CULLMAN – The majestic landscape of Stone Bridge Farms was transformed into the dark side as the venue played host to the annual Cullman Parks and Recreation (CP&R) Therapeutic Recreation Family Halloween Party Tuesday evening.
With plenty of minions, police officers and even a group of M&Ms, all were taking part in the ghoulish evening, one which has become a staple of the Therapeutic Recreation Program.
Kelly Pulliam, Therapeutic Recreation Program coordinator, says the program came to fruition as the staff at CP&R became involved in small activities for those with disabilities. The Halloween party came about just a year or so later. It’s been a big hit ever since.
“It began about five years ago as there is a large special needs population that needs activities to do,” she said. “Really to fill the gap between individuals that are out of the school system and have no other ways to socialize with other special needs individuals and families.”
Pulliam says the program’s growth has come largely from word of mouth, “amongst other special needs families and by partnering with Margaret Jean Jones Center and the Cullman Autism and Special Needs Support Group.”
She said, “It is good for us to be able to offer something for this group that is normally overlooked in a lot of the community events. This is for all of them.”
If you’ve never attended a CP&R Therapeutic Recreation event, then you are most likely not familiar with the one activity that all those taking part will participate in. It also happens to be Pulliam’s favorite part of the night.
“I enjoy seeing all of the families come together and all of the awesome dancing that occurs,” she said with a laugh.
For those with loved ones with disabilities who are not taking part in the program, Pulliam says becoming part of the group setting will open up more opportunities to form bonds with fellow group members.
“It is good to be in an environment where they can be completely free to be themselves. Most importantly the parents find support in each other regarding the challenges that most special needs families face daily,” she said.
If you or someone you know would like more information, contact Kelly Pulliam at 256-734-9157 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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