Patience pays off for Adaptive Recreational Services

Adaptive Recreational Services chosen on the third try by 100 Women Who Care

Adaptive Recreation Services coordinator Karrie Borchert stands with a display for ARS after they were chosen by 100 Women Who Care to receive a potential donation of $10,000. It showcases their participants in the many activities they do, including bowling, pottery, and painting.

NEW ULM — Adaptive Recreational Services was chosen to receive a potential $10,000 in funding thanks to 100 Women Who Care during their fundraising event Sunday.

Adaptive Recreational Services coordinator Karrie Borchert has attended every 100 Women Who Care non-profit fundraiser since it began in October 2021. Since it started $63,050 has been given away to five non-profits, including $13,700 to Ivy House after their last fundraiser in October of 2023.

Borchert had put ARS in the running in April and October 2023 but was not chosen for the final three either time. 100 Women Who Care meet every six months to choose a non-profit to receive their donation. After non-profits are written by attendees on sheets of paper, three are chosen at random.

After being chosen, each organization has five minutes to describe their non-profit and what they would do with the donation. This year the New Ulm Emergency Food Shelf, Adaptive Recreational Services, and the Disabled American Veterans of New Ulm.

During her presentation, Borchert said ARS looks to provide social, educational, and recreational activities for teens and adults with disabilities.

Karrie Borchert describes ARS and their situation during the 100 Women Who Care event Sunday. Borchert said if they did not find more funding, they would have to start charging participants to attend events.

“We get together three or four nights a week,” she said. “You’ll see us at the bowling alley. You’ll see us at Turner Hall once a month. You’ll see us at the concert in the park, you might see us taking over the Pizza Ranch.”

Borchert said for many who use ARS, it is their way of getting outside and participating in activities and socializing as they do not have jobs. She said they also look to keep activities free or of low cost to participants.

“If they’re living in a group home, they may also be on Social Security benefits,” Borchert said. “You have $121 to do something for a whole month. Think of how fast that goes if you get a coffee every day like I do, or if you go to Target and buy something really cute.”

ARS currently has 159 registered participants, of which 50 come regularly and 30 do every single activity. Borchert said without continued donations and funding, they would have to adopt a 60-40 method where attendees take on 60% of the cost of activities.

When asked about the age limits of the program, Borchert said participants must be at least 15, and it’s open to anyone above that age.

“One of my participants just turned 80 and he comes to almost every event,” she said.

Borchert said that above all, the organization needs the funding to continue operating in their current format.

“I just did my budget, we have taken in $4,000 and my expenses are $13,000,” she said. “We need cash. We’ll get it because New Ulm is a very giving town, but we need money to keep the costs low.”

After being announced as the winner, Borchert said the money she receives will go a long way to ensuring the program continues providing activities for the disabled people in New Ulm.

“This is a huge load off,” she said. “It’s going to be able to keep the costs very low for our participants. I was getting to the point where I was worried I was gonna have to start raising fees. I worried that I might start losing people and they would retreat to their homes, which we do not want to happen.”

Borchert said the ability for 100 Women to come together and donate $100 each to a worthy cause is an amazing feeling. She said New Ulm has a thriving non-profit sector that springs into action when problems arise.

“I think when there’s a need, there’s a nonprofit that jumps in to help,” Borchert said. “New Ulm is a very conservative town but we’re also very giving when we see someone in need. We figure out a way to help whether it’s giving the money to the United Way or directly to the nonprofit. Things like 100 Women where you can choose who to give it to is a big thing.”


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