A night out for a good cause

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Fundraising galas are plentiful, especially at the beginning of the new year. Special Kids Therapy was inspired by New Orleans for a new Mardi Gras fundraiser to separate them from the others. Anne Spence, executive director of Special Kids Therapy (SKT), said the goal is a good time: "The most important thing at a fundraiser is that people are having fun, enjoying what they are doing."

 SKT holds its first Mardi Gras event at Alexandria's Warehouse with a cajun buffet dinner, a bachelor auction, and entertainment provided by Dave Crosser of 100.5 WKXA and 106.3 The Fox’s The Big Kahuna, along with live music courtesy of Jazz with Sax, a three piece ensemble featuring members of Night Jazz. If successful, the event will become annual.

The majority of money raised will go toward the Ann Gibson Summer Day Camp program in June and July, one of the only special needs summer day camps in Ohio. As individual education plans often require an extended school year, SKT's summer camp is a fun alternative with structure and personal interaction. "We are offering something that is just not otherwise available to special needs children," Spence says.

SKT also offers programming for children with special health care needs, including scholarship assistance and special events. Other proceeds from the Mardi Gras fundraiser will fund the other great annual events, such as Family Fun Day and Out of the Box. Family Fun Day, held at Camp Berry each, allows special needs children and their families to spend a day performing activities such as archery and horseback riding with the assistance of a one-on-one counselor. Out of the Box is an after school program that provides youngsters with healthy opportunities from the artistic (painting) to the athletic (swimming and bowling).

Tickets $20 each and can be purchased from SKT in advance or at the door. 6-11pm Tuesday, February 12 at Alexandria's Warehouse, 132 East Crawford St. 419-422-5607. specialkidstherapy.org