The annual Lifetime Assistance Airport Games will be held this Saturday, June 15 at the US Airport Hangar off Scottsville Road at the Greater Rochester International Airport.This is the twentieth year of the unique fundraiser. Lifetime Assistance Foundation Administrative Assistant Liana Swartz discussed what’s on tap this year Monday during News 8 at Noon.
“We have our signature Airport Games 5K Run/Walk,” said Swartz. “We’re also doing the Flower City CrossFit 5K, and this year we’re putting an extra emphasis on the kids portion and the kids fun run. We’ll have a lot of different activities for kids and their families. We’ll have balloon animals, face painting and a dunk tank. We’re even doing a basket raffle, which is new this year, with a ton of awesome prizes, so we’re super excited to get this going!”
DeWind has participated in the 5K Run for years. This year will be different. “This year I’m going to be a course marshal instead of actually running the 5K this year,” he said.
Volunteering for the Airport Games makes perfect sense for DeWind, who benefited from Lifetime Assistance’s programs. “I’m on a committee that takes care of all the housing needs for people like myself and the community,” he explained from his wheelchair. “Frances – our apartments out in Brockport – are adding on. There’s going to be a Frances II and it’s not just for people like myself, it’s for people in the community to come in and rent an apartment and, I would have to say, be close to people like us, and get to know us, and be our own little community.”
DeWind lives in a Lifetime Assistance six-person home in Greece. He also works in the scanning facility. “At least two days a week I’m in the scanning department over at 425, and I pull all the metal out of the papers to be able to be scanned because you can’t leave metal in the papers to scan them. It will ruin the scanners. I’ve been there for almost seven years. It means that I’m making not only a little extra money but being self-sufficient for myself, being able to do what I want to do and have the money to do it.”
For Rugaber, who works with DeWind as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, his experience at Lifetime Assistance represents the organization’s vision. “It’s wonderful when someone can be productive both at home, based on everything that we can do for them in their home, and when they can get out of their house and have a daily activity to go to or a job,” she said. “We have a lot of day programs too that people benefit from with all the equipment that we can get there, and they can engage in meaningful activities.”
Proceeds from the Airport Games will support the initiatives at Lifetime Assistance, and there’s still time to sign up and take part in the Airport Games. Visit LifetimeAssistance.org and click on the ‘Airport Games’ tab.
— ROCHESTER FIRST