BASCA Awareness Week finishes strong with 5K run

By Wesley LeBlanc Staff Writer
Posted 9/18/19

ORANGE PARK – It’s BASCA Awareness Week and the local nonprofit is looking forward to finishing strong with its annual 5K run.

BASCA CEO Beth Clark has been making the rounds with local …

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BASCA Awareness Week finishes strong with 5K run

Posted

ORANGE PARK – It’s BASCA Awareness Week and the local nonprofit is looking forward to finishing strong with its annual 5K run.

BASCA CEO Beth Clark has been making the rounds with local government bodies like the Board of County Commissioners and the Orange Park Town Council, accepting proclamations deeming this week as BASCA Awareness Week. This is part of the nonprofit’s larger efforts to continually raise awareness of their support and services to individuals with differences, or disabilities, in the area.

“We consistently hear that people don’t know about BASCA and we’ve been here for 25 years serving the community so we said, ‘what if we had a BASCA Awareness Week?’ and here we are,” Clark said.

This week in 2019 marks the third annual BASCA Awareness Week and it’s being capped off with, as usual, the BASCA 5K. This year’s theme is “CapeAbilities” and it will see runners donning their best superhero cape.

Clark said this year’s theme shows the individuals in the care or support of BASCA have capabilities just like everyone else, despite their differences.

This year’s run begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday at the BASCA headquarters at 352 Stowe Ave. in Orange Park. It’s sponsored by local businesses like The Urban Bean Coffeehouse Cafe and Dairy Queen located down the road.

The event also brings in larger sponsors like Publix Supermarket Charities and the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation.

“Our sponsors are so very generous, and we appreciate everything they do for us,” Clark said.

BASCA began in 1995 as a 505(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to improve the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Northeast Florida. The headquarters in Orange Park hosts a wide range of day and evening programs for people with disabilities.

Some of those people might get dropped off for the day to ensure that they have supervision. Under BASCA’s care for the day, they might help build a bench in the workshop, play basketball, work in the thrift store or spend the day making a new art piece for the BASCA art exhibit.

Others might become residents of one of BASCA’s five group homes. Here, individuals with disabilities live in a home with the supervision of caretakers on hand 24 hours a day.

“Those individuals hold jobs in the community and live in a home just like you and I do,” Clark said.

The money raised from this year’s 5K will go toward providing even more services to the nonprofit. Clark said she hopes to add additional evening services and support programs. Their current hours are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“All of this is about inclusion, Clark said. “They’ll (individuals with disabilities) will be in the 5K just like everyone else because they’re a part of Clay County. They are a part of the community, but they haven’t been as included in the community as they should have and we’re trying to raise awareness to change that.”

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