North Town Insurance Agency
April finalist

Elevating children with special needs

673 Votes
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Voting starts April 1, 2024

Coordinating with therapy providers to serve children with special needs and working alongside families to pay for the services, Elevations strives to make sure children of all abilities have the opportunity to reach their full potential and thrive.

Starting at the base

Founded in 2012 by a group of medical professionals, families of children with special needs and supportive community members, Spokane-based Elevations seeks to address the inadequacies of a healthcare system that forces families to choose between paying for critical therapies and equipment for their kids and putting food on the table.

“We started Elevations in hopes of tackling the lack of funding for kids with special needs,” says Mary Anne Ruddis, executive director of Elevations. “That first year, I believe we awarded eight grants.”

That number has grown steadily over the years, funding out-of-pocket costs for a host of services, everything from physical therapy and speech-language pathology to nutrition guidance and music therapy. While amounts vary, depending on the needs of each child, the grant average is $700.

Given that extra financial hand, families are able to overcome such obstacles as high deductibles, multiple co-pays and lack of coverage, ensuring their children receive effective, evidence-based therapies that change their lives.

We started Elevations in hopes of tackling the lack of funding for kids with special needs.

– Mary Anne Ruddis, Elevations executive director

 

A spirited lineup of fundraisers

Supporting kids with special needs – more than a thousand to date – obviously requires money, so Elevations relies heavily on fundraising.

Each May, the nonprofit holds the Elevations Charity Golf Classic at the scenic Wandermere Golf Course nestled in the Little Spokane River Valley. The event features an afternoon of golf, followed by dinner and a raffle.

A few weeks later in June, Elevations stages its annual Stache Dash, “the race that puts hair on your face.” Runners take on the Children of the Sun Trail in North Spokane, completing 5k, 10k and half marathon distances. Those who haven’t managed to muster a stache of their own may have one provided.

The nonprofit’s biggest fundraiser is its spooktacular Ghost Ball, an annual October Halloween event featuring a costume contest, photo booth, silent and live auctions and a chance to monster-mash the night away. Last year’s Ghost Ball raised a blood-curdling $105,000.

 

Inspiring its community partners

Individuals and businesses in the community have been instrumental in Elevations’ growth and impact, helping raise funds for and awareness of the need for better financial support when it comes to caring for special needs children.

North Town Insurance principal Aaron LeBlanc, who owns his Spokane-based agency with his wife Lisa, has long supported Elevations, in addition to other likeminded nonprofits in the area. Wednesday mornings, LeBlanc takes part in a networking meet-up with Ruddis, whose passion for children and first-hand understanding of the obstacles families face as they navigate the healthcare system, has left a deep impression. “Mary Anne is an inspiration, showing love and generosity to everyone around her,” says LeBlanc.

That admiration has inspired LeBlanc and the rest of North Town’s staff to donate both time and money in support of the nonprofit. “No family should have to choose between paying bills and getting their children the services they need,” says LeBlanc. “Elevations comes to the rescue in these situations. It’s such a blessing to partner with them.”

Regular contributions from community partners like North Town have amplified the nonprofit’s impact over the years. In 2023, it awarded $169,177 through 265 grants – its highest number ever.

“No family should have to choose between paying bills and getting their children the services they need. Elevations comes to the rescue in these situations. It’s such a blessing to partner with them.”

– Aaron LeBlanc, North Town Insurance co-owner

 

Reach new heights

Help North Town Insurance win $10,000 for Elevations by clicking the vote button. Get them an extra vote by cheering them on in the comments below by April 30, 2024.

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Nichole
7 days ago

Thank you so much for supporting Elevations! The organization makes such an impact to children and families that need access to therapy and therapeutic resources. Such a great impact made to our community!

Alex Avila
7 days ago

What an incredible organization and I’m excited to see how many more families can be blessed by this award!

Kelly P.
7 days ago

Such a worthwhile cause in support of a business that helps to change lives!

Taylor Harris
8 days ago

Elevations Spokane makes such an important impact for kids needing access to therapeutic resources. This money would go far in the community for families needing assistance.

Paula Russell
8 days ago

Excellent work, North Town! Thank you for all the great work you are doing to support your community and this amazing organization!!

AARON M LEBLANC
9 days ago

Whoot Whoot, keep the party rolling, share this w/ your friends, families, and co-workers. Let’s reach the 500 votes in record time 🙂 Remember to vote daily!

Roland
9 days ago

North Town Insurance is a great Company

Allie Brammer
9 days ago

Thanks for the voting reminder!

Lora
9 days ago

Thank you, Elevations, on behalf of all of the families.

Duane Ramsey
9 days ago

We need more companies like North Town that are willing to give back to their community! Thank you for contributing to Elevations

Joan Bolliger
9 days ago

This is a fantastic program! Thanks for all that you do for so many!

Chanda Neu
10 days ago

Thanks for your support!

Molly Everson
10 days ago

Elevations goes above and beyond to help families in our community! Love them!

Mary Anne Ruddis
10 days ago

Thank you!!

Christine Carney
10 days ago

Elevations is great, helping children and families right here in our area!!

Nicole Bitonti
10 days ago

Absolutely here for this! Thx for helping those in our community!!

Michelle McPherson
10 days ago

Thank you for providing assistance for kids in Spokane. You’re the best!

Nicole Bitonti
10 days ago

Absolutely here for this I support the good work you guys do!

Dave Shoemaker
10 days ago

Your heart for helping others is not a surprise! You guys are awesome, thank you!

Heather
10 days ago

What a wonderful way to help out! I have several special needs nephews and a granddaughter also. Any company that helps special needs, needs to be lifted up. ❤️

Kari Fleming
10 days ago

Thank you Elevations for providing an important resource to children with special needs and their families. Thank you Northtown Insurance for supporting the Spokane community.

David
10 days ago

Thank you for supporting Elevations!

Tanya
10 days ago

An elevations grant helped our family with physical therapy expenses and it was a huge blessing. Our 16-year-old son has had weekly physically therapy since he was born and those costs add up. NorthTown Insurance is also my business insurance broker and they are the best!!!!

Sarah Wahlin
10 days ago

The Elevations grant has been such a help to my family. We have a 16 month old daughter who has been medically complex since birth and the ways that Elevations has helped us access therapies for her has been LIFE changing!

kimberly madore
10 days ago

Elevations is a wonderful part of our Community, as is Northtown Insurance!

Nicole Rowe
10 days ago

What a great cause! Thanks for all you do in the community!

Cassie Chase
10 days ago

Woohoo North Town Insurance!

Tarah Dove
10 days ago

Best of luck, NTI! Elevations is a wonderful cause ❤️

Dave Markel
10 days ago

Nice job, North Town! Elevations, and their mission, is a fantastic organization to support.

Amy DeLorenzo
10 days ago

Thank you North Town Insurance for supporting your local community!

Andy Thorp
10 days ago

Great job to North Town Insurance on your volunteerism in the local community and bringing awareness to such an important cause.

Joe Condino
10 days ago

Kudos to you, North Town Insurance, for your support of this amazing organization.

Kermit Hancock
10 days ago

Thanks to North Town Insurance for your work in supporting such an important cause!

Kristin Swanson
10 days ago

Wow, such an important and meaningful cause. Thank you, North Town!

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