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New 'Pathways' for Kelowna abilities society

Charisse Daley (right), executive director of Pathways Abilities Society (formerly Kelowna and District Society for Community Living), announces the society
Charisse Daley (right), executive director of Pathways Abilities Society (formerly Kelowna and District Society for Community Living), announces the society's rebranding and focus on fundraising Wednesday morning.
— image credit: Wade Paterson/Capital News

In its 60th year, the Kelowna and District Society for Community Living is changing its name and increasing its fundraising effort.

The newly named Pathways Abilities Society announced the rebranding from its Fuller Avenue location Wednesday morning.

KDSCL began an audit of its identity, vision and fundraising efforts in 2012.

Adam Less, owner/creative director of Propeller Brand, was in charge of evaluating the brand.

"We (found KDSCL) needed to redefine its message to the community, to make it simpler for the community to understand," said Less.

He noted the former KDSCL name was difficult to remember and would often be recited incorrectly.

"We came up with the name Pathways Abilities Society. Most importantly, it suggests the core of their vision, which is: The people that they serve are all on their own personal pathways.

"This organization is here to take people with diverse abilities and help them live more independent lives and achieve their own potential."

Pathways' slogan—embrace, empower, employ—shows the society's effort to embrace those with diverse abilities, empower them by giving them the tools and resources they need to live independent lives and help them find employment.

Capital News is one of those employers. Along with assisting the society with its fundraising effort, the newspaper employs four of those who are served by Pathways.

Along with the rebrand, the society announced its focus on rejuvenating fundraising efforts to attain a new building.

According to Pathways executive director Charisse Daley, the existing building at 555 Fuller Ave. is "way too old and small and no longer meets the needs of the people (Pathways) supports."

"We have problems with the electrical, the plumbing, the heating. We're in desperate need of a new building."

Daley said the society has raised $500,000 in the last 10 years; however, it needs to raise over $1 million to attain the type of building the society has in mind.

"Our needs have changed somewhat. We want to include an affordable housing component on any building we reconstruct."

She mentioned the location won't likely change as the society recently signed a 60-year lease with the city.

The majority of Pathways' funding comes from government contracts, but that money is usually designated to serve individuals.

"For anything else, we need to fundraise," said Daley.

Pathways has been providing services to people with disabilities in Kelowna and the surrounding area since 1953.

"The organization was created by a group of committed parents, teacher and doctors who wanted to ensure that children with developmental disabilities were educated in the community.

"They wanted children to have the option to remain in their communities versus being sent to institutional settings, which at the time was the only option for support."

Since then, the society has shifted its focus to assisting adults with developmental disabilities to work and live in the community.

Today, the society serves 150 adults, 20 youth and one child with diverse abilities.

For more information, visit the society's new website: pathwayskelowna.ca.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

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