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One Vision Walk

Kathy Yakel, Lisa Whitehurst, Gilbert Sheild and Allison Ward participate in a previous Benefit Walk.

CLEAR LAKE | For nearly 50 years, One Vision has provided personal, vocational and residential support to hundreds of North Iowans with disabilities.

And the Clear Lake-based nonprofit organization would like to continue offering those services for years to come.

“(Our services) not only impact those that live in Clear Lake but we have people throughout all of northern Iowa receiving our services,” said Jennifer Pinske, One Vision development officer.

One Vision holds ribbon cutting in Osage

The services are provided in 30 Iowa communities thanks to the continued financial support from individuals, businesses and cities through fundraisers, like the annual Benefit Walk in Clear Lake.

One Vision’s 49th annual Benefit Walk featuring new events, like the Community Challenge and the Community Crawl, is Saturday in Clear Lake.

Last year’s event raised more than $50,000 for its services in general, but proceeds from this year’s events will go toward the organization’s employment services program to support 50 people in their search for “meaningful jobs” within their communities — a program it started offering a few years ago when it transitioned from a campus-based organization to a community-based one.

Pinske said it costs about $1,900 per person for six months of job discovery, training and coaching, so the organization is hoping to raise $90,000 to cover the expense.

“We have a little ways to go yet,” she said. “We could really use the community support to help us meet that goal.”

Registration for the Benefit Walk begins at 8:30 a.m. at City Park in Clear Lake, with the walk starting at 9 a.m.

Individuals are encouraged to join One Vision by gathering a team of family, friends or coworkers to participate in the event or donating to a team at www.ovebenefitwalk.org.

After the walk, One Vision’s inaugural Community Challenge, a human foosball tournament, is at 9:30 a.m. in City Park.

The eight six-person teams from across North Iowa – some of which will be dressed in costume – signed up and raised funds to participate in the challenge. The winner of the tournament will receive a traveling trophy and bragging rights.

“It’s been a fun year getting businesses and teams together,” Pinske said about the new event the organization hopes to make an annual tradition.

Al Ashland, a sales associate at Hall Realty who’s leading a team of coworkers, family and friends, said he decided to participate in the event because it was a “good way to support One Vision.”

“Our office thought it sounded like a lot of fun to do,” he said.

Also following the walk, One Vision will host its first Community Crawl, which involves collecting stamps from downtown businesses on a card. Once cards are filled, they can be returned to the park for prizes.

“We’re really saying thank you to the Clear Lake businesses downtown for their support over the years,” Pinske said.

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Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.

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