Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Education

Disabilities Awareness Walk and Roll organizer says event was 'great first effort'

BROOKSVILLE — It was the first such event, but coordinator Jeneen Defilippo was pleased nonetheless with the recent Disabilities Awareness Walk and Roll at Nature Coast Technical High School.

"It was just such a wonderful day," Defilippo said. "It was a great first effort."

The purpose of the Oct. 20 Walk and Roll was to raise money for exceptional education students in the school system and the community. It was sponsored by the Hernando County Education Foundation and the Hernando County Exceptional Student Advisory Committee.

It began with a 5K at 8 a.m. with 90 runners and walkers participating. There was one father-son team. The parent pushed his son in his wheelchair. The Explorer K-8 cheerleaders ran a water station.

But the run/walk was only one of the activities. Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind offered to teach those who stopped by how to write their names in Braille.

Nature Coast's antibullying committee had a Feeling Faces station. Children were invited to draw faces revealing things that trouble them on rocks. Those feelings were discussed, and the rocks were then turned over for drawings of happier faces.

There were also dance and karate exhibits, as well as children's activities. The Suncoast YMCA provided an obstacle course, and the Boys & Girls Club sponsored a bounce house and carnival games.

"We had over 60 registered exhibitors," Defilippo said.

Throughout the four months of planning, and including the actual event, the effort took in about $4,000.

"It's still coming in," Defilippo said, and donations continue to be encouraged.

With the proceeds, the sponsors are hoping to hire a behavior expert to offer parent workshops in the spring. Future plans include summer camp scholarships.

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