Michael Meza, 12, takes a water bomb to the face thrown by his friend, Caleb Myers, 9, at an attraction set up by the Boys & Girls of Craig at the Independent Life Center’s Disability Days Concert & Carnival on Saturday at Alice Pleasant Park. The event celebrated the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

Michael Meza, 12, takes a water bomb to the face thrown by his friend, Caleb Myers, 9, at an attraction set up by the Boys & Girls of Craig at the Independent Life Center’s Disability Days Concert & Carnival on Saturday at Alice Pleasant Park. The event celebrated the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

ILC event in craig raises awareness, money for people with disabilities

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Sean Kilgore, right, says hello to Tank, a 5-week-old Chihuahua, at the T-shirt booth of the Independent Life Center’s Disability Days Concert & Carnival on Saturday at Alice Pleasant Park. Money raised from T-shirt sales go toward helping people with disabilities purchase adaptive equipment. Also pictured, standing in back, is Veronica Otero, and sitting, from left to right, Evelyn Tileston, Jona Wigington and Lana Foxhoven.

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Debbie Coniff, left, and Bob LaFord play music during the Independent Life Center’s Disability Days Concert & Carnival on Saturday at Alice Pleasant Park. The free event helped raise awareness and funds for people with disabilities.

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Caleb Myers, 9, has a bracelet tied by Nicole Thrasher, of the Boys & Girls Club of Craig, during the Independent Life Center’s Disability Days Concert & Carnival on Saturday at Alice Pleasant Park. Children had a wide variety of prizes to choose from after participating in the club’s games.

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Mel Ferree, of the Boys & Girls Club of Craig, explains a game to Laadan Rothermond, 7, during the Independent Life Center’s Disability Days Concert & Carnival on Saturday at Alice Pleasant Park.

Anna Adams, co-founder of the Independent Life Center in Craig, smiled Saturday as she thought of all the people the ILC was helping.

“I can’t even believe what’s happened with the company,” Adams said. “We started with nothing, and now we are helping people with disabilities in five counties.”

Her words came during the ILC’s Disability Days Concert & Carnival at Alice Pleasant Park in downtown Craig, an event designed to raise money and awareness for people with disabilities.

As music and children played in the background, Adams said she was amazed at the growth the ILC has had in recent years.

“There was nowhere to serve people with disabilities in Northwest Colorado,” she said. “Where we were compared to where we are, it’s unbelievable.”

Adams’ son, Michael, 33, was born with a mental disability, but he said without the ILC, he might not be where he is today.

“I am going to go back to Colorado Northwestern Community College this fall to become a Craig Police Department officer,” Michael said of his goals after school.

Michael, who helped the Moffat County High School football team as the football manager for five years, said it is a joy to help people all over Northwest Colorado.

“People always ask what the ILC does,” he said. “When I explain it, they are amazed that we can help so much.”

Craig resident Kathy Wells brought her grandson, Sean Kilgore, 11, to the festival because she said she wanted to support the ILC.

“It is a wonderful thing that the employees there are able to do,” she said. “It means a lot that I can be out here supporting them with Sean.”

Sean, who has a learning disability, said he had fun playing games that were provided by the Boys & Girls Club of Craig.

“I got to play four of the games,” he said. “It has been a really fun day.”

Before and during the event, the ILC sold Disability Awareness Days T-shirts, with proceeds going toward the Direct Services Fund, ILC director Evelyn Tileston said.

“I wish a few more people came out, but we are happy with anybody who is willing to support us,” she said. “It’s a beautiful day and the concert was a lot of fun.”

Tileston said the ILC made more than $1,200 from the event, which she believes will help 20 to 25 people with purchasing adaptive equipment.

“People tell me all the time that if they could work, they would,” she said, “But most of them can’t. So, we want to help them as much as possible.”

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