RECing Crew builds up special needs youths

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Rosemary Bradley regrets that she didn't involve her son Michael with The RECing Crew earlier.

"It's been wonderful. Everyone is so nice and welcoming," Ms. Bradley said of the leisure and recreation organization for special needs adults and children.

She learned about the program through Anne Comer, an adaptive physical education teacher in the Columbia County school system who is a coach for many of The RECing Crew's programs.

Mrs. Bradley's 19-year-old son, a senior at Greenbrier High School, started programs this year.

Pam Stickler started the RECing Crew in 2002 with one program -- a bowling league for special needs adults. More than 100 disabled children and adults now participate in its activities, which include the bowling league, basketball in the fall and baseball in the spring, a social group and a Jazzercise class.

Most events are held in North Augusta, but participants come from Aiken, Edgefield, Richmond and Columbia counties, Mrs. Stickler said.

Allison Meyer has been part of the organization for about five years.

"It's fun," said Ms. Meyer, 23.

Her mother, Susan Meyer, said being part of the organization has been good for her daughter.

"Allison has made good friends," she said.

Most of The RECing Crew programs are free or have a nominal cost. An annual spring fundraiser called Sweet Celebrations helps to offset expenses.

In addition to the regular activities, there are special events throughout the year, including a visit with Santa Claus at Christmas and a kickoff event at the beginning of the school year.

For more information, call Mrs. Stickler at (803) 279-8820 or visit www.therecingcrew.com

Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at charmain.brackett@augustachronicle.com.


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