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‘Pinkies up’: Stroke recovery group marking 50 years with Valentine’s Day tea party

A group aiming to support stroke survivors after the sometimes life-changing health event is celebrating a major milestone in hopes of continuing their work for many years to come.

The Stroke Recovery Association of Manitoba is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and its services are more in demand than ever. According to the organization, the need has quadrupled since the pandemic, with 8,000 requests for help made in 2022 alone.

“With the pandemic, we’ve found that donations have dropped quite a bit. Some of the grants we were able to get were the only reason we were able to continue at all,” said Nicki Burbank, executive director of the Stroke Recovery Association of Manitoba, in an interview with CTV Morning Live Winnipeg.

All programs and resources offered to survivors and their carers are funded through donations and fundraisers. Money can be tight, so the organization is holding a Valentine’s Day fundraiser to celebrate their big milestone and ensure their work can continue.

The Stroke Recovery Association of Manitoba offers a variety of resources and programs for stroke survivors, including adaptive exercise classes, art therapy groups, and social clubs. (Credit: The Stroke Recovery Association of Manitoba/Facebook)

“When you talk about a recession, things get really, really tight. Our operating subsidy covers our rent. But that’s about it. Every program, every book, every resource we want to print – that’s fundraising, that’s giving. Every tiny bit helps,” Burbank said.

The association runs two fundraisers at the same time. The first is an in-person tea on February 11 at Immanuel United Church. Guests are invited to enjoy a cup of tea, sandwiches and some live music while shopping at the bake sale and taking part in the raffle.

“It’s just coming and going and having a cup of tea out of a Chinese teacup and pinky fingers up,” Burbank said.

You can also order one of the association’s Manitoba-made tea chests – a fundraiser that has sold out for the past two years. Each features a teacup and a selection of treats, such as tea and chocolates, all from Manitoba companies. The club will even deliver it to you or someone special.

All proceeds go to support the association’s many programs, such as: B. adaptive exercise classes, art therapy groups and social clubs.

“We’re really hoping to raise a lot of money here so we can send out more resources and do more programs and help people,” Burbank said.

More information can be found on the association’s website.

– With files from Nicole Dubé of CTV

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