Parents of Special Children hosts annual barbecue

Help from the audience – Justin Charsky, a helper from the audience, balances juggling pins on his head while Juggling Josh jokes with the crowd. It was part of the Parents of Special Children’s annual barbecue, which was held Saturday at Lura Sharp Elementary School in Pulaski.

Parents of Special Children recently hosted its annual barbecue at Lura Sharp Elementary School in Pulaski.

Various community individuals and organizations donated facilities, talent, food and entertainment for children with special needs to create an enjoyable day. The school provided a location for the event to go on, despite the rain.

A highlight of the day was Juggling Josh. He rode a unicycle, told jokes, juggled and brought in helpers from the crowd. Other highlights included caricature artist J.P. Crangle, known for his drawings that are featured in Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse in Syracuse. Marie Smith, coordinator at Parents of Special Children, and an organizer of the event, said she was pleased so many turned out to enjoy the barbecue and be with other families. The community support for this event has been overwhelming, she added.

“What a great day. Thank you to our hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Barclay, as well as Assemblyman Barclay for all you do,” she said. “Without their support, we would not be able to make this day possible. One of our main objectives as an organization is to empower families. When families strengthen connections with other families and just have fun at events like this, it helps the entire family unit. This was a good day.”

H. Douglas Barclay, former U.S. Ambassador and host of the backyard barbecue, said, “Both DeeDee and I are pleased to be able to host this event for the Parents of Special Children, Inc. After hosting the event for the first time in 2010, and seeing all those kids and families smiling and enjoying themselves, we made plans that day to start planning for the next one.

“It is my hope that through this event, the network of parents and children who face special challenges in caring for and raising children with special needs strengthens and grows,” he added.

Assemblyman Barclay said, “I’m glad to be a part of this event.  I love to see the families come together and the kids play and be entertained. I hope it was a memorable day for those who took part. I know it was for me. I want to give a special thanks to Dr. Marshall Marshall, superintendent of Pulaski Central School District, and his staff for letting the event be held by providing a great location out of the rain.”

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