Tag Archives: Parents of Special Children

Sports program created for children with special needs

Monica Stoutenger (left top row) creator of “Doing It Our Way” stands with G. Ray Bodley cheerleaders and participants in the group. Participants included Shamika Austin, Alaina Reynolds, Shianna Smith, Madalyn Rupert, Angelica Moot, Mia Kerfien, Jenna Moot and Amanda Pravettoni.
Monica Stoutenger (left top row) creator of “Doing It Our Way” stands with G. Ray Bodley cheerleaders and participants in the group. Participants included Shamika Austin, Alaina Reynolds, Shianna Smith, Madalyn Rupert, Angelica Moot, Mia Kerfien, Jenna Moot and Amanda Pravettoni.

by Nicole Reitz

When Monica Stoutenger, board president of Parents of Special Children, saw a need in the Fulton community, she jumped at the challenge.

Stoutenger is an advocate for her daughter, Madalyn Rupert, who has special needs, and recently created the group Doing it Our Way.

Doing it Our Way was developed to allow special needs individuals the opportunity to play sports. Madalyn has tried soccer before, but expressed an interest in playing basketball.

Stoutenger wanted to let her daughter play, but knew that a competitive team sport wouldn’t be very forgiving if she shot the ball in the wrong basket.

“I saw a need for this group in our community because of my own child,” she said. “I wanted my child to play sports because she wants to play them. Unfortunately, organized sports are not always so forgiving when we kick in the wrong goal or when our feet go left when they should be going right.

“Doing it Our Way will be just that,” said added. “We will play the same sports, dance the same dance, cheer the same cheers but we will do it our own way. If we do make those mistakes, it makes no difference.”

Madalyn has danced for seven years alongside her peers, but as she has gotten older, her ability has become more noticeable and she is taller than the other girls at her level.

Stoutenger hopes that by making her own group, individuals who want to participate would face the similar obstacles together.

Stoutenger began by putting the word out that she was looking for a gym to play basketball and soccer in. With cheerleading and dance also in mind, what developed was a partnership with Off Broadway Dance Studio. Cheerleaders from G. Ray Bodley High School agreed to volunteer their time and talents to teach participants in a five-week session.

Special needs individuals learned cheers and performed in front of an audience during half time at a Fulton vs. Fowler boys basketball game in December. Eight Doing It Our Way participants became cheerleaders for the night and wore borrowed Pop Warner uniforms.

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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 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.”

Tickets are still available for the 11th annual Jamboree Fund-raiser to benefit Parents of Special Children. The event will be held Sunday, June 10 from noon until 4 p.m. at the Scriba Fire Department. Pictured are Jake, Claudia and Alex Chetney gearing up for some family fun.

Annual Jamboree Fund-raiser to be held June 10

Tickets are still available for the 11th annual Jamboree Fund-raiser to benefit Parents of Special Children. The event will be held Sunday, June 10 from noon until 4 p.m. at the Scriba Fire Department. Pictured are Jake, Claudia and Alex Chetney gearing up for some family fun.

Tickets are still available for the 11th annual Jamboree Fund-raiser to benefit Parents of Special Children.

The event will be held Sunday, June 10 from noon until 4 p.m. at the Scriba Fire Department.

The family event, which will include spaghetti dinner, live entertainment by Bloodline, door prizes, 50/50 raffles, and children’s activities, is organized by the Parents of Special Children staff and board members.

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Tickets are now available for the 11th annual Jamboree fund-raiser to benefit Parents of Special Children. The event will be held Sunday, June 10 from noon until 4 p.m. at the Scriba Fire Department. Pictured are Program Coordinator Marie Smith with Alex Familo as they sort through door prizes for the event.

Jamboree fund-raiser slated

Tickets are now available for the 11th annual Jamboree fund-raiser to benefit Parents of Special Children. The event will be held Sunday, June 10 from noon until 4 p.m. at the Scriba Fire Department. Pictured are Program Coordinator Marie Smith with Alex Familo as they sort through door prizes for the event.

Tickets are now available for the 11th annual Jamboree fund-raiser to benefit Parents of Special Children.

The event will be held Sunday, June 10 from noon until 4 p.m. at the Scriba Fire Department.

The family event — which will include a spaghetti dinner, live entertainment by Bloodline, door prizes, 50/50 raffles, games and crafts for kids — is organized by the Parents of Special Children staff and board members.

Continue reading