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Manager Devin Keay says staff are excited about the renovations taking place at 250 Goulet St. and 1745 Portage Ave.

A prominent family-owned Manitoba business with deep roots in the agricultural sector is providing some financial support to Epic Opportunities to help renovate two of the agency’s properties.

BrettYoung Seeds recently donated $15,000 to assist the non-profit agency, which supports people with intellectual disabilities at more than 50 locations throughout the city of Winnipeg.

BrettYoung Seeds is owned by Lloyd and Jacqueline Dyck and their family. It is one of the country’s biggest suppliers of seed, forage and turf products with customers in more than 40 countries including Canada, the U.S., China, Germany, Japan and Poland.

Lloyd says the family-owned business has supported a number of charitable causes over the years and recently began examining how it might step up those efforts and be more proactive in providing funding.

“It was serendipitous that Epic had a need and our company was going through some changes in terms of how we go about corporate giving,” he says.

Work on renovating the two day service sites began in early February and is scheduled to be completed over the next couple of months.

The Dycks already had a connection with Epic Opportunities and the community living sector. Chad, one of their two sons, is autistic and was supported by the agency for 17 years. Their daughter, Kali, worked on behalf of a number of different non-profits and was one of Chad’s biggest supporters until her tragic death in an automobile accident five years ago. The family recently established the Kali Dyck Foundation to honour her memory.

Lloyd says his mother’s family also played a key role in encouraging him and Jacqueline to support agencies like Epic Opportunities. Three of his uncles had intellectual disabilities and were supported by his maternal grandmother until her passing. At the time, there was little in the way of community-based support available to the family, he added.

“It just struck us that this was a cause that we wanted to support,” Lloyd says.

“We’d seen first-hand what a challenge it can be for families to get funding for people with disabilities. That’s what really drove it. We understand what it’s like to be parents with a child with [an intellectual] challenge and what they have to go through. We empathize with them and will continue to try and support them through organizations like Epic Opportunities.”

Lloyd says his family gave no specific instructions on how it would like to see the grant money spent but supports Epic Opportunities’ plans to renovate the two buildings. BrettYoung will consider renewing funding to the agency once the renovations are complete, he adds.

Reimer says Epic Opportunities believes that all people have the potential to live a rich and full life filled with opportunities to contribute and continually grow. She adds these supports will emphasize the goal of full inclusion and the belief that communities are stronger when values that celebrate diversity and full participation are embraced.


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