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RECing Crew will hold fundraiser

Posted: April 19, 2016 - 11:56pm  |  Updated: April 19, 2016 - 11:58pm
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NORTH AUGUSTA — Pam Stickler had one main objective when she started an adaptive bowling league for special needs adults – to give her son and others like him an outlet for socialization.

“Stephen is 36 now. We moved here when he was 22. He’d just come out of the school system, and there wasn’t anything for him,” said Stickler, who founded the RECing Crew program – with REC being an abbreviation for recreation.

The Crew will hold its annual Sweet Celebrations fundraiser Saturday.

Its season runs according to the school calendar, and it is winding down its 13th. What started out with one bowling league for 25 special needs adults has grown to include more than 225 children and adults between the ages of 6 and 83.

There’s also an array of other sports, recreational and arts activities that have been added over the years.

Stickler credits the program’s success to the parents and volunteers who’ve seen the needs and added programs to meet them.

“Things have evolved. The families we partner with have ideas. I really believe that’s what has made the program successful. All of the families feel a lot of ownership. It’s their program, not mine,” she said.

Bowling is still a popular program. The Alley Cats expanded into Aiken earlier this year. The North Augusta league averages 75 bowlers a week, with Aiken averaging 25.

Other programs include Jazzercise and the TRecS program, which offers baseball and basketball. TRecS will be expanding its fall basketball league into Aiken in a few months. Some of the TRecS participants also form a team for the Family Y of Greater Augusta’s Miracle League in the spring.

There’s also dance, singing and visual arts.Ballet Tout Le Monde is offered at the Columbia County Ballet studios, while a contemporary dance program is offered through the North Augusta School of Dance. There’s a RECing Crew Chorus, and visual art programs through the ART-Ability Studio.

Stickler’s future goals include expanding into Columbia County.

The Sweet Celebrations fundraiser is a way to keep programs affordable for families. The event, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the North Augusta Community Center, will feature a dessert buffet, silent auction and entertainment by participants from this year’s Crew Idol competition.

Tickets cost $10 and are available at Communigraphics, Jim Bush Florist, Impressions of the South, the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Parks Pharmacy, Jewelers Loupe and Unique Expressions.

The RECing Crew takes a bit of a summer break. Stickler said some activities are often planned, including a few art events and a family bowling day Aug. 20.

To learn more, call (803) 426-1284 or visit www.therecingcrew.com. The organization’s office at 336 Georgia Ave., Suite 206A, is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

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