to do so.  Some are concerned about the lack of social and recreational opportunities in a safe and understanding environment.  The keynote speaker, Susan Senator, touched on some of these subjects.  She has three sons, the oldest of whom has autism.  She is an author, blogger, and frequent guest speaker on autism parenthood.  Visit her web site for articles, resources, blog, and more.

Our visit to the conference has further inspired us to reach out the autism community all around us.  Please check back soon for news about our upcoming open house and forum, when we hope to hear from families of children and young adults with autism in the Blackstone Valley region and in Worcester County.  Our center will offer in-home Applied Behavior Analysis, center-based social skills programs, family outreach, pre-vocational training and more.  We want to provide the best possible support – which means we want to hear from you!  For more information, please contact Kevin Hughes, Vice President of Day Services, at khughes@venturecs.org.  Also, don’t forget to check out our Pinterest board with lots of useful autism information and resources.

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Thank you for supporting our Wine, Beer & Food Festival

On behalf of everyone at Venture Community Services, I’d like to thank you for contributing to the overwhelming success of our 11th Annual Wine, Beer, and Food Festival. We are so grateful for the support of the many generous members of our community.

The support you provide for our fundraising events allows us to enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities and other challenges in our community.  With many new projects on the way, your generosity helps us to expand our services.  During the upcoming year, we will be opening two new group homes for adults who are transitioning into more independent living for the first time.  We have also begun working with another agency to offer children’s service for the first time and we are exploring new business development in day habilitation.

Again, thank you for your generous contribution.  We recognize that the work we do would not be possible without considerable support from local businesses and individuals.  We appreciate your dedication to assisting people with disabilities live independent, fulfilling lives.

We hope you will join us again next year!

Paige Mador

Director of Development

 

Event Sponsors:  Ted’s Package Store, Southbridge Savings Bank, TD Bank, Forensic Risk Alliance,  Interior Resources, Wayside Youth & Family Support Network & Ogletree & Deakins.

 

VIEW THE EVENT PHOTOS

IMG_68186156   terek horizon

IMG_68366156  osv chefs (1024x683)

 

11th Annual Wine, Beer, and Food Festival

We are excited to be bringing back Venture’s Annual Wine, Beer, and Food Festival for its 11th year on Thursday, September 17th at Old Sturbridge Village’s Oliver Wight Tavern.  Tickets are only $40 and are available either online or at the door.  We hope you’ll consider joining us for this fun night out!  Co-hosted by Ted’s of Charlton, you’ll enjoy an assortment of wine, beer, vodka, and cider from Hardwick Vineyard & Winery, Global Wines Importing, Devotion Vodka, Horizon Beverages Fine Wines, Deep Eddy Vodka, Wormtown Brewery and, Shipyard Brewery.

You’ll sample delicious, homemade fare from your favorite local restaurants, including The Publick House Historic Inn, Sturbridge Cheese & Chocolate, Oliver Wight Tavern, Paoletti’s of Charlton, and more!

We would also like to take a moment to thank our generous sponsors: Forensic Risk Alliance, Southbridge Savings Bank, TD Bank, Interior Resources, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, Savers Bank, and TMG Carpentry.

Enjoy great drinks, delicious food, games, prizes, silent auction, and live music – all while supporting a great cause.  To contribute to this event with a sponsorship or auction item, please contact Paige Billings at pbillings@venturecs.org or (774) 922-1135.