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On Thursday, 280 people gathered at the Rhineland Pioneer Centre for Blue Sky Opportunities' 39th Annual Fundraising Banquet.

"It's hailed as a fundraiser of course, but really it's also about community and community involvement and the support that we've gotten," said Richard Neufeld, General Manager of Blue Sky opportunities.

"We've been in Altona since 1954 and we would not be here for this length of time without the strong community support that we've had, and so I never take that for granted," he added.

The highlight for the organization was completing the recycling plant, which has been running for six months now.

Neufeld noted he is proud of the working conditions the new plant can provide. He explained the air quality is better and people can stand upright while sorting the products rather than bending down.

"At the end of the day it's about the people," he said.

The goal for the evening was to raise $25,000 toward a larger $100,000 goal.

"Our initial budget was low, we added a few things, we increased the size of the building... so we're trying to offset our debt load," Neufeld explained.

Looking into the future, Blue Sky Opportunities has plans to update a housing unit built in 1976.

"I feel that will be our next large project, is work towards replacing that home for the individuals that live there," said Neufeld.

While Neufeld is excited about having the new recycling facility up and running, he noted it's also great to see people achieving their personal goals.

"We haven't had a significant growth in terms of the people we're supporting or in the housing side of things, but what is very awesome to see is the growth in individuals themselves," he said. "That's such a huge part of it."

bluesky banquet

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