A great day for everyone regardless of level of ability
Funfest, Richmond Community Services’ annual festival on June 17th, now in its 28th year, looked like any other. Festival goers from all over Westchester lined up for barbeque, ice cream and snow cones. They played lawn bowling, dressed up and posed for glamour photos, participated in competitive races, darted under a giant parachute, made spin art, had their portrait sketched, and listened to live entertainment.
The difference was that among the near 500 in attendance, 140 of them were children and adults with developmental disabilities and complex medical needs who are supported in Richmond’s residences and programs. Through collaboration between staff and volunteers from the community, they were able to participate in the fun. Organizers even created a way for individuals without family in attendance to still have someone to share the day with. Many of the 115 volunteers were Buddies for the Day, sharing the priceless gift of companionship with an individual.
There were over 20 activities, underwritten by donors who had the opportunity to sponsor the event by taking an ad in the journal.
“It was remarkable that everyone could participate in all the activities, no matter what their level of ability,” said Angelisse Marcano, the mother of a resident. “I was very pleased that there were so many fun things to do with my son Guillermo like the sketching, massage, and glamour shots, among others. It truly was a celebration of our differing abilities.”