Two programs benefited during the El Dorado Elks Lodge soup fundraiser Saturday

Community members had the opportunity to enjoy a soup lunch and benefit two programs at the same time during the El Dorado Elks Lodge soup fundraiser Saturday.

The fundraiser benefited the Kansas Elks Training Center for the Handicapp (KETCH) and the National Elks Foundation (ENF).

As part of the lunch, representatives from KETCH set up a booth to inform those attending about the services they offer.

The partnership between the Elks club and KETCH has been long one. KETCH is a major program for the Elks, a program they helped start in 1964.

“We serve nearly 500 adults with developmental and mental disabilities,” said Brenda Keeler, KETCH director of development.

“What we do is help adults by providing programs to help them be as independent as possible.”

This includes several group homes, apartments and family homes in the Wichita area, as well as assistance with budgeting, running the household and finding a job. The residents of the group homes are required to pay rent to stay there.

They also offer a day program where people can come for socialization. Day support includes PACE, Adult Life Services, Community Connections, Encore and ABLE.

Another program involves a facility they have where they manufacture heating and air filters, which they sell across the region. They also have vocational training for manufacturing three-ring notebook binders and subcontract services.

“We also try to get involved with meeting with businesses in the community to see if there is a job where the adults can work out in the community and earn a pay check,” Keeler said.

Another program focuses specifically on autism.

“Basically we take care of the needs of the whole person,” said Kim Roskam, associate development director with KETCH. “Our goal is to integrate as much as possible in the community.”

Since its beginning KETCH has served more than 30,000 individuals with disabilities.