Picnic full of fall fun

Organizing a community event was unknown territory for me, a little daunting but worth exploring. I knew one thing: I wanted to invite families who deal with special needs. Whole families. So that everyone would feel accepted and understood.

I also wanted to have an outside event, so I reserved a park shelter. The one good date available was just before Halloween, so pumpkins and costumes seemed a natural fit.

The result? Picnic in the Park with Pumpkins.

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I didn’t know how many people to expect. I hoped at least one person would come. About 50 people did.

Thanks to all the families who spent this past Sunday at South Fork Park in Florence. We enjoyed sunshine and a warm breeze. My grill master husband cooked up hot dogs and bratwursts. People set up chairs and blankets and gathered under the shelter to talk and eat.

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We talked about families, schools and concerns about health, medicine and resources. We played yard games, listened to my nephew rock his guitar and broke into a sing-a-long of “Shut Up and Dance with Me.” Superman, a pirate and various other characters were spotted on the playground and basketball courts. Families visited the park’s creek and walking trail.

The day was one of beauty, relationship and wholeness.

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A grant I received from the myNKY Nano Grant Program helped make this great day possible. A big thank you to the people at Skyward and The Center for Great Neighborhoods! They are all about creating community. If you want to know more, I wrote about the program in a previous post.

As one family was leaving the picnic, a man and I talked about how getting out of the house can be a challenge but how valuable the effort is. There was talk at some point in the day of this becoming an annual event.

As I continue on this blogging journey, that might be a road to explore.

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Join us for fall fun

Here’s the update I promised in an earlier post, Special Needs NKy awarded grant, about the community event that’s part of the myNKY Nano Grant program. I hope you can come out and enjoy the day!

Picnic in the Park with Pumpkins

Sunday, October 30, 2016

South Fork Park in Florence

2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Families dealing with disability or special needs are invited to gather at the park shelter for food, treats, games and music. Enjoy a playground, walking trail, basketball and volleyball courts and lots of open space to play.

You are welcome to wear your Halloween costumes. Bring chairs or blankets if you’d like to spread out.

Please RSVP with the number in your family by Tuesday, Oct. 25, to angie.mimms@gmail.com.