Hundreds of walkers, runners, strollers and rollers will take to the sidewalks of Orlando’s beautiful Harbor Park on Oct. 13 for Stroll ‘n’ Roll, a free, annual fundraising event hosted by the Center for Independent Living (CIL) and presented by Integrated Business Group. By bringing together people of all ability levels for fun and fitness, the event celebrates independence and supports inclusion for people with disabilities in Central Florida.
At CIL, we serve people facing a variety of barriers to independence. Through the training and resources our team offers, we help people solve housing, employment and education accessibility challenges. By participating in Stroll ‘n’ Roll, teams and individuals throughout the community can help us provide these critical services ... and have fun doing it. Besides rallying Central Florida in support of our efforts, this annual fundraising event enables us to help our clients get and keep good jobs, modify their homes to enhance mobility, and cope with their disabilities through counseling.
Stroll ‘n’ Roll also gives those without disabilities an opportunity to “roll a mile in someone else’s chair.” Through CIL’s partnership with Colonial Medical Supplies, wheelchairs are available for participants to use and gain an understanding of what it’s like to navigate the world with limited mobility. For everyone who attempts the challenge – and has the sore shoulders to prove it – each incline, curb and bump in the cement is formidable. This hands-on experience highlights the significance of our independent living services and why it takes a community to make them possible.
So how can you help? Create a team – whether it’s friends from work, fellow church members, golf buddies or your book club – and think of creative ways to raise money for our cause. To collect $100 and earn an event T-shirt, you can ask friends and family or hold small fundraising events such as yard sales or car washes. With the $100 you raise, CIL can purchase materials – such as 30 bags of concrete mix, 1,720 deck screws or eight wood posts – to build a ramp at a client’s home. But no matter the value, each donation is appreciated. And remember: your employer may offer a matching program that can instantly double your efforts.
With the donations raised through this event, CIL will continue to provide essential services that make a profound difference in the lives of people with disabilities. We hope to see you at Stroll ‘n’ Roll, where we’ll be cruising toward a future without barriers to our clients’ goals.
Jason Venning is operations director for the Center for Independent Living in Orlando.