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Blues and Brews event to be held Feb. 8 at The Casino

Courtesy photo Brian Conley of Bakers Summit receives occupational therapy/sensory integration therapy at the We Care Foundation building on Valley View Boulevard. Pictured are ProCare therapists Kristan Zolnoski (right) and Amanda Imler.

Proceeds benefit We Care Foundation and children with special needs

The seventh annual Winter Blues and Brews event, presented by M&T Bank and Ward Transport & Logistics, will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 8 at The Casino at Lakemont Park, Altoona.

The event features beer tastings from more than 50 breweries, wine tastings from various wineries and light food.

Enjoy live music with the sounds of Asbury Lane and Miss Melanie & the Valley Rats.

Tickets are $40 per person and available at Beer World in Duncansville, the We Care Foundation on Valley View Boule-vard in Altoona and Thompson Pharmacy locations in Altoona and Hollidaysburg.

Tickets can also be purchased online at centralpatickets.com.

Attendees must be 21 or older. Proceeds from the event benefit the We Care Foundation.

In the 1950s, William W. Ward was driving down Sixth Avenue in Altoona and saw a man carrying a child on his shoulder while climbing a flight of stairs.

He pulled the car over and asked if he could be of assistance. He learned that the second floor of the house was being used to treat children with special needs because there was nowhere else for them to go.

That chance encounter was so powerful to Ward that he felt compelled to take action.

Ward promised to raise the money for construction of a facility dedicated to the treatment of children and adults with special needs if the county agreed to lease him land.

They agreed to a 99-year lease of land located at 501 Valley View Blvd., Altoona, with a deed restriction that the building must be used for the care of children and adults with special needs.

William W. Ward’s grandson, Bill Ward, remains actively involved as a member of the We Care Foundation Board of Directors.

Originally called the Blair County Society for Crippled Children and Adults, the occupant of the building has changed several times over the years.

Having once housed Easter Seals and the Home Nursing Agency, it is now the home of the We Care Foundation.

The We Care Foundation works in collaboration with ProCare Physical Therapy to provide physical, occupational and sensory integration therapy for children with special needs. In addition, ProCare offers speech language pathology services for children and adults as well as an adult neuro program.

The We Care Foundation also provides financial support for eligible families of children with special needs.

“We are honored to work with such an energetic and supportive group in the We Care Foundation … they’re amazing people!” said James Foreman, ProCare Physical Therapy partner/director.

“Also, we are humbled to be able to provide much-needed therapy services to the many children and adults in our area with special needs.”

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