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Opportunities Inc., which has provided social and employment services for people of diverse abilities for the past five decades, celebrated its 50th anniversary Friday with a ceremony and luncheon at the Jefferson County Fair Park.

Keynoting the event was Wisconsin’s Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. On top of talking about the importance of Opportunities and programs like it, Kleefisch presented the nonprofit agency with a proclamation from Gov. Scott Walker honoring Opportunities’ contributions during the past half-century.

The gathering also marked National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month, with the message of inclusion driving innovation. The national campaign aims to raise awareness of how employing people with disabilities/various abilities can be a win-win for both industry and the individual employees.

Barb LeDuc, president and CEO of Opportunities, welcomed attendees and recognized those who helped to establish Opportunities five decades ago. Among those in the audience were Susie Waterman, a member of the Opportunities team and the daughter of one of the mothers who founded what was then a “sheltered workplace” 50 years ago.

Also present was Spence Jensen, longtime former CEO of Opportunities, who played a key role in the organization’s growth and success and, though retired, continues to support its mission. In addition, several past and present board members for Opportunities were on hand.

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