Monday, May 21 , 2018, 9:29 pm | Fair 59º


Alpha Resource Center Welcomes Annual Picnic Outreach

Not only is the event fun for the whole family, it gives its participants a chance to shine and spread their cheer.

An Alpha Resource Center greeter welcomes a visitor to last year’s annual picnic. (Kellie McCaffrey-Nady photo)

“Mom, Mom, can we go to the picnic again this year?” my 10-year-old daughter, Rachael, exclaimed when she saw the Alpha Resource Center Annual Picnic flier on our fridge.

“Of course,” I replied, actually a little surprised. “Did you enjoy it that much last year?”

“Uh, yeah, Mom,” she responded with all the preteen attitude she could muster. “Remember the dunk tank and the jumper? That was so fun!”

What picnic would be complete without a dunk tank and a happy dunkee? (Kellie McCaffrey-Nady photo)

Last year at this time I attended the Alpha annual picnic as a supporter of Alpha Resource Center, a local nonprofit organization that provides customized services for adults and children with developmental disabilities throughout Santa Barbara County. Now as an impassioned employee, my role is different and still similar.

When we arrived we were greeted by Alpha participant Wayne Dreyer, who escorted Rachael and me to the jumper. Wayne is a Lakers fan, a hard worker — he is employed by Alpha and works in maintenance on campus — and an energetic member of the Alpha family. Not only was he our guide but he also helped Rachael get her shoes off and made sure she was safe getting in and out of the jumper. When Rachael was finished, he got her shoes for her and then was off to offer his services to other picnic attendees. I was so impressed at his kindness and concern for us. It was charming.

As a newcomer, I observed and spoke to the many members, visitors, employees and participants. I noticed what a great group of people were gathered. All were actively engaged in conversation, joining their children for games, with staff and volunteers making sure everyone was taken care of. Needless to say, I was drawn in. The food was pretty darn good, too. (Tri-tip barbecue provided by Kiwanis Club of Santa Barbara.)

Now, I get to be one of the people taking care of the event, but I still get the joy of being with people who really care about others and are working hard to make sure that the rights and wishes of all people are honored. We welcome you to join us this year at our picnic. Come and meet our participants, see how Alpha empowers individuals, supports families and builds community.

Alpha Resource Center’s Annual Picnic is scheduled from 5 to 7:30 p.m. June 26 at 4501 Cathedral Oaks Road. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children. RSVP to [email protected] For more information, call 805.683.2145.

Marisa Bourke is outreach coordinator at Alpha Resource Center.

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