Hopewell Industries to host annual Freedom Fest

| June 23, 2015

COSHOCTON – Thursday July 9 is the annual Coshocton County Freedom Festival and it will be held at Hopewell Industries, located at 637 Chestnut Street. This years’ event will be held from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Everyone is encouraged and welcome to attend. There will be fun for all ages.

Raise Your Voice, RYV, the self-advocacy group, has worked diligently to organize and raise money for this year’s event. Raise Your Voice is a group of people with disabilities who are self-advocates. Shikara Robbins, RYV president, said that, “We have Freedom Fest to contribute to our community and celebrate our abilities and share a fun-filled day with all attendees. Our theme this year is The Color of Your Rainbow. It’s okay to color outside the line, for you are your own rainbow.”

It will be a day full of fun but also an inspirational day for many as we listen to Diana Mairose, Self-Advocate from Hamilton County and President of the Ohio Self Determination Association (OSDA), which is a state-wide, non-profit organization. Diana is passionate about her work. She represented OSDA in May regarding concerns with Amended Substitute House Bill 64 as approved by the House of Representatives. Here is what Diana so eloquently explained in her testimony before the Senate Medicaid Committee: “We are not a trade association, but an organization with a board that includes people with disabilities, family members and professionals in the field of developmental disabilities. The budget initiatives proposed by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities provided increased opportunities for community inclusion in employment, day service and residential options for Ohio’s citizens living with developmental disabilities. Amendments, adopted during the budget process with the Ohio House of Representatives, not only take away those opportunities, but the result includes amendments that take away the rights of people with disabilities in Ohio. My story? I am more fortunate than many to have had the support to live a truly integrated life – I have my own place with one roommate, employment, opportunities to work, socialize and live alongside others in my community who do not live with a disability. There are many others whose lives are very different. Please support the budget initiatives proposed that give all people with developmental disabilities the support needed to be an active, contributing member of their communities – if they so choose!”

Schedule of activities: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Games and activities such as pie throwing, dunk tank, water balloons, casino type games (indoors), popcorn station, and first responder units on display; 11 a.m. – 12p.m.: Free lunch of Sloppy Joes, chips, cookie, and a drink, or for a small fee, Hopewell Industries will open their concession stand for those who do not wish to eat Sloppy Joes; 12 – 1 p.m.: Guest speakers – Mayor Mercer, County Commissioners, and Self-Advocate-Diana Mairose; 12:30 – 2 p.m.: More activities and games including face painting, magician, and DJ-Bob Casey; All Day: Color of my Rainbow Themed Silent Cake Auction. Proceeds to benefit Coshocton County Firefighters Toy Drive and a canned food drive to support local food pantries.

RYV is very happy to have sponsorship from agency providers: Hopewell Industries, RHDD, Health Services of Coshocton, Echoing Hills, GentleBrook, REM, CDS, ViaQuest, Horizons just to name a few.

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Category: Clubs & Organizations

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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