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THE ISSUE: Key Training Center’s annual fundraiser.
OUR OPINION: Help is needed.
For years, the Key Training Center’s annual Run for the Money has represented the struggle the Key’s clients undergo each day of their lives. The isolation, sacrifice and suffering the participants feel running during the 180-mile trek from Tallahassee to Lecanto in Florida’s oppressive summer heat is a loving sacrifice made to illustrate the struggles developmentally disabled adults face daily.
This year, as in recent years, the Key Center is facing obstacles of its own, specifically in the form of reduced state funding for its clients.
The state of Florida has been in a financial bind for several years now, and one area where funding has been cut is for the disabled. Additionally, the state is playing a complicated shell game with the funding it does provide, making it even more difficult for the Key Center to support its clients.
Friday marks the beginning of the most important week each year for the Key Center, in terms of fundraising. With the state cutting more funds it is even more critical that this year’s fundraising events are successful.
On Friday, the Reach for the Stars dinner auction kick-starts the festivities. On Monday, the run begins at the steps of the Old Capitol building in Tallahassee. The Run for the Money Telethon on Saturday, July 21, wraps up the festivities.
For those without dinner auction tickets, there are two primary ways you can help. Watch the telethon and make pledges by calling 352-527-2341 or, toll free, 866-385-4919. All donations are tax deductible. Major credit cards are accepted. For more information or to make your pledge today, call 352-795-5541, ext. 311or 313.
The second way is to buy a $25 custom 11- by 14-inch print of Crystal River artist Don Mayo’s painting “Freedom.” Mail orders, with check made out to Key Training Center, to: P.O. Box 1209, Crystal River, FL, 34423. Look for the ad running in the Chronicle for more information and a picture of the print.
Few people are able to run a stretch of U.S. 19 between Tallahassee and Citrus County, but many of us can do our part in other ways to enable those whom the Key Center helps to live their lives with dignity and respect.