Easterseals Central California’s second Walk With Me and Celebrating Abilities Resource Fair on Saturday, April 25th (at Sherwood Park in Salinas) once again brought together families, community agencies, sponsors and ESCC staff for a great day filled with fun and camaraderie. Even a little unlikely rain couldn’t put a damper on the festivities!
Our emcees Dann Cianca and Jason Atcho from KION-46 greeted the crowd and got things going, ably assisted by long-time ESCC friend and supporter Ron Haedicke of Freedom Media Services. CEO Tom Conway welcomed everyone and acknowledged our generous sponsors including Microsoft, Safeway, Central Coast Federal Credit Union, Kohl’s, San Andreas Regional Center and CVS, and many more. Tom presented a plaque to Aaron Oskolkoff, CVS Team Captain, in recognition of CVS’ outstanding contribution as one of Easterseals’ National corporate sponsors to the 2014 Walk With Me. Rounding out the opening were Ambassador Parents Alicia Lustre and Maria Camberos, who shared their heartfelt testimony about the impact of the services that their sons Efrain and M.J. received through our Strengthening Special Families program.
The rain clouds gave way to bright sunshine as the Ambassador families, proudly bearing their team banners, led an enthusiastic group of Easterseals clients, families, friends and supporters down to Tatum’s Garden inclusive playground and back on the route of the Walk. For the rest of the morning, families enjoyed various creative hands-on activities and visited information tables to learn more about resources in our community.
First 5 Monterey County sponsored the Wheelie Mobilee from the MY Museum in Monterey, which brought a myriad of creative hands-on activities,and the Block Fest, facilitated by the parent educators from the Parents As Teachers program, which allows kids to explore their building talents with blocks of all sorts of different shapes, sizes and textures. The Monterey County SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area) also provided Ability Awareness activities, which allow those without disabilities to become aware of the daily challenges that our clients encounter.
At the Resource Fair families also had the opportunity to receive information about disability-related programs and services, such as Kernes Adaptive Aquatics, South County Autism Screening Project, Special Kids Crusade, Achievement Products, San Andreas Regional Center and the State Council on Developmental Disability Silicon Valley/Monterey Bay. Parents also learned about special needs support groups facilitated by the Army Community Center and Padres de Niños Especiales del Sur del Condado, as well as an array of community organizations relating to energy, recycling, dentistry, chiropractic and other services.
It was another great Walk With Me for a great cause! Easterseals Central California is deeply grateful to our sponsors, in-kind donors, families and friends from near and far who contributed to the success of the event and to our mission to provide support, education and advocacy for children and adults with disabilities and their families.