Free ice cream, dancing, face-painting, and bags? Sounds like a summer celebration—and it is! Opportunity Enterprises hosted their 3rd annual Summer Celebration in downtown Valparaiso at the Urschel Pavilion.
In partnership with the Valparaiso Parks and Recreation Department, Opportunity Enterprises hosts a free, public celebration downtown every year. Kacie Ensign, Development Director for OE, thought that using the pavilion would be a great way for the community to come and interact with OE and their clients.
“This is a really fun event for our clients. They dance and have fun, but it’s also for the community to come out and learn what Opportunity Enterprises is all about. They get a fun, free night out with their families, while they learn about our mission,” Ensign said. “This event gives people an opportunity to meet some of the hundreds of people we serve. How the community comes together to support people with disabilities is so important.”
Ellen DeMartinis, President and CEO of Opportunity Enterprises, loved seeing how many people attended to support OE.
“This event continues to grow. This is our 3rd year and it keeps getting popular every year. We had over 1000 people like our Facebook post, and over 600 have shown so far. Our community loves Opportunity Enterprises and loves the people we serve,” she said. “We’re so thankful for the financial and volunteer support we get from the community. They attend our events to help generate revenue so that we can provide some of the services that aren’t really funded through state funding.”
Tony Hart, a volunteer from Chester Inc., loves the services and programs the Valparaiso organization provides people from around Northwest Indiana.
“I’ve always been a great supporter of Opportunity Enterprises; they’re a great organization. Chester Inc. tries to do as much as they can for OE, which is why I’m here to help volunteer,” he said, of the event, which was free to the public. “I think it’s really great that not only is this an event for OE, but anyone that’s downtown has the opportunity to come and get their face painted or get free ice cream. It’s really good for the community as a whole and Opportunity Enterprises as an organization.”
Sponsors for this event included Urschel Laboratories, Fifth Third Bank, AM Stabilizers, Indiana Beverage, Metro Recycling, and Nipsco. Additional event support provided by Valpo Parks, Amplified Events, Birky Family Farms, Coastal Valley, The Remade Kitchen, Valpo Velvet, WIMS Radio, and the Germann family.
For more information about Opportunity Enterprises, www.oppent.org.