Palm Springs Lanes was packed Sunday as the community gathered for the ‘United Cerebral Palsy of Inland Empire’s’ annual Bowl-A-Thon. The organization is on a mission to provide services to the entire special needs community.
"This is our 27th annual Bowl-A-Thon for cerebral palsy where businesses come together and donate lanes," said United Cerebral Palsy of Inland Empire President and CEO, Greg Wetmore.
"Our mantra is ‘live without limits’ and these children and young adults with special needs often are perceived to have limits. But, to give them the opportunity to come out and bowl just like everyone else, really breaks all the boundaries, all the misperceptions," said Demitrious Sinor, Interim Chair of the organization.
One family explained how United Cerebral Palsy has changed their son’s life. "This is Rider, he’s autistic, he attends the United Cerebral Palsy after school program," said Indio father, Bryan Gautschi, as he introduced his son. Rider’s parents believe there wouldn’t be an after school program that fit their son’s needs were it not for United Cerebral Palsy.
"Its really limited, that’s why we’re grateful that United Cerebral Palsy has programs like these for our children with disabilities. They can’t just go enroll in the Boys and Girls Club like a typically developing child," said Rider’s mother, Jennifer Gautschi.
Participants of United Cerebral Palsy’s programs and Bowl-A-Thon say they have a good time.
"We just have so much fun with them," said one participant, Zoe.
"I have fun and I love my friends here, my family, my support," said participant, Samantha.