WESTPORT, Conn. – Each year as part of its submission process, the AHR Expo Innovation Awards competition collects entry fees that are then donated in full to a charitable organization within regional proximity to the corresponding year’s show.

For 2017, the AHR Expo announced Opportunity Village as the recipient of $22,500 in AHR Expo Innovation Awards proceeds, which will be directly applied toward HVACR upgrades and new equipment purchases at three existing and one new campus location.

Founded in 1954, Opportunity Village serves children and adults with intellectual disabilities in the southern Nevada community and aims to enhance their lives via vocational training, community employment, day services, advocacy and arts, and social recreation. Through its success in helping severely disabled citizens build friendships, career paths, independence, and creative passions, Opportunity Village has grown to become one of Nevada’s largest nonprofit community rehabilitation programs.

“At its core, AHR Expo exemplifies all the ways in which HVACR can contribute toward making the world a more pleasant and productive place,” said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Co., the company that manages the event. “We are proud to be able to extend this sentiment through donations to the HVACR needs of worthy organizations and particularly those located right in the backyard of each year’s show. With 2017’s donation, Opportunity Village receives the chance to increase its capacity to help Nevada’s disabled citizens by upgrading and expanding existing facilities that provide them with valuable support services from teaching life skills to providing social recreation to offering vocational and career-oriented training.”

Proceeds will specifically be applied to thermostat replacements and other HVACR system retrofits throughout Lied Center, located on the Opportunity Village’s West Oakey Campus, which is the organization’s oldest campus. Constructed from 1990-1992, the building serves as the organization’s primary location and houses numerous programs and services provided to nearly 3,000 community clients.

In total, the organization owns three locations — the West Oakey, Ralph & Betty Engelstead, and Walters Family campuses. Activities at a fourth North Campus location, currently leased by Opportunity Village, will eventually be moved to a new campus, on which construction is slated to commence in 2017.

“Opportunity Village is a primarily self-funded, not-for-profit organization and is the largest of its kind in Nevada,” said Cary Harned, senior grants and major gifts officer at Opportunity Village. “The Oakey Campus is home to most of our special fundraising events that support the programs and services we provide and is just one part of an entire set of sites that require HVACR retrofits to better suit the clients and our events.”

Additionally, the funds will be applied toward transforming all campus sites into updated, efficient, and dynamic spaces for Opportunity Village clients, staff, and visitors. According to Harned, they will also increase the organization’s capacity for remaining a financially self-sufficient entity.

“We are incredibly grateful to the AHR Expo for its support of our organization,” continued Harned. “Every penny and in-kind donation counts when it comes to ensuring our clients are provided with the best facilities, programs, services, and staff we can give them. We welcome this gift from the AHR Expo to provide amenities that will truly enhance our clients’ lives.”

Publication date: 1/30/2017

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