IDD Awareness Fun Day, a great success

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 31, 2018

On March 28, the Arc of Pearl River County hosted it 4th annual Intellectual and Development Disabilities Awareness Fun Day at Poplarville’s City Park.

The event provided an opportunity for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, caregivers, teachers and service providers to learn about several resources available to them.

Organized in conjunction with the Robert Lott Community Home in Poplarville, the event brought together several members of the community to enjoy a day filled with dancing, games, crafts and face painting among other things.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Nina Stevison, a qualified professional with Robert Lott Community Home, organized games for the event and distributed door prizes donated by several local businesses.

Stevison said it was a privilege to be involved in organizing an event for members of ARC.

“One has to be special to work with these guys and the truth is they have taught me a lot while teaching them,” Stevison said.

Several informational and activity based booths were set up at the event.

Thirteen students from Pearl River Community College’s Cosmetology Class provided manicures and face painting to those interested.

Michelle Patterson, PRCC’s cosmetology instructor, said it was the first time the students had a chance to serve the community.

“We like to do community service and are trying to help these individuals have fun,” Patterson said. “This opportunity will help the students learn how to serve all different kinds of people.”

Members from the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services helped individuals with disabilities through the process of securing a job.

The Poplarville Fire Department brought in one a fire truck, allowing attendees a chance to see how it operates. The Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department brought K9 officers and their dogs to demonstrate how the animals sniff out drugs.

Poplarville Police Chief Butch Raby said it was great to see everybody come together and have a great time.

“I really appreciate all the people who have worked together to organize this event,” Raby said.

Everyone attending the event was treated to barbeque cooked by representatives from Mississippi Power Company and Coast Electric.

“It’s very rewarding to help this organization because they have been helping our mentally challenged citizens in Pearl River County for many years and this is the least we can do for them through this day, Scott White said.

Susette Morrow, president of ARC said the Easter Bunny was the surprise visitor for the event. Morrow said this year they had a twist on the Easter egg hunt. Instead of candy, they handed out eggs with a number corresponding to a gift donated to the ARC.

The participants also had an opportunity to make bracelets out of fruit loops and engage in various painting activities. Members of the ARC also got a chance to dance to some music.

Each year Theresa Milar from the Picayune Police Department pops popcorn for everyone at the event.

“It’s one of the highlights of my job, that I get to reach out to the community, especially ones with special needs,” Milar said. “It’s a privilege for our department to provide this.”