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Helping Each Other Navigate the IDD World

Barbara Papanester’s Calendar

Special Events Calendar

March 2017

Teen to Adulthood

February flew by in a blink and we are in March already.   We had some glimpses of spring last month and this month we will see many more but nature will throw in the allergens so the real spring might not be as enjoyable as those glimpses!

Do not forget to use the Leisure Ledger as a wonderful source of organized programs and information on their extensive aquatic program!  It is available online or just grab one at any Parks Community Center.  Sign up early to ensure a spot.  

If you have questions, please look to the contact listed for that activity.   Please feel free to email me at bpapan7@yahoo.com if you know of any other activity that we might enjoy.  I would like to thank all the people who have kept me in mind when they hear of something fun for us!

***** Indicates that the information listed is new or has been altered in some way.

*****DANCES are on the schedule.   Registration is $5 at the door but chaperones, parents, and assistants are free.  Dances are from 7-9:30pm.

Spring Dance is on March 17 at the Five Points Center for Active Adults.  Registration is

Steppin’ Out is a formal dance held in Holy Springs on Friday, 3/19 from 6:30-9pm at the Sunrise United Methodist church (5420 Sunset Lake road).  This is sponsored by the Civitan Club of Holly Springs and invites participants ages 14 and up with special needs to come have fun.   Registration is at hollyspringscivitan.org.  Registration starts on 3/1 and the deadline is 5/1.

*****THE ANNUAL SPRING CARNIVAL for children with special needs is on April 22 from 11am -2pm this year.  All this fun happens at Brooks Avenue Church of Christ (700 Brooks Ave, Raleigh) and there will be hot dogs, popcorn, a petting zoo, crafts and prizes, all free!   Come join the fun at this yearly fun.

*****YOGA CLASSES are being offered for both adults with ID/DD and for parents and caregivers of ID/DD children.   The classes are held at the Yoga-Mojo Studio at 1127 Kildaire Farm Rd inside the Long Life Wellness Center.  The leader is Diana Taggart who has 14 yrs experience working with the ID/DD community and has been teaching yoga to the community since her graduation from Innerlight Yoga School.   

The Mind Body parent (aka Mindful Moments) class is on Saturdays from 11:45-1pm on April 1, May 6, and June 3.  The cost is $15 per class and there are still a few openings.  Just want to try it out?   Come try it out for $5.   There is also a package where you can pay for 4 classes and attend 5.

The Breath. Flow. Grow. Yoga for individuals with ID/DD will now be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:45-2:30 and you will have the option to register as a drop in for $10 or purchase a package of 5 classes for $45 and use them as you please.

You can find out more information and sign up at www.yoga-mojo.com For more information call Diana at (919) 701-9642.

*****DATE HIGHTLIGHTS:  These are dates identified by the Arc of the Triangle on their website.  For more information please call the Arc.  

March 14: Transitions Resource Fair – Greenhope HS, Cary

March 15:  Family Fun Night at Marbles Museum, Raleigh, 5:30-8pm

April 1: Wake Forest Parks and Rec resource Fair

April 22:  Great Human Race in Durham

*****ROCK CLIMBING is available for the special needs community at a variety of locations, dates, and times.  For more information and registration check out www.dukeadaptiveclimbing.org.  There are opportunities at Triangle Rock Club ( April 23, May 14), Duke Climbing Wall (3/25), and Chapel Hill Community Center (4/7 and 5/5).  There is an adaptive clinic at Rocky Face Mountain Outdoor Adaptive Clinic (3451 Rocky Face Church Rd, Hiddenite, NC< 28638) on 5/6 for $30.

SPORTS OPPORTUNITIES are available through the following 4 groups:

The Miracle League of the Triangle provides individuals with special needs the opportunity to play baseball each spring and fall.  Volunteers offer one-on-one support to our athletes. We hold youth leagues (K-12 grades) and adult leagues (18 years and older and out of high school).  Our ball fields are located in Cary and North Raleigh. For more information go to www.MiracleLeagueoftheTriangle.com, email LeagueManager@MiracleLeagueooftheTriangle.com or call 919-238-0333. 

Triangle Special Hockey is open to anyone who can skate and wants to play!  Find out more at trianglespecialhockey.org.

CASL is introducing the HEART program that is a soccer program designed for children ages 4-18 with disabilities in Wake County.  There is no cost to join this program. Contact Martin Rodriguez Arispe at martin.rodriguez-arispe@caslnc.com or call him at 919-341-4567 to get the information for next season.

Pop Warner has challenger divisions for Cheering, Football, and dance teams for ages 5-18.   Google Pop Warner Special Needs and follow your interests!

*****TENNIS CLINICS are in Raleigh. The clinics are at Millbrook Exchange Tennis Center (1905 Spring Forest Rd) and check out www.atanc.org for more information.  Clinics will be on Saturdays from 3:30-5pm on 3/11, 3/18, 3/25, 4/1, 4/8, 4/22, 5/13, and 5/20.


Apex Community Park (2200 Laura Duncan rd, Apex).  Contact Allie Prelaske at (919) 249-3402 for information.  Clinics will be held on Sundays from 4-5pm on 4/23, 4/30, 5/7, 5/28, and 6/4.

Cary Tennis Park (2217 Stephens Dr, Cary).  Contact Judy Newsome at (919) 462-2061 for more information.   Clinics will be on Saturdays from 12-1pm and 1-2pm. On 3/25, 4/1, (no clinics on 4/15 due to Easter),  4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, and 5/20.

DRUM CIRCLES are available and are ready to bring people together through drum and rhythm circles.   Communitas (a nondenominational social community for children and adults with IDD and other family members) brings us the drum circles on the 4th Wednesday of every month at 6pm at the Alliance of Disability Advocates office (1012 Oberlin Rd, suite 200, Raleigh).   Comminitas has many more activities too – check them out at www.communitas.org/events.

TRIANGLE SPECIAL TAIKO is a joint program with City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources. It is a fee program.  Individuals need to have some coordination, the ability to follow directions, a desire to play drums and perform, and be able to handle the loud volume level of the drums. Contact: Meghan.Rodriguez@raleighnc.gov or yokoiwashima@gmail.com

ATTENTION CAREGIVERS!  A parent has informed me that a group Bridge to Healing offers tax deductions and matching funds for parents that pay out of pocket for any type of therapy for their special needs kids or adults.   It is a nonprofit and provides tax deductible receipts. Tricia Borsch (tspearfish@yahoo.com) is the founder and a board member.   Their link is http://bridgetohealinginc.com/ .

CARY PARKS, RECREATION & CULTURAL RESOURCES DEPARTMENT:  Provides programs for persons with disabilities of all ages.  Activities are open to non-Cary residents as well with a small additional fee.   Please visit www.townofcary.org and search “Specialized Recreation” for more information, or contact Judy Newsome at (919) 462-2027 or email judy.newsome@townofcary.org

THE TOWN OF ROLESVILLE is offering a variety of activities for ages 5-18 at the Community Center at 514 Southtown Circle.  There are game nights on select Tuesday evenings, movie nights on select Saturdays from 7:30-9:30, and Zumba fitness classes on Wednesday evenings  – all starting in September.  Register or find out more information regarding the most current offerings on the website at www.rolesvillenc.gov.

APEX PARKS, RECREATION AND CULTURAL RESOURCES have expanded their programs.  The Spirit League Basketball (ages 12 and up) program is on Friday evenings from 1/20-3/6.  Bingo night (ages 16 and up) are Mondays on 2/20, and 3/29 4/17, from 6:30 -8pm at the Apex Community Center.  To register or for more information, please contact Allie Prelaske, allie.prelaske@apexnc.org or 919-249-3507 or visit their website for more information www.apexnc.org/programguides.


HOLLY SPRINGS  has some fun going on too. Check out the information listings of fun at http://www.hollyspringsnc.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/217.  You will find information on “Together on Center Stage” and Easy Tai Chi as well as other activities like Family Fun Night.  

THE ARC OF THE TRIANGLE has openings in their Cary choir called the Grace Notes. The Grace Notes is an adult choir of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities who have a wonderful time sharing their love of music with our community.  The Grace Notes Choir meets every Tuesday night from 7-8pm at Covenant Christian Church (2911 SW Cary Parkway, Cary, NC) and performs about 8-10 times a year.  For more information call Dona McNeill at dmcneill5026@gmail.com or call (919)215-7383.

Check out the ARC of the Triangle’s website at www.arctriangle.org.  There is a drop down menu at the top left and then press on Info and Resources to get to Kid’s Connections which has other fun things to do.


THE POWER OF THE DREAM has launched its own calendar of events!   They ask that you email pdpublicevents@thepowerofthedream.org with events that you would like to add.  Make sure you bookmark thepowerofthedream.org for the calendar.   They have also started their own Facebook Page where you can learn more about their efforts to create jobs in the Triangle for people with autism and other developmental disabilities.  Find it and bookmark it at Power of the Dream.

TRI-ATHLETIC SUPER STAR CHEERLEADING is looking for more members in their cheerleading squads to learn new skills like tumbling, and dancing to work together with other school cheerleaders and attend/perform at local competitions!   No experience is needed and all ages are welcome.  The practices will be held in the Brier Creek area.   For more information contact Jordan Witt at jwitt63@yahoo.com.

THE COMEDY CAFÉ:  There is hopefully only one more month for the Comedy Café to be up and running again.  Let’s all hope for it to be back in business for March!

ACCESS THEATRE NOW!  This class gives students with physical, emotional, learning and developmental disabilities an opportunity to gain self-esteem, improve social and communication skills and explore new modes of self-expression – all in a non-competitive, structured atmosphere. Each session will culminate in an open classroom highlighting the individual talents of all involved. Support staff is welcome. No previous experience necessary.  Call 919-821-4579 x225.   This is held at Raleigh Little Theatre.

LOOKING FOR A GOOD THRIFT STORE?  Come out to the new HANDmeUPS Thrift Store located in the Litchford Village Shopping Center at 8320 Litchford Rd, Raleigh.    This is a non-profit store dedicated to providing training and employment opportunities for people with autism and other developmental disabilities.  Give them a HAND UP by donating your hand-me-downs!   

TRIANGLE ALLIANCE CHORUS (TAC), is a project of Alliance of Disability Advocates, is comprised of musically-talented adults with developmental disabilities. Through their performances, TAC members advocate for themselves and others with disabilities, using music to break down barriers, create inclusive experiences with music, and change assumptive attitudes about the abilities of people who are developmentally different. Individuals who are interested in joining TAC may schedule an audition. Requirements: 18 years old or older, must be able to vocally match pitches and carry melodic lines, be able to participate independently in a group, and have access to transportation to Tuesday night weekly rehearsals and performances throughout the Triangle. Contact TAC at TACsings@gmail.com, or Pam Langston, TAC Choral Director at pplmusic@icloud.com

TRIANGLE SELF ADVOCACY NETWORK is a self -advocacy group with The Arc of the Triangle. The meetings in Wake County are on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month at Hillyer Memorial Christian Church (718 Hillsborough St, Raleigh) in the Fellowship Hall on the 2nd floor from 6:30-8:00.    The Durham meetings are on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at Reality Ministries at 916 Lamond Ave, Durham.  Learn about money management, employments relationships, personal safety and much more while building friendships and enjoying social get-togethers.  The advisor is Tara Moore who works for Arc of the Triangle.  Her phone number is 919-832-2660, and her email is Tmoore@arctriangle.org.

TIME TO SHINE OPEN MIC NIGHT  is on the 3rd Friday of each month  from 6-8:30 at the Chavis Recreational Center at 505 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.  There will not be any food sold so if you need a snack please bring change for the vending machines.  

THE ALLIANCE OF DISABILITY ADVOCATES has programs for socializing, fun, and action. They meet at the Alliance’s office on 1012 Oberlin Road, Suite 300.    The phone number is 919-833-1117.

Hidden Army is for ages 30 years and younger and focuses on socializing, community action, and skill building.  This group meets on the 2nd Monday of each month from 6-8pm. Email Christina Branch at Christina.branch@alliancecil.org for more information.

Free Travel Training is also offered by the Alliance to train people to ride public transportation.  She will also provide any education training on different types of transportation or help you apply.  Contact Caroline Ambrose caroline@adanc.org.

THE SHiNE SERVICE is now a regular on the calendar and is usually held every 3rd Sunday at the Good Shepard Lutheran Church (7000 Creedmore Rd., Raleigh) from 12:30-1pm.  This is a Christian worship service for families of children with special needs.  It is interactive and inclusive.  Check out the web page http://gslchurchnew.org/ministries/missionoutreach/shine/ or direct inquiries to shine@gslc.org.

WHEELCHAIR BOUND BUT LOVE SPORTS?  Check out the website of www.bridge2sports.org.  This group sponsors the Thunder basketball team but there are other sports available as well.

SPECIAL BLESSINGS hosts both support and play group opportunities by bringing ‘seasoned’ caregivers alongside parents of ‘newer’ children to exchange experiences and possible solutions. All events need pre-registration. Check the website for more information visit www.specialblessingsinc.net or call 919-366-9589.

TAE KWON DO for those with Autism, Asperger’s, or ADHD AT My Favorite Cardio Place  (303 East Durham Road, Cary, 27513) The class is run by award winning instructor David Aquino teaches classes that are therapeutically targeted to children with autism, ADD or Tourette’s.  Call 585-370-9589 for more information or a free class!

*****COFFEE HOUSES:  Coffee Houses are gatherings sponsored by local Churches and regularly offer refreshments, entertainment, and the room to socialize.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

7000 Creedmore Rd., Raleigh from 7-8:30pm.

Come join us for good fellowship and entertainment on the last Friday of each month. The 2017 schedule is 3/31, 4/28, 5/26, 6/30, 7/28, 8/25, 9/29, 10/27, 11/24, and the wonderful combined dinner from 6:30-8:30 on 12/8. Contact Cindy Davis at cindybdavis@gmail.com for additional information.

Resurrection Lutheran Church

100 Lochmere Drive, Cary from 7-8:30pm.

The Resurrection Coffeehouse is scheduled for the second Friday of each month.  The 2017 schedule is 4/14, 5/12, 6/9, 7/14, 8/11, 9/8, 10/13, 11/10, and 12/8.  The December date has been a combined dinner at Good Shepherd but it seems as if that is not in the schedule this year.  For more information please call Leslie Welch at 468-8174 or email her at lwelch1@nc.rr.com.

For more information on the above 2 listed Coffeehouses, please see the Serving Cup website at www.servingcup.org for their schedule, directions, and for other services.

THE AUTISM SOCIETY’S SOCIAL CLUBS are a great way to meet friends and practice those social skills.

FUN EATS is for ages 16 and up and is a relaxed evening with friends of eating dinner and playing games.  This meets the 2nd Thursday of each month from 6-8pm at Creative Living.   For rates, reservations, and more information email Katherine Gardocki at kgardocki@autismsociety-nc.org.

SOCIAL CLUBS are available for Middle school ages, High school ages, and adults with high functioning Autism.  There are group and paired games, video games, and sports with pizza and snacks.  All clubs meet on the last Saturday of every month at Creative Living at varying times.  For times, rates, reservations and more information email Katherine Gardocki at Kgardocki@autismsocietync.org. For more information about the social clubs run by the Autism Society of NC and the contact is Katherine.

VOICES TOGETHER! This program is an hour a week session that encourages speech, conversation and processing skills.   Visit the website at www.voicestogether.net and come to a class and observe and be a part of the fun for free to check it out.  The annual Holiday Performance is on 12/17 at the PSI Theatre, Durham Arts council.   For more information or for an invitation call (919) 942-2714.

CAROLINA DANCE CENTER at 9101-169 Leesville Road, has a Special FREE and very fun 45minute jazz/hip hop dance class.  Please note the fall class’ time is from 3:15 – 4 on Thursdays.  Come on out and enjoy the fun way to exercise!  Please call 848-1830 or contact Missy at info@carolinadancecenter.com for more info.   

THE AKTION CLUB OF GREATER RALEIGH  is a service club that is associated with the Kiwanis Club.  In addition to various public service activities and making crafts, interesting speakers come to the meetings. The meetings are on the first Thursday of each month to determine where the group will volunteer that month. The meetings are from 6:30-7pm at the Arc of NC at 343 East Six Forks rd., ste. 320. Feel free to invite your friends to share the fun and important information. If you have questions about what service projects we are doing you can contact Stacy Askew at 919-623-4975 or email her at saskew@nc.rr.com to let them know you are coming!   Check it out at http://www.aktionclub.org/Home.aspx

SPECIAL OLYMPICS SPORTS:  There is fun to be had in the sports of Special Olympics. If you are not up to competition, there are many skills programs for you to learn how to play the sport in a relaxed pace!  The Special Olympics of Wake County is now lead by Christen Winstead.   Contact her at Christen.Winstead@raleighnc.gov or call her at (919) 996-2111for more information about our very active Special Olympics program.   

Raleigh Parks and Recreation

 The Raleigh Parks/Recreation Leisure listing specialized recreational activities for ages 4 and up is available at any of your local community centers.  

QUEST ADULT DAY PROGRAM is a new program for ages 22 or older with developmental and/or physical disabilities who are interested in day-time recreation, healthy living activities and community engagement. Participants must be able to work within a group setting, manage personal care with minimal assistance and follow basic rules of safety and interaction. Individuals who require more support may bring a personal assistant to the program. Personal assistants must complete additional paperwork and a background check before attending.

Registration, Participant Information and/or Personal Assistant forms are requested at least two weeks before the program start date. Please contact 919-996-2147 or SRIS@raleighnc.gov for more information regarding dates and costs.

Location: Five Points Center for Active Adults

Raleigh Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department issues a Leisure Ledger several times throughout the year, listing specialized recreational activities for ages 4 and up.  The Leisure Ledger is available at any of your local community centers and online

Raleigh PRCR hosts programs and activities covering a wide selection of camps, sports, fitness, crafts, cooking, dancing, game nights and more!  There is something for everyone, so take a look and join the fun!  Early registration is recommended as some programs may be cancelled due to under enrollment, or fill up due to extreme popularity.  

In addition to programs and activities, the Raleigh PRCR also supports the following social clubs, which have additional outings and activities sent out on bi-monthly flyers.  Activities might include community outings to museums, restaurants, sporting events, movies, etc., and day and overnight trips. 

The Adventure Club is a social club for teens and young adults ages 15 to 24 with developmental disabilities.         

The Wildcats Club is a social club for young adults ages 25 to 34 with developmental disabilities.         

The Dragons Club is a social club for adults ages 35 and up with developmental disabilities.         

For all clubs, individuals should be able to participate on a 1:4 ratio or provide their own 1:1 chaperone.  To receive the social club flyers, email SRIS@raleighnc.gov, and asked to be added to the list.    

There are new staff members in the Specialized Recreation & Inclusion Service area, as the department evolves to respond to our ever-changing needs.  To help direct you to the best staff member, please use the main contact phone (919-996-2147) or email SRIS@raleighnc.gov.  


Helping Horse Therapeutic Riding offers hippo therapy for individuals with special needs in the Triangle area.  Participants 4 years old to adult are welcome.  The riding season runs from September to May and is comprised of 35 weekly lessons and there are openings.  The new address is If you are interested please call 848-0153 and leave a message or visit www.helpinghorse.org.  

Horse and Buddy Therapeutic Riding:  Ride year round in New Hill (near Cary and Apex) for approximately $125 per month.  Visit the website at www.horseandbuddy.org for directions and the current schedule or email riding@horseandbuddy.org for more information.

Reins from Above is located at 1308 Bethlehem Church rd, Youngsville.   Contact Stacey Ryder at 919-631-9294 or email her at reinsfromabove@hotmail.com for more information.  


Barbara Papanestor


THE NEXT STEP is back with more informational meetings.  Check out the website at www.iddnextstep.org for the most current meeting topics scheduled.  On March 18 the Arc’s supported employment group will present.   It is always on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 9:30 – 11:00. Please email Dave Curro at dave@IDDNextStep.org to make sure you are on his mailing list for additional information.

A NEW NEXT STEP GROUP has started and continuing on the 4th Saturday of each month from 9:30-11 at the Sunrise Methodist Church on Sunset Lake Rd.  For more information contact Maggie Neuman at maggienextstepswwake@gmail.com.

“A SKILL BUILDING COACHING GROUP  has been formed to help develop friendship skills, communication skills, relationship and listening skills for adults with intellectual disabilities.  Having a friend helps a person feel treasured and valued.  However, adults with IDD are often friendless and isolated.  This group offers a weekly opportunity to develop relationship skills.  Using a developmental approach, participants learn how to listen to one another, explore someone else’s perspective, and share in the rewarding, yet challenging, experience of making and keeping friends.  I am now offering a group on Thursdays, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  In September, I will be adding a second group, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. (in addition to the 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. group).  Both groups are on Thursdays.  Email Kathy Honeyman atkathyhoneyman@earthlink.net for more information and to set up a brief intake at her office (146 Wind Chime Court, Raleigh, NC) to assure that this is the right group for your adult child with mild intellectual disabilities/HFA.  (www.SpecialNeedsCounselor.com)”



Coaching Group for Parents of Special Needs Adults:  As a parent of an adult with disabilities, you may be wondering what your next step is.  You’re a parent who has been at this for a long time.  Is there anything else I still need to set up for my adult child? Join a group of parents exploring new beginnings.  Set goals for your adult child and for yourself with people who understand.  Group topics include:  Sharing stories.  What’s important to me?  How-to’s and resources.  How do I cope?  Letting go.   Moving forward.  Developing goals for my adult child and goals for myself.  Creating a personal action plan, and ways to stay on track.  The group is 10 weekly sessions.  The sessions will be held at my office, 146 Wind Chime Court, 2nd floor, Raleigh, from 5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m., on Thursdays.  The current group is full.  The next group will start in September on Thursdays.  Date to be determined.  The last session will be a celebration brunch at my home in Raleigh!  Cost:  $99 for all 10 sessions.  Call Kathy Honeyman at (919) 602-8433 or email her atKathyhoneyman@earthlink.net for more info to secure your spot.  (www.SpecialNeedsCounselor.com)

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