Horizons receives funding for van

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Horizons Specialized Services has been offered $20,000 from the Daniels Fund to help purchase a new handicapped-accessible van.

Horizons has two vans equipped to transport wheelchair-using clients, but both of them are on their last legs, said Kay Borvansky, resource development coordinator for Horizons.

"On one of them, the back door is falling off, and one is so old, we can't get parts for it," she said.

Horizons provides residential and vocational services for people with developmental disabilities in Northwest Colorado. Horizons has been looking for funding for a new van for years, but the need became paramount when the organization learned that Jon Allee, a 22-year-old man with cerebral palsy and very limited mobility, would be moving into one of its group homes.

"Now, it's even more critical that we have a new van," Borvansky said. "The van we have still runs, but it needs lots of repairs. It's not as reliable as it should be."

Horizons' biggest worry is having reliable transportation in case Allee or one of the other wheelchair-bound clients must be rushed to the hospital. But, in general, the vans are used to take clients to doctor appointments, on field trips or on the occasional trip to Denver.

Horizons applied to the Daniels Fund for a grant at the beginning of the year and received word that it was awarded $20,000 during the last week of February.

The Daniels Fund operates the Daniels College Prep and Scholarship Program and the Daniels Fund Grants Program in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah. The fund was established in 1997 by Bill Daniels, a pioneer in cable television known for his kindness and generosity to those in need. Horizons will receive the money in May, and officials plan to replace the van at that time.

"The van will probably cost about $45,000," Borvansky said. "We will continue to fund raise to make up the difference."

-- To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210

or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com

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