In the month of October, communities across B.C. are promoting inclusion, celebrating diversity, and bringing awareness to the strengths and abilities of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“It is an excellent time to reflect and change the way we live in our communities, and a reminder that we all belong regardless of our race, orientation or abilities,” according to the Developmental Disabilities Association. “We all have something to give in order to be active and welcome participants in the community. Belonging isn’t about tolerance, it’s about being missed when you are not there.”
This statement feels especially close to home for many local residents after the sudden passing of Kim Bailey at only 28 years old on Aug. 25.
Bailey was born Oct. 23, 1993, and raised in Vernon, graduating from Clarence Fulton Secondary in 2013.
She remained in the community and was connected to many people through the various activities she was involved in. Bailey never went anywhere without running into someone she knew and was always wildly curious about people often making fast friends because of her genuine curiosity about the lives they lived.
“Kim was never someone to do anything small. She was a presence as soon as she entered the room, with her big brown eyes, her beautiful smile and a laugh that filled a space with joy,” said Amy Timleck, who is assisting in organizing a celebration of life for Bailey. “We wanted to do something that we know Kim would have loved and to remember her as the bright, funny, loving young woman that she was.”
The celebration takes place at the Town Theatre Oct. 21, beginning at 10 a.m.
People are invited to come and share a memory of Bailey and watch her favourite movie, Mamma Mia!.
“With October being Community Inclusion Month and Kim’s birthday, it has been great to plan something that all of her friends will be able to attend,” said Timleck.
“There are often incredible barriers that people with disabilities face when out in the community, so we’ve been working with a number of the local agencies to ensure the event is accessible as possible.”
The celebration is open to all and is free to attend.
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