The Nelson-based Adult Special Education team includes: (back row from left) Shawn Kerr

Selkirk College ASE students boost gala

Selkirk College adult special education students have hit the streets raising funds for their program and building skills in the process.

Selkirk College adult special education students at four different campuses have hit the streets looking to raise funds for their program and build skills in the process.

The Selkirk College Gala 2013 is slated for November 23 and this year the task of putting together the amazing auction table has been handed to the ASE students. Classes from Nelson, Castlegar, Trail and Grand Forks have hit the ground running with their mission to raise funds for the college and their specific programs.

“We love large, inclusive projects for our students,” says Nelson ASE instructor Ray Brock. “Projects that teach students about taking responsibility, having a higher profile, taking charge of their own life and achieving their goals. It’s about empowering the women and men in this program to be active and contributing members of this community.”

The ASE program is for adults with disabilities and barriers to learning. Personal and social development underlies all aspects of the program. Goals for learning are developed specific to each student’s needs.

Each year the annual Selkirk College gala provides an opportunity for one of the college’s programs to use the auction portion of the evening as a fundraiser. In 2012 the gala auction raised $10,000 for the benefit of the international department.

“The gala is a showcase of the incredible talents we have at the college,” says Joyce Buckler, donor services Coordinator for Selkirk College. “We are so pleased to have the ASE students on board this year and know they’re going to do a tremendous job in putting together another fantastic auction for those in attendance to enjoy.”

The annual gala takes place at Nelson’s Mary Hall on the Tenth Street Campus. It includes a five-course meal prepared by the professional cook training program and served by hotel and restaurant management students. Entertainment for the evening is provided by Selkirk’s music and technology program students. The formal evening is an important fundraiser for Selkirk College and a highlight of the region’s social calendar.

ASE students in all four communities have embraced the challenge of approaching businesses and individuals for donations of auction items.

“I was very excited when I heard we would be involved,” says Nelson-based ASE student Summer Clement. “It’s great for everybody to get together and work together.”

ASE student Paulina Mason has helped with the gala in previous years. The Nelson resident says the involvement of the program is about more than just gathering items.

“It’s important to get our class out in the community and for the community to understand more about us,” she says. “People with disabilities are really no different than any other person in this community.”

Once the final totals are in after the gala evening, the ASE program will receive the bulk of the funds raised. Students have two targets for the monies raised: creating an adult special education scholarship and hosting a regional adult special education student conference.

The scholarship will help ASE students move on to other college programs. The conference at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is an expansion of a trip the program has made for 20 years which focusses on students learning through formal workshops and through the experience of planning and traveling together.

“It’s a great final exam for the program because students work together as a team and learn skills,” Nelson ASE instructor Debra Scheidel says of the Fairmont excursion. “It’s how our students demonstrate their competence and belonging.”

To donate auction items or for tickets to the Selkirk College Gala 2013, contact Joyce Buckler at 250-365-1360