The Katie Dunning Spring Dance is an annual dance for the special needs teens to adults sponsored by the Westerville Civitans and hosted by the Westerville Parks and Recreation Department. The dance is a labor of love; the result of determined parents' desire to fulfill their daughter's dreams. Katie Dunning, like most teenage girls, wanted nothing more than to go to a high school dance. Unfortunately, Katie is a special needs child with severe scoliosis and, at the time, attending a high school dance was out of the question. Bob and Gale Dunning, Katie's parents, decided to make Katie's wishes come true and, with the support of the Westerville Civitan Club, held a dance for special needs kids in Katie's honor at the Westerville Community Center. That was several years ago. Katie and her parents have moved since then, but the dance continues to be an annual tradition.
**Due to scheduling issues, we will not be able to use the Westerville Community Center. We will be holding the dance at the Whetstone Community Center.**
The Katie Dunning Spring Dance is more than a social event. People with special needs often suffer from depression as a result of social isolation. Anxiety and fear limit their ability to take part in hallmark events that other people cherish. Older people with special needs are often stigmatized by the lack of acceptance they experienced earlier in life. They may never have had the opportunity to go to a high school homecoming dance or prom. Younger people with special needs are more likely to be embraced by their peers. However, they are often still painfully shy. Going to a dance with their friends can still be an awkward and uncomfortable experience. The Katie Dunning Spring Dance gives everyone with special needs, regardless of their age or disability, the opportunity to put aside all of their fears and have a good time. For one special night, noone needs to be self-conscious or embarrassed. Cherished memories are created. Self-confidence is boosted. Long-term friendships are established.
The Katie Dunning Spring Dance takes months of planning and hard work to pull off. The Westerville Civitan Club could use your help. Consider volunteering for the event. The Westerville Civitans could always use an extra hand or two. Monetary donations are needed to keep the dance going well into the future. Your donations will be used to pay for entertainment, decorations, and refreshments. For more information on donating for the event, please visit our fundraising page. Both individual and corporate donations are accepted. Thank you for your support.
The Easter Egg Hunt is an annual Easter Egg Hunt for special needs kids sponsored by the Westerville Civitans and hosted by the Westerville Parks and Recreation Department. The event was started by the Westerville Civitan Club over a decade ago to fill a very specific need for Westerville's special needs community. Special needs kids are often unintentionally left out of social activities that require certain levels of physical stamina and agility. Easter Egg Hunts can be particularly traumatizing. While their friends and siblings race off to gather brightly colored eggs and candy, special needs kids are often left at the starting line holding empty baskets. The Westerville Civitan Club stepped in to ensure every special needs child has an opportunity to participate in the Easter festivities. Each year the club provides over 1,200 plastic eggs filled with candy and six dozen Easter baskets filled with candy, toys, and stuffed animals for a special needs only Easter Egg Hunt. Special chiming eggs are provided for the blind children. The Westerville Parks and Recreation Department hosts the event at the Westerville Community Center, ensuring easy access for children in wheelchairs. And of course, the Easter Bunny always makes a guest appearance. Every child leaves the Easter Egg Hunt with a basket full of goodies and a smile on their face.
Each child must be registered by April 17, 2019 to participate in the event. To register, please contact Maryetta Harper at 614-890-2645 or [email protected]
Ensuring the success of the Easter Egg Hunt can be a challenge for a club with limited resources. There are several ways you can make a difference. Consider volunteering for the event. The Westerville Civitans could always use a extra hand or two. Donations are always welcome. Toys, especially stuffed animals, and plastic Easter Eggs can be dropped off the day of the event. Monetary donations are also welcome. For more information on donating funds for the event, please visit our fundraising page. Both individual and corporate donations are accepted. Thank you for your support.