A day of water fun for special needs children is once again coming to the Pointes West Army Recreation Area at Thurmond Lake.
The recreation area, which changed its name from Fort Gordon Recreation Area in October 2004 so it wouldn't be confused with a new recreation center at the fort, has opened its gates to children with physical or medical challenges or cognitive delays each year since 1999 for the annual MCG Children's Medical Center Wee Can Ski event.
"There are so many opportunities for able-bodied children, so we believe many children with special needs also need fun and enjoyable activities," said Julie Moretz, the director of Family Services Development at the MCG Children's Medical Center. "... So many times, children with special needs or with challenges have to sit on the sidelines. This gives them the opportunity to be a star."
Wee Can Ski is slated for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 10 and allows as many as 40 special-needs children a chance to ski, tube and boat on the lake.
"We try to make it a full day of fun for the family," Moretz said, adding that participating children and their families will receive a barbecue lunch from Sconyer's Bar-B-Que.
The program is open to all children and teenagers ages 5-18 who have physical or medical challenges or cognitive delays.
Anyone interested should contact the MCG Department of Family Services Development at (706) 721-1188 for an application.
Moretz said more than 100 volunteers, including Army soldiers, physicians, physical and occupational therapists and students, will help during the day and keep children safe in the water.
"The highlight of the day is when the children receive a trophy for participating," Moretz said. "... Everybody gets one. You would have thought they were Olympic gold medalists."
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