LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – The Coulee Council on Addictions was awarded a $750 Great Rivers United Way Venture Grant on Thursday, Aug. 1, at Erickson Park.
United Way offered this grant as a part of their 70th anniversary celebration. The Coulee Council on Addictions put this money towards their Outdoor Recovery Program. The funding helped them purchase new softball equipment including, gloves, balls, bats, and bags. In previous years, the Coulee Council relied on renting softball equipment, which increased costs for the Outdoor Recovery Program. Having to rent the equipment also limited the amount of people who could participate.
The grant now allows the program to reduce overall costs and include more people in games. Coulee Council on Addictions Recovery Coach Toni Vankirk says their Sunday softball games give the recovering community something to do.
“It means so much to us to be able to come out and to have something to do. I don’t even think I could put into words what it means for us to be able to come out here and have this equipment to play with,” Vankirk said. ” Just like I said, to get everyone together, that’s very important to us.”
Coulee Council on Addictions is just one of nine organizations that benefited from the Great Rivers United Way Venture Grant. United way made $15,000 in Venture Grant funding available in May 2019.
“This was one program that we felt like even a smaller amount of grant was going to be very impactful to help this new program be able to have some new equipment and make it a better activity for everyone involved, ” Community Impact Director for United Way Liz Evans said.
In 2018, nearly 1,000 people participated in the Outdoor Recovery events. With their new equipment, the recovering community can now continue to get together for their Sunday afternoon softball games.