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LIFE: Free virtual program opportunities are available

We may be practicing social distancing for the time being, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to connect with each other and hang out! We are excited to offer virtual programs for LIFE participants.

Learn more by visiting www.lifemowercounty.org/virtualprograms. Video programs are conducted over Zoom, a free app that can be downloaded on your phone, tablet or computer. We are still adapting and changing programs based on participant and family needs, and we would love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Send your feedback to info@lifemowercounty.org and let us know how we can better support you while we are all staying safe at home.  Upcoming activities include virtual field trips, crafts, trivia and more.

Taste of Mower County Update

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it, and you are probably trying to adjust as much as we are. For us, that meant to make a decision about this year’s Taste of Mower County, scheduled for Aug. 23, 2020. After much deliberation, we have decided to cancel this year’s fundraiser.

It was not easy to make this call. After all, the Taste of Mower County is our biggest fundraiser, raising an average of $20,000 per year over the last several years. We discussed various models of how we could hold the event in person during the pandemic, but nothing made us comfortable. Your safety and that of our participants is too important to jeopardize, no matter how much it will affect our bottom line.

Nevertheless, we’ve come up with a new way to salvage some of the fun and fundraising power you’ve come to love about the Taste of Mower County. We plan to hold an online auction over several days, leading up to what would have been our big event at the Holiday Inn.  Visit www.lifemowercounty.org/tomc2020 to learn more.

Thank you to our sponsors:  Holiday Inn, Worlein Funeral Home, Tom and Trish Wiechmann, Medgaarden’s Southwest Sales, Bremer Bank, Home Federal Savings Bank, REM Woodvale, Greg Meyer State Farm, Accentra Credit Union and Heartman Insurance. Thank you to all of our new and returning chefs, volunteers and ticket holders! We couldn’t do it without you.

Senate Action Needed on Developing A Fourth Coronavirus Package

The Senate must act to pass legislation that includes the critical needs of people with disabilities, their families, and the direct support professional (DSP) workforce in a new coronavirus package. In May, the House passed its fourth coronavirus package, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R.6800), with a vote of 208-199. The Senate will begin negotiations on their fourth coronavirus package when it returns from recess on July 20.

Priorities for the fourth package include:

• Increased federal funding for home and community based services (HCBS) under Medicaid.

• Increased access to personal protective equipment (PPE) for DSPs.

• Expanded eligibility for economic impact payments to adult dependents and another round of payments.

•Paid leave eligibility for family caregivers of adults with disabilities, including siblings and grandparents.