Thursday, September 3, 2009

Picnic has everything but prizes

Last year, when organizers of the annual Picnic for the Disabled needed money, you responded by donating $13,000.

This week, the Observer reported that organizers had enough money to throw the 30th annual picnic on Sept. 12, but needed people to help with the event. Two hundred volunteers stepped up in two days.

“The phone started ringing at 7:30 in the morning Tuesday and didn't stop,” said Randy Cornell, treasurer of Physically Disabled Adults, the picnic's organizer. “We had high school students call, older folks – you name it, we were just bombarded.”

A high school football coach even called to say he planned to bring his players to volunteer, he said.

The Sept. 12 picnic, noon to 4 p.m. at the Marion Diehl Center, 2219 Tyvola Road, is open to anyone with disabilities. Up to 500 disabled people are expected at the event that was founded in 1979 by a police officer and his wife.

The volunteers will run bingo games, hand out door prizes, cook and park cars.

Speaking of door prizes: The organizers need more.

They're looking for stereos and TVs that can be used in group homes. Or telephones, clock radios, CD players that the disabled people can use in their rooms. “The hardest thing is to get prizes donated,” Cornell said.

If you can donate a door prize call Cornell at 704-573-2914, or Barry Dodd at 704-536-9497.