Options program gets $21,400 boost _lowres

Photo provided by CHRISTIE GARDINER -- Standing in front of a display of handmade weaving products, Karen Pfiefer, owner of Middendorf's restaurant in Manchac and the head of Options' weaving program, left, receives an appreciation collage from Options while Options CEO Sylvia Bush receives a check from the Manchac Run last month.

The weaving program for Options — a private nonprofit agency located in Hammond providing services for people with developmental disabilities — received a big boost for its expansion efforts, thanks to Middendorf’s Manchac Run.

The restaurant’s owners, Horst and Karen Pfeifer, hosted a luncheon on Dec. 4 for sponsors and organizers of the event and presented Options with a check for $21,400; $11,400 of that was raised by sponsors and race participants, a news release from Options said. Middendorf’s donated an additional $10,000.

“It was an easy decision to donate to Options,“ said Karen Pfeifer, Middendorf’s owner and head of the Options program. “My friends and I volunteer every Monday and Tuesday to guide people with disabilities in the art of weaving, and we need funds for the program to grow. Now, we’re on our way to expand the program from just enrichment to another Options business that provides meaningful work for people with disabilities. So, for everyone who really wants to buy our handmade rugs, scarves, dish towels and much more — stay tuned. We’re on our way.”

A few of the program’s weavers attended the event to display their wares. People with disabilities, supported by the nonprofit agency, also attended the Manchac Run on Nov. 15. They cheered on 678 participants and handed out medals for the 10-mile, 10K and 5K races .

“We had a great time at the Manchac Run, and we’re very thankful for the sponsors, racers, organizers and volunteers,” said Sylvia Bush, CEO of Options. “Of course, we cannot say enough about Horst and Karen Pfeifer, of Middendorf’s, who chose Options to receive the proceeds and worked so hard to make the event one to remember for everyone involved.”

This was the sixth year for the Manchac Run. After the race, participants received catfish dinners and attended a party at the nearby Gator’s Den.

To learn more about wOptions, visit www.options4u.org.