Bloomington Moose Lodge presents the Week of Chocolate!

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Front (left to right): Russ Bonanno LIFEDesigns CEO, Wayne Watson Moose Administrator, Dan Boruff Moose Officer, Rick Flick Moose Officer
Back (left to right): Vern Hageman Moose Govenor, Chuck Flanders Moose Officer, Rusty Shields Moose Officer, Chuck Elliott Moose Officer
Not Pictured: Bobby Tegeler, Danny Hollars (both Moose Officers)

December 20, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bloomington Moose Lodge #1081 and LIFEDesigns presents the Week of Chocolate! The Bloomington Moose Lodge #1081 is the Week of Chocolate King of Cakes Sponsor and donates $10,000 to LIFEDesigns to promote independence for people with disabilities.

The Week of Chocolate is scheduled for February 1 through 17th, 2019. LIFEDesigns and the Bloomington Moose Lodge partner to host the Art of Chocolate on Feb. 9th, at the Indiana Memorial Union. The party will feature a Mardi Gras theme complete with dinner, appetizers, and chocolate dessert tasting offered by some of our local chefs. Chefs confirmed for the 2019 dessert tasting are IMU, Bloomington Chocolate Company, Sugar Daddy’s Cakes and Catering, and Jack’s Donuts. More chefs will be announced at the event. Additionally, local artist Kurt Larsen will be painting chocolate on a live model during the event! Join the fun of a live auction as you enjoy a New Orlean’s creole themed dinner at the Art of Chocolate.

Other events during the series feature We Paint…The Blues at The Vault at Gallery Mortgage and Chocolate Prom at Rhino’s Youth Center on February 1, The Sweet Life at Osmon Chiropractic Center on February 2, Chocolate Bingo at the Bloomington Moose Lodge on February 11th, a Murder Mystery at Gentry Park on February 13th, Cocoa Couture Fashion Show on February 15, and WonderLab After Dark: Chocolate on February 16th. Check out weekofchocolate.com for more event details. Several other local businesses also played a major role in supporting the Week of Chocolate to be possible, including: Baugh Fine Print and Mailing, Bloomington Watercolor Society, Gallery Mortgage, Lamar Advertising, and the Bloomington Chocolate Company.

About The Bloomington Moose Lodge #1081: The Moose is a Family Fraternity non-profit international organization that raises money for Moose Heart a home for orphaned children, and Moose Haven a retirement community for their members. The Bloomington Moose Lodge welcomes new members, and is open to the public for Bingo on Mondays. They serve lunch daily, and dinner Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Breakfast is every other Saturday. For more information about the Bloomington Lodge, visit their facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/BtownMooseLodge/

nimboIP donates new phone system to LIFEDesigns ($20,000)

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March 7, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: LIFEDesigns receives $20,076 donation from nimboIP to upgrade technology equipment. nimboIP a business to business Managed Service Provider of telecommunications and information technology solutions with a history of serving companies in Indiana since 1989 made an in-kind donation to LIFEDesigns early this year of equipment and labor to install a new business phone system. LIFEDesigns is a human services non-profit organization in Bloomington, IN providing staffing and support services to people with disabilities across several counties.

LIFEDesigns, as many businesses do, needs reliable and innovative information technology equipment and services to ensure their mission is being met and customers are receiving quality services. LIFEDesigns has been using nimboIP services for about 8 years and has been very satisfied with the relationship. LIFEDesigns Information Technology Director Jeremiah Rieke states, “We have a very good working relationship with nimboIP, they have demonstrated superior support and service, and have a very competitive hardware and support package. Whenever we’ve needed support, their response has been instantaneous; they know if we’re having problems even before we know.”

nimboIP’s business owners have a commitment to support the communities they are a part of. Their headquarters are in Indianapolis with offices in Bloomington, and Schereville, IN. Recently, it came time for LIFEDesigns to upgrade the technology equipment, and in line with their mission to make it simple and affordable for their customers to do business with nimboIP while mitigating risk and adopting new technologies, the owners decided to donate all of their time, material and equipment to upgrade and consolidate LIFEDesigns phone system for a total value of $20,076. Their decision was also based on their desire to help support LIFEDesigns outreach to people who have a need for disability supports and services. Please help LIFEDesigns extend our greatest thanks to nimboIP in supporting our mission and programs.

About LIFEDesigns: LIFEDesigns believes that everyone deserves a home, job among their peers, and access to the community they live in. Everyone has abilities and deserves the opportunity to be valued for their contributions. Everyone deserves the opportunity to meet and make friends and to live in a divers and welcoming community. The agency exists to provide the support and opportunities that people with disabilities need to achieve their goals. LIFEDesigns is a United Way Member Agency in Bartholomew and Monroe Counties.

About nimboIP: Our unique Business Class voice platform allows companies to integrate their office telephone system with mobile employees, multiple locations, and meets the demands of a 24/7/365 workforce. Our 100% performance guarantee, 90 day trial period, no equipment to purchase and no contracts to sign simplify the buying journey. Our support is always live, and local. Services offered include Managed Voice, Microsoft Business 365, Video Conferencing, Video Surveillance, Network Designs and Management, Disaster Recovery, Network Procurement, and more. Visit www.nimboip.com or call us for anything at (800) 293-2127.

Contact: Russell Bonanno, CEO (800) 875-9615 | rbonanno@lifedesignsinc.org

Baxter International Foundation awards grant to LIFEDesigns for LIFE Mentor Volunteer program development

LIFEDesigns Media Contact
Stephanie Shelton, CDO 800-875-9615
sshelton@lifedesignsinc.org

Baxter Media Contact
William Rader, (224) 948-5353
media@baxter.com

LIFEDESIGNS RECEIVES BAXTER INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION GRANT FOR LIFE MENTOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., November 20, 2017 – A more than $75,000 grant from the Baxter International Foundation will fund the development of a one-on-one mentor volunteer program at LIFEDesigns. The grant will support a program to recruit volunteers in and around Bloomington, IN, to mentor people with disabilities.

Baxter’s Bloomington facility also will partner with LIFEDesigns and encourage social involvement by their employees to benefit the community. Pre-screened volunteers will be paired with one customer of LIFEDesigns and guided through a process to encourage social growth and the development of natural relationships between people with disabilities and other community members. This program will be focused on improving holistic health for both the volunteers and LIFEDesigns customers involved in the program.

“Baxter is committed to supporting awareness and respect for those living with disabilities, advancing inclusion in our communities, and engaging employees through volunteerism,” said Stacey Eisen, President of the Baxter International Foundation and Senior Vice President, Global Communications, Baxter International Inc.  “To that end, we are pleased to support LIFEDesigns’ volunteer mentor program focused on empowering people living with disabilities to make healthy lifestyle choices and develop meaningful mentor-mentee relationships.”

The grant will fund the “LIFE Mentor Volunteer Program,” which is in its early stages of development. LIFEDesigns is hiring a full time “Community Connector” to lead the development of the program through implementation. The program will use best practices of existing mentorship volunteer programs, and focus the first volunteer pairings with customers who generally don’t have anyone in their lives to help support them.

“Inclusion of people with disabilities into their communities is a primary goal of LIFEDesigns. We are grateful for this partnership and the grant award from Baxter, which allows customers to develop natural friendships and focuses on improving their health and wellness,” said Vonnie Peischl, LIFEDesigns board President. “We welcome volunteers who may be interested in making new friends with customers of LIFEDesigns.”

There will be further announcements with new updates and details as the program is developed. Anyone interested in getting involved in this program should contact volunteer@lifedesignsinc.org.

About LIFEDesigns

LIFEDesigns believes that everyone deserves a home, job among their peers, and access to the community they live in. Everyone has abilities and deserves the opportunity to be valued for their contributions. Everyone deserves the opportunity to meet and make friends and to live in a diverse and welcoming community. The agency exists to provide the support and opportunities that people with disabilities need to achieve their goals. LIFEDesigns is a United Way Member Agency in Bartholomew, Lawrence, and Monroe Counties.

About Baxter and Baxter International Foundation

Baxter and the Baxter International Foundation are committed to saving and sustaining lives and creating healthier communities. Every day, Baxter employees strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people who depend on Baxter products, and in the communities where employees live and work. The company focuses on three core areas including improving access to healthcare; fostering tomorrow’s innovation and serving its communities. Baxter works closely with public and private partners around the world to ensure people have access to the healthcare they need, to develop the next generation of innovators who will lead the way in advancing care, and to create long-lasting impact in Baxter’s communities. Baxter International Foundation supports initiatives and organizations that make a positive, lasting impact on increasing access to healthcare for the disadvantaged and underserved. For more information, please visit www.baxter.com

NEW Week of Chocolate T-Shirt Design Drawing Contest!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: LIFEDesigns holds T-Shirt contest for their annual Week of Chocolate.

Every February LIFEDesigns hosts a community-wide festival for all of Bloomington known as The Week of Chocolate. The Week of Chocolate gives local nonprofit organizations an opportunity to spread awareness about their causes while also bringing the community together with a sweet touch of chocolate.

This year, LIFEDesigns will be printing and selling t-shirts as a part of the Week of Chocolate. Since the Week of Chocolate is a community event, we want the whole community to be involved. We are holding a t-shirt contest open to all artists in the community, including students. The design should be focused on The Week of Chocolate but the artist can add their creativity to make it unique and their own design. The juried winning design will be featured on the front of all t-shirts, celebrating our signature events.

The artistic designs need to be one color and can take up the entire front of the shirt. The size will generally be a printable area of 10” w x 12” h.  The winning design will feature the artist’s name and signature and will receive a prize of $100 in the form of a Visa cash card as well as a free t-shirt with their design. Artist’s can submit their entries via email to art@lifedesignsinc.org by midnight, December 5, 2017. All designs should be submitted as a high resolution PDF. The artist should also include their name, phone, mailing address, and a brief explanation about how their design best represents “The Week of Chocolate” and LIFEDesigns.

About LIFEDesigns: LIFEDesigns believes that everyone deserves a home, job among their peers, and access to the community they live in. Everyone has abilities and deserves the opportunity to be valued for their contributions. Everyone deserves the opportunity to meet and make friends and to live in a diverse and welcoming community. The agency exists to provide the support and opportunities that people with disabilities need to achieve their goals. LIFEDesigns is a United Way Member Agency in Bartholomew, Lawrence, and Monroe Counties.

Contact: Stephanie Shelton, CDO (800) 875-9615 | sshelton@lifedesignsinc.org

LIFEDesigns hires new CEO Russell Bonanno

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LIFEDesigns extends a warm welcome to Russell Bonanno to fill the role of CEO as Susan Rinne retires November 11, 2017. LIFEDesigns’ Board invites the community to share this warm welcome with Russell as he becomes acquainted with Bloomington, IN.

Susan Rinne, LIFEDesigns CEO for the last 18 years, is a community leader who has dedicated her career towards righting social injustices specifically for people with disabilities. She has not only improved the lives of people with disabilities and made LIFEDesigns one of the most well-respected, successful non-profit agencies supporting people with disabilities in the state, but also made the entire community a better and more welcoming place. As she leaves, and Russell takes on this new role, he will provide the leadership that LIFEDesigns needs as the agency continually strives to improve services and community opportunities for people with disabilities. Russell states, “For more than 30 years, LIFEDesigns has provided innovative, community-based services designed in partnership with their customers and in collaboration with community members. It is an honor to be able to work with such a forward thinking Board and dedicated staff to continue and expand upon this history.”

Russell comes to LIFEDesigns from his most recent roles: Director of The Autism Program of Illinois, and non-profit consultant. Much of Russell’s background includes experience with policy and advocacy. He also has a strong background in marketing and program evaluation. He has been a member of the Illinois Autism Task Force, the Governor’s Health Care Reform Implementation Workgroup on Workforce Development, The Arc of Illinois, and the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics conference committees. He has experience in securing two federal grants to improve libraries accessibility to and services for individuals with autism and their families.

Vonnie Peischl, LIFEDesigns Board Chair states, “The Board is very happy that Russell Bonanno has accepted the CEO position at LIFEDesigns. We believe with his interdisciplinary background, along with his commitment to supporting people with disabilities to be independent in their communities, he is an excellent choice to lead our agency in the coming years.” There will be more information to come and a welcoming reception in the coming months. At this time we want to thank Susan Rinne for her leadership, and extend our hands to Russell as takes on the role of CEO and leads LIFEDesigns into the next phase of our journey to build inclusive communities.

About LIFEDesigns: LIFEDesigns believes that everyone deserves a home, job among their peers, and access to the community they live in. Everyone has abilities and deserves the opportunity to be valued for their contributions. Everyone deserves the opportunity to meet and make friends and to live in a diverse and welcoming community. The agency exists to provide the support and opportunities that people with disabilities need to achieve their goals. LIFEDesigns is a United Way Member Agency in Bartholomew, Lawrence, and Monroe Counties.