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New VFI/TRPIL Facility Scheduled for Completion by Year-End
By Lois Thomson


With TRPIL's Capital Campaign in its final phase, renovations on the VFI/TRPIL building at 42 W. Maiden St. in Washington, PA, are scheduled to be finished by the end of the year. When that happens, the two organizations – Voices for Independence and Transitional Paths to Independent Living – will be able to better serve more people.

As Steve Johnson, director of marketing for both VFI and TRPIL, said, "It will be a true Center for Independent Living that's full of life, where individuals with disabilities can thrive, with a wide variety of supports for them under one roof. If you have questions, if you have needs, we want to be your resource center, and we want it to be all in one place." Resources are currently divided between the new facility on Maiden St. and the old one on E. Beau St.

The projected cost to finish all work on the new VFI/TRPIL program and community center is $2.5 million. When finished, it will feature an accessible training kitchen, where cooking classes will be offered for both consumers and their attendant caregivers. A fully accessible wellness center will also be available where people can take part in the adaptive fitness and workouts. The service is free, and people can train with dedicated staff that can also help them plan, make suggestions, and offer nutrition advice.

While fundraising for the campaign is ongoing, the organizations are continuing to hold events. The most recent fundraiser was the 7th Annual Walk*Run*Roll 5K held in May at Washington Wild Things Park. This was the first in-person 5K in three years, and Johnson said both that the turnout was good and more than one person with a disability participated. "We always ensure that both able-bodied people and individuals with disabilities are taking part in our events, side-by-side. It's important that everyone takes part together."

The next event will be the 2nd annual consumer picnic, Aug. 18 at the VFI/TRPIL program and community center. Johnson said a large turnout enjoyed last year's catered affair that included music by a DJ. "Tents were filled with people. It was impressive to see that for the first year, and we're looking forward to how many more can we serve this year."

While the picnic is just for VFI/TRPIL consumers, an upcoming event planned for the public is the 6th Annual Golf Outing at Lone Pine Country Club in Washington Sept. 12. "To be able to golf on Lone Pine Country Club's fantastic course while supporting agencies like ours is a big deal for everyone there." He said the turnout last summer was great, and they are expecting a repeat this year.

As Johnson stated, "Whether they are for the purpose of fundraising or of raising awareness, all events lead to the final phase of construction. It will be beneficial for consumers to have a 'one-stop' disability resource site at our new program and community center, without having to split time between receiving services from two different buildings that TRPIL currently occupies. Every bit of support helps get us closer to bringing these new, impactful services and activities to the disability community."

For more information, call (724) 223-5115 or visit www.vficil.org.



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