Support HB1001 for DSP Wage Increase

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ellen DeMartinis, CEO Opportunity Enterprises
219-464-9621 ext 248, ellen.demartinis@oppent.org
Date: March 16, 2017

EDITORIAL: SUPPORT HB1001 FOR DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL WAGE INCREASE

Valparaiso, IN – Last week, members of the Indiana House of Representatives approved HB1001, the state’s biennial budget bill which includes provision for an increase to Direct Support Professionals (DSP) wages. This week, it is being discussed in Senate committees. Please contact your state senator to voice your support for leaving DSP wage increases in the budget bill. Direct Support Professionals are those that provide close personal care for our clients. They are the ones who feed, bathe, and otherwise provide an opportunity for those with the most severe disabilities to live outside of parent’s homes. They are the ones who allow families a momentary respite from caring for their loved ones to care for themselves or go to work.

DSPs are the front-line caregivers for Opportunity Enterprises, and other organizations like ours. Their work is physically and emotionally draining and therefore, we see the largest turnover in staffing DSPs. DSP wages, or Medicaid reimbursement for such services, has not effectively had an increase since 2008. Isn’t it time we show our appreciation with financial remuneration for these DSPs, the heroes of our industry.

Current DSP wages are fractionally above the federal poverty level for a family of three and are only 33% of the Indiana median family income. The proposed wage increase would provide $1700 more to each DSP. It is estimated that $4.16 of new local economic activity is generated with each new dollar of investment. This is part of a $10 million investment by the state of Indiana that will leverage $20 million in matching funds from the federal government.

Please contact Senator Ed Charbonneau at 800-382-9467 or Senator.Charbonneau@iga.in.gov or Senator Karen Tallian at 317-232-9847 or s4@in.gov to voice your support for leaving DSP wage increases in the budget bill. For more information on how to advocate, see www.oppent.org/get-involved/advocacy.

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 OPPORTUNITY ENTERPRISES WORKS TO MAXIMIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY AND ENRICH THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES. CELEBRATING 50 YEARS IN 2017, OE IS IN THE BUSINESS OF AMAZING PEOPLE, SERVING NEARLY 1,000 PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN NORTHWEST INDIANA WITH OVER 450 STAFF AND HUNDREDS OF VOLUNTEERS.

A Golden Opportunity Raises over $340,000 for Opportunity Enterprises

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kacie Ensign, Opportunity Enterprises,
219-464-9621 ext 244, kacie.ensign@oppent.org
Date: March 13, 2017

A Golden Opportunity Raises Over $340,000 for Opportunity Enterprises

Valparaiso, IN – Tears coupled with laughs and tuxes and tickets to sporting and arts events set the stage for A Golden Opportunity, the 25th Annual Gala in honor of 50 years of service for Opportunity Enterprises, presented by Delta Theta Tau. Classic gold décor marked the 50 years and contemporary items including a gorgeous white gold and blue topaz necklace raffle prize, Chicago Cubs ring ceremony tickets, high end grill and accessories, and a variety of experiences completed the evening. 560 people attended the 25th Annual Gala held at the Stardust Events Center at Blue Chip Casino on Saturday night. “This is one of the premier nonprofit events in Northwest Indiana. We attend every year and wouldn’t miss sharing this fun event with our friends in support of all the great things OE does,” said Violet Sistovaris.

This year’s gala raised $340,810, 20% more than last year. Delta Theta Tau President Andrea Colson remarked, “In the 25 years that Delta Theta Tau has presented the OE gala, over $2 million has been raised to support individuals with disabilities.” OE Board President, Lori Moulton thanked the sponsors that made the event possible: M&S Collision, Porter Regional Hospital, INTouch Pharmaceuticals, BMO Harris Bank, Chester Inc, Lakeshore Bone and Joint, NIPSCO, Precision Control Systems, Steel City Steels Inc, The Burnell Family, The Howie Family, The Misch Family, The Times Media Company, White Lodging Services and many others including Alberts Jewelers who generously provided the raffle prize.

Opportunity Enterprises CEO Ellen DeMartinis spoke to the importance of the event, “One day of providing educational, employment, social, and enrichment opportunities to just one client requires $21 in donor dollars. OE serves nearly 1,000 individuals with disabilities each year. This event is key to connecting donors to our mission and showcasing just how important they are to accomplishing our mission.”

Several OE clients were featured in the stories and events of the night including live painting, video trailer, and 50th anniversary video storybook. Board member Mark Ruiz told a heartwarming story of how important OE is to his family and as a result, a Fund the Need paddle raise totaling $83,650 was realized.

To be added to the 2018 OE Gala guest list please contact Events Coordinator Amy Wulf at amy.wulf@oppent.org or 219-464-9621 ext 333.

 

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OPPORTUNITY ENTERPRISES WORKS TO MAXIMIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY AND ENRICH THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES. CELEBRATING 50 YEARS IN 2017, OE IS IN THE BUSINESS OF AMAZING PEOPLE, SERVING NEARLY 1,000 PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN NORTHWEST INDIANA WITH OVER 450 STAFF AND HUNDREDS OF VOLUNTEERS.

Disabilities Awareness Month Free Public Event: OE in Focus

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kacie Ensign, Opportunity Enterprises,
219-464-9621 ext 244, kacie.ensign@oppent.org
Date: March 3, 2017

HOW DO YOU INTERACT WITH PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES? DISABILITIES AWARENESS MONTH FREE PUBLIC EVENT: OE IN FOCUS

Valparaiso, IN – March is designated as Disabilities Awareness Month. Opportunity Enterprises, an agency dedicated to maximizing self-sufficiency and enriching the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, is proud to serve these Amazing people. In order to help the public understand how to interact with individuals with disabilities, a free public event will be held Thursday, March 16 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at OE’s Main facility on the corner of Evans Avenue and Silhavy Road in Valparaiso. Guests will gain understanding into the world of disabilities through learning about different physical and mental disabilities and diagnoses, asking questions, learning how to communicate well, and discover all the ways Opportunity Enterprises serves their clients.

Did you know that one in every eight people in the U.S. has a disability? Of those, the most common are ambulatory, cognitive, and hearing disabilities. In Indiana, the prevalence of disabilities is slightly higher. Opportunity Enterprises serves nearly 1,000 people with disabilities in Northwest Indiana.

“OE in Focus is a great opportunity to learn more about interacting with people with disabilities, communicating with them, and understanding their challenges,” said Kirstin Krenz, Training Director. “OE in Focus is a short introduction to disabilities and to Opportunity Enterprises as a whole.” Attendees to this free public event should RSVP their attendance to Julie McKean at 219-464-9621ext. 226 or julie.mckean@oppent.org. Opportunity Enterprises is located at 2801 Evans Avenue, Valparaiso. Guests should enter at Door 2.

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OPPORTUNITY ENTERPRISES WORKS TO MAXIMIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY AND ENRICH THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES. CELEBRATING 50 YEARS IN 2017, OE IS IN THE BUSINESS OF AMAZING PEOPLE, SERVING NEARLY 1,000 PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN NORTHWEST INDIANA WITH OVER 450 STAFF AND HUNDREDS OF VOLUNTEERS. OPPORTUNITY ENTERPRISES IS A UNITED WAY AGENCY.

Opportunity Enterprises Announces Closure of Marathon Training Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kacie Ensign, Opportunity Enterprises,
219-464-9621 ext 244, kacie.ensign@oppent.org
Date: February 17, 2017

OPPORTUNITY ENTERPRISES ANNOUNCES CLOSURE OF MARATHON TRAINING PROGRAM

Valparaiso, IN – Opportunity Enterprises announced today that it would no longer provide marathon training services to runners. In the past, runners interested in training for the Valpo Half-Marathon, Chicago Marathon or the Indy Monumental Marathon, could take advantage of certified training programs provided by Opportunity Enterprises in exchange for fundraising for the organization.

“At its peak, there were over 500 runners participating, this number has continued to decrease,” said Kacie Ensign, OE Development Director. Ensign continued, “We recognize that there are many great options for runners and have come to the decision to step away from this program. We will be forever grateful for the support that the running community has shown the clients of OE. ”

Over its nearly twenty year existence, the OE Running Team raised more than $3 million in support of the clients of Opportunity Enterprises. The mission of Opportunity Enterprises is to maximize self-sufficiency and enrich the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. OE is celebrating 50 years of service in 2017.

In celebration of all that the OE Runners, Marathon Training, and like programs have done to support the mission of Opportunity Enterprises, a Celebration Fun Run and Breakfast will be held on April 15th at 8:00am at Opportunity Enterprises, 2801 Evans Ave, Valparaiso, IN 46383 for everyone who has even been a part of this program.

Please RSVP for the Celebration Breakfast by April 7th to Amy Wulf at amy.wulf@oppent.org or 219-464-9621 ext.333. Additional questions can be directed to Kacie Ensign, Development Director, at 219-464-9621 ext. 244 or kacie.ensign@oppent.org.

 

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OPPORTUNITY ENTERPRISES WORKS TO MAXIMIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY AND ENRICH THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES. CELEBRATING 50 YEARS IN 2017, OE IS IN THE BUSINESS OF AMAZING PEOPLE, SERVING NEARLY 1,000 PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN NORTHWEST INDIANA WITH OVER 450 STAFF AND HUNDREDS OF VOLUNTEERS.

Delta Theta Tau Announces 25th Annual Gala to Celebrate 50 Years of Opportunity Enterprises

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: December 12, 2016

Contact: Natalie Krivas
Marketing and Communications
(219) 464-9621, ext. 239
natalie.krivas@oppent.org

 

Delta Theta Tau is excited to present the 25th Annual Gala to benefit 50 years of Opportunity Enterprises on Saturday, March 11, 2017. Ticket sales will soon be available for purchase for Northwest Indiana’s most upbeat and inspirational event of the year, celebrating and supporting individuals with disabilities. The theme for the 2017 Gala is “A Golden Opportunity”.

Since the first Gala, held in 1993, local philanthropic sorority Delta Theta Tau has been a part of presenting OE’s Gala, which has raised more than $1.5 million for children and adults with disabilities.

“Last year, more than 500 of Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland’s greatest leaders attended the 24th Annual Opportunity Enterprises Gala to help raise more than $300,000,” says Delta member and Gala Committee Chair, Ann Barone. “We are determined to raise the bar of excellence even higher at this year’s event in celebration of the Delta’s 25 years of dedication to the clients of OE.”

The black-tie preferred event will be held at the Blue Chip Casino, Hotel and Spa from 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $150 each and the night will include an open bar, gourmet dinner, exciting live and silent auction packages, as well as live music by Chicago’s Rhythm City. Opportunity Enterprises will also be offering a raffle. Pre-sales will be available in early February. Special hotel rates and packages will be available in limited quantities.

Ellen DeMartinis, CEO at Opportunity Enterprises, emphasizes the celebration of an entire community gathering to support all of its members.

“Celebrating 50 years of growth, successes, and community is something our OE family is truly looking forward to,” says Ms. DeMartinis. “Working with our community leaders and the Delta Theta Taus to put on this night of celebration and entertainment is a reflection of our continuous collaboration with an amazing community. Anyone who has been a part of OE in the past 50 years is encouraged to attend this event. They’ll never be the same.”

For tickets or sponsorship information, please contact Development Director Kacie Ensign at 219-464-9621 ext. 244 or via email at kacie.ensign@oppent.org. Tickets will be available for purchase online in early February at www.oegala.com.

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About Opportunity Enterprises:
OE works to maximize self-sufficiency and enrich the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. OE serves nearly 1,000 adults and children with disabilities in Porter County and throughout Northwest Indiana. For more information, visit www.oppent.org.

Opportunity Enterprises Seeks Support for its Angel Tree Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:         November 28, 2016
Contact:   Natalie Krivas
Marketing and Communications
Opportunity Enterprises Inc.
Phone: (219) 464 – 9621 x239
Email: natalie.krivas@oppent.org

 

Valparaiso, IN—Opportunity Enterprises is looking for community members interested in participating in its annual Angel Tree program by adding Christmas cheer to the lives of OE clients who have little or no family.

Individuals can support the program in one of two ways: individuals may request to purchase gifts for a specific client, or make monetary donations or donations of gift cards that will be used to purchase gifts.

“Our Angel Tree program makes Christmas possible for so many of our clients who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to experience the joy of the season,” says Ellen DeMartinis, CEO.  “This program is a wonderful way for our community to directly affect someone’s life in a very positive, meaningful way.”

It is requested that all donations are turned in to the front desk, unwrapped, at 2801 Evans Avenue by December 9th. Individuals interested in supporting OE’s Angel Tree program may contact Jeremiah Bissonnette at 219-464-9621, ext. 269 or by e-mail at jeremiah.bissonnette@oppent.org.

 

About Opportunity Enterprises:

OE works to maximize self-sufficiency and enrich the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.  OE serves nearly 1,000 adults and children with disabilities in Porter County and throughout Northwest Indiana.  For more information, visit www.oppent.org.

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Opportunity Enterprises to Host Holiday Extravaganza & Vendor Fair on December 3

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:              November 22, 2016

Contact:        Natalie Krivas

Marketing and Communications
Opportunity Enterprises Inc.
Phone: (219) 464 – 9621 x 239
Email: natalie.krivas@oppent.org

 

Valparaiso, IN— On December 3rd, Opportunity Enterprises will open its doors to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the 2016 Holiday Extravaganza. The event is free and open to the public.

 

The Simply Amazing Market is hosting a Holiday Open House, showcasing a wide variety of gourmet treats, from popcorn and fudge, to candies and holiday-themed confections. Guests can take advantage of this special day to browse and place their holiday orders.

 

“The Holiday Extravaganza is our way of welcoming the community into our OE home,” says Ellen DeMartinis, CEO.  “We are so excited to share our passion with the community and spread the holiday cheer.”

 

In addition to the Market Open House, a robust group of local vendors will be selling specialty products, with many cash and carry items available from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Santa will also be available for complimentary digital photos from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. throughout the venue, arts, crafts, games, and face painting will be available.

 

Popcorn & Painting has returned by popular demand. From 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., participating artists will paint a holiday-themed picture on canvas, customizable to the artist’s liking. Open to ages 7 and up (or younger with parental assistance). Registration is $25 and available online. First come, first served, space is limited.

 

To register for Popcorn and Painting, for a Vendor Booth, or for more information, please visit the event website at www.oppent.org/holiday2016.

 

For more information about OE’s Simply Amazing Market, please visit http://www.simplyamazingtreats.com/ or call (219) 464-2670.

 

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About Opportunity Enterprises:

OE works to maximize self-sufficiency and enrich the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.  OE serves nearly 1,000 adults and children with disabilities in Porter County and throughout Northwest Indiana.  For more information, visit www.oppent.org.

Opportunity Enterprises Seeking 600 Volunteers for Pack-a-thon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: August 16th, 2016

Contact: Natalie Krivas
Marketing and Communications
(219) 464-9621, ext. 239
natalie.krivas@oppent.org

Opportunity Enterprises Seeks Volunteers for Packathon Event

VALPARAISO, IND. – Opportunity Enterprises is seeking a large group of volunteers for its annual Packathon event. This year’s Packathon is scheduled for Saturday, September 17th at OE’s main facility, located at 2801 Evans Avenue in Valparaiso. The event, which will celebrate its 19th year this year, runs from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm, or until packing is complete.

800 volunteers gather together annually to help OE pack over 45,000 runner bags for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. This is a great opportunity for scout troops, corporate teams, youth groups, sports teams, school clubs and organizations, or friends and family to serve their community and earn service hours. Volunteers 8 years of age and older are encouraged to come out for high energy fun, a live DJ, and free lunch.

Volunteers are required to pre-register at oppent.org/pack2016, and are asked to arrive at 8:00am on the day of the event and stay until all packing is complete.

To find out more about the event, contact Events Coordinator Dani Landgrebe at 219-464-9621, ext. 333, or via e-mail danielle.landgrebe@oppent.org.

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About Opportunity Enterprises:
OE works to maximize self-sufficiency and enrich the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. OE serves nearly 1,000 children and adults with disabilities throughout Northern Indiana. For more information, visit www.oppent.org.

Members of the Community Team Up to Host a Block Party and OE Client Summer Dance on August 18th

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: August 12, 2016

Contact: Natalie Krivas
Marketing and Communications
(219) 464-9621, ext. 239
natalie.krivas@oppent.org

Members of the Community Team Up to Host a Block Party and OE Client Summer Dance on August 18th

VALPARAISO, IN—Valpo Parks and the Valparaiso University Graduate School have teamed up to host a fun-filled event for the community and the clients of Opportunity Enterprises. The Block Party and OE Client Summer Dance will take place at the William E. Urschel Pavilion in Downtown Valparaiso’s Central Park on August 18th, from 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

“This event is a great occasion to gather members of the community in such a fun way,” says Ellen DeMartinis, CEO of Opportunity Enterprises. “Our clients will have the added benefit of mingling with the community before heading out to the dance floor with their friends.”

The event will begin with a variety of activities, including face painting, a bean bag toss, complimentary ice cream from Valpo Velvet, and more – open to the entire community – from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., followed by an OE-client-exclusive Summer Dance, from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Many thanks go out to Valpo Parks and the Valparaiso University Graduate School for sponsoring the venue, to 27 Entertainment for donating their deejay, and to the many volunteers and staff working hard to make this event a success for all.

“Valpo’s Graduate School community welcomes the opportunity to be part of an exciting event that celebrates both the mission and clients of Opportunity Enterprises.” says Michael Ramian, Valparaiso University Graduate School’s Director of Graduate Enrollment Operations.

For more information about this event, contact OE Event Coordinator Dani Landgrebe at (219) 464-9621, ext. 333, or via e-mail at danielle.landgrebe@oppent.org.

 

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About Opportunity Enterprises:
OE works to maximize self-sufficiency and enrich the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. OE serves nearly 1,000 children and adults with disabilities throughout Northern Indiana. For more information, visit www.oppent.org.

NAP Credits Available Through Opportunity Enterprises

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: July 26, 2016

Contact: Natalie Krivas
Marketing and Communications
(219) 464-9621, ext. 239
natalie.krivas@oppent.org

Link available: www.in.gov/myihcda/nap.htm

NAP Credits Available Through Opportunity Enterprises

Opportunity Enterprises is pleased to announce that the organization has 2016 Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credits available for allocation. For every dollar donated to OE through this program, the donor will receive 50% of their total donation back in the form of tax credits through the state of Indiana.

The credits will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to those who make donations toward renovation projects at Opportunity Enterprises’ Porter County residential sites. These sites are home to more than 50 men and women with disabilities and donations through NAP will ensure their continued safety, comfort, and well-being.

To learn more about participating in the NAP program through a donation to Opportunity Enterprises, please contact Kacie Ensign, Development Director at Opportunity Enterprises, by phone at (219) 464-9621, ext. 244 or e-mail at kacie.ensign@oppent.org. To find out more about the NAP program, visit www.in.gov/myihcda/nap.htm.

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About Opportunity Enterprises:
OE works to maximize self-sufficiency and enrich the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. OE serves nearly 1,000 children and adults with disabilities throughout Northern Indiana. For more information, visit www.oppent.org.

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