Zach's Place and Special Olympics, a Winning Team!
by Joyce Morgan, SKSF Board Member

Special Olympian, Joey Franken and Jolie Nesmith, Southeast Regional Manager of Special Olympics talking to Zach's Place youth
about the Special Olympics
August was a busy month for Olympians of all types - those who were in Rio and those who stayed at home - reaching out to others in their community. Two local organizations - Special Kids Special Families and Special Olympics of Colorado - teamed up this past month to introduce the youngsters attending Zach's Place at the Laurie Hillyard Family Center to the Special Olympics and the joys of organized sports.
Both of these organizations serve vital roles in our community. Special Kids Special Families provides critical respite care services for disabled individuals, allowing parents and caregivers to pursue educational or job opportunities, secure in the knowledge that their loved ones are safely in good hands. Zach's Place at the Laurie Hillyard Family Center serves children from 2 ½ to 18. Services for adults are available at another site, Joey's Place.  Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and Olympic competition for both children and adults with intellectual disabilities. This athletic experience encourages all participants to develop new strengths, confidence and friendships. Both organizations are committed to reaching out to the community to raise awareness of the many abilities of people with special needs. 
Arriving at Zach's Place armed with tee shirts, stickers and a winning attitude, and accompanied by a Special Olympian, Joey Franken, Jolie Nesmith, Southeast Regional Manager of Special Olympics, energized the children with stories and activities, 

Zach's Place hosted their own version of the Olympic games playing kickball, basketball and went bowling.
The youth received medals and certificates for their accomplishments. One of the boys
has SLEPT in his medal & wears it almost everyday! 


We would like to acknowledge a grant awarded to Special Kids Special Families' Zach's Place program at the Laurie Hillyard Family Center for $7,000 from the Virginia Hill Foundation.  This grant will be used to support families from low-income backgrounds who are in need of respite care for their child or children with disabilities. 


Recently, SKSF Executive Director, Linda Ellegard was interviewed on KRDO News Radio 105.5FM and 1240AM.    Listen to the interview here...  

We'd like to remind our community of a great upcoming event -  BBQ, Blues & Brews Festival at Gold Hill Mesa Community Center Park on Friday, September 9th from 5-9pm.   

Come on out with family and friends, bring your blanket and lawn chairs and listen to great music from local bands Justus League and Soulsmith Unlimited.  Mark Stevens of 98.1 KKFM will Emcee the event providing a LIVE radio remote churning out classic rock music.  Participating vendors offering tastings include Dickey's BBQ Pit, Front Range BBQ, and Josh & John's Ice Cream.  In addition, a selection of beers will be available from local breweries Bristol Brewing, Fossil Craft Beer, as well as, specialty cocktails and moonshine from 3 Hundred Days of Shine and wine from Downtown Fine Spirits and Wines.  To purchase tickets in advance or more information, visit


Volunteers from Sunnyside Christian Church make an effort every year to reach out into the  community to serve others.  Over the summer, Special Kids Special Families was the recipient of a group of Sunnyside volunteers who came to Zach's Place and helped pull weeds, deep cleaned our kitchen area, folded laundry and played with the youth that attend Zach's Place program.

Sunnyside is a non-denominational church, located by Murray and Constitution.  This congregation knows how to help and how to give.  They saved us immense time and dollars through their willingness to take their morning of worship right out into Colorado Springs community.  THANK YOU SUNNYSIDE CHURCH!

Volunteers from Sunnyside Church helping out at Zach's Place.


Please take a moment to visit our Facebook pages. We are always posting great information, resources and volunteer opportunities.  

"Like" us and keep informed of upcoming events and different ways you can help our organization!

Thanks for your support!


Friday, SEPTEMBER 9th
5:30pm - 8:30pm

Socialization is an important goal at Zach's Place at The Laurie Hillyard Family Center. We offer a unique opportunity to meet this goal.   Zach's Place Fun Nights    are the second Friday of every month and are open to all ages and abilities. We provide pizza, make dessert together, create a craft and play games.

Registration & intake process is required for participation.  Please allow 2 weeks to process.  Contact Tammy or Dani at 719-329-1717 or email us at    Limited space. 

Saturday, SEPTEMBER 24th
Theme: Fun with JELLO
3:00pm - 4:30pm

Sibshops is a program run by SKSF connecting and supporting siblings of children with disabilities (grades K-6th), helping them recognize a community of peers in similar situations.

Siblings of children with disabilities have challenges of their own, relating to others, working through the family dynamics and dealing with the realities of life with a disabled family member. Through fun and age appropriate activities with others in similar situations, they develop bonds, understanding and a support group all their own.   For future dates or to be placed on our E-mailing list contact: Julie at 719-375-9285 or Linda at 719-447-8983 x19 or email

$15/child includes snack, refreshments, activity expenses & take home item; advanced registration is required; grades K-6th; Workshops held at SKSF Adult Services facility; 3450 N Nevada Avenue, CO Springs, or other community location.   Sponsored by The Arc of Pikes Peak. 

To fill the monetary need that allows SKSF to fulfill its mission, we must raise funds to ensure financial stability. Please consider participating in our events to support SKSF
as a guest, sponsor, volunteer or committee member. 

 Mark Your Calendars - Upcoming Events!

Friday, August 26th through
Sunday, August 28th
All Weekend Long!

Purchase a $5.00 shopping pass for additional savings off regular, sale and clearance items.*  SKSF keeps all profits of every shopping pass sold to help fund our Zach's Place program.

Spread the word to your out-of-town family and friends too!  You can shop online at or any nationwide Macy's store.

Visit online to purchase a $5 pass from SKSF here:

 BBQ, Blues & Brews Festival
Gold Hill Mesa Community Park
Friday, September 9th

7465 N. Academy Blvd, COS
Tuesday, September 20th

DoubleTree by Hilton
Saturday, October 1st

Thanks Bristol Brewing Company for hosting Karma Hour for SKSF and to everyone
that participated  in this fun event held on Tuesday, August 16th!

All funds raised will help support SKSF's Zach's Place program providing child and respite care to families raising youth with disabilities and special needs.

Mary Brackett
Her position in our organization is
Adult Mentor for the Joey's Place Program
of Adult Services