HANNIBAL | Smiles were everywhere during Thursday's Winter Party at Marion County Services for the Developmentally Disabled, as children and adults alike got into the spirit of the season with coloring, games and treats.
Community Coordinator Kathy Butler and her husband, Support Coordinator I Elliott Butler, set up items like coloring sheets, bags of candy and other gamesfor children who receive services at MCSDD, Judefine Center for Autism and their siblings. Each child used markers to color pieces of a snowman, and Butler fashioned a large paper stencil so each person could take turns assembling their snow man. Butler and her son, Kayin, 7, set out numbered plates of candy to make “candy-kebobs” as a snack.
Kayin was enthusiastic about celebrating winter with friends and family, like his brothers Taylor, 5, and Greg, 6. He said his favorite activity was making the paper snowman. He loves throwing snowballs and playing outside with his dog, Pumpkin. Kayin might get his wish, with the forecast calling for snow accumulation during the weekend.
“Pumpkin likes to play in the snow,” Kayin said. Shane, 8, agreed, adding that his favorite winter activity is getting into a snowball fight.
Several children showed off their colorful snowmen and “candy-kebobs” to friends and loved ones.
Miles, 6, colored his snowman as Carey Noland, RBT with Judevine, looked on. Miles said he was ready to play in the snow, too. Noland said the winter celebration was a fun way for all the children to have a good time together and celebrate the season.
“It's something fun for the kids to do and get together,” Noland said.
Butler wadded up pieces of tissue paper, and children took turns hurling the newly-formed snowballs. Later, they got the chance to wrap each other up in tissue paper and pretend to be snowmen.
Butler was enthusiastic about the chance for the children, their siblings,family members and staff to have a fun time participating in activities and celebrating winter. She also is excited to be a part of the Special Olympics basketball program this season, and upcoming events include a prom with a Mardi Gras theme, a Valentine's Day party, athletes day and summer camps for children and adults.
Butler said the Winter Party boosted skills for everyone involved in a fun way — the plates of candy encouraged counting, each child followed the directions for the games from adults and they enjoyed the experience as a team.
“When they come and do this together, they foster friendships,” Butler said.
More information about MCSDD's services and activities is available by visiting www.mcsdd. com or calling 573-248-1077.