JULY 2018 - ISSUE 1
Summer is upon us and everyone at Special Kids Special Families wishes all of our readers a safe, happy and healthy summer! Enjoy the rays, soak up the sun and take pleasure in the FUN!

Here's 10 FUN Summertime activities you can do now - check it out!

What's Happening in our Programs...
One of our most important goals at Zach's Place is to develop life skills because it helps youth become active members of their family and their community. Teaching children sports is a very important part of developing physically, mentally and emotionally. Encouraging team work, respect and trying hard while working together are skills the kids are learning all while having fun! Zach's Place Assistant Director, Dan Donovan and SKSF Staff member, Brendan Ackley organized a soccer activity taking 5 children at a time two days a week to a local facility - Mighty Kicks at 4845 List Drive, CO Springs - learning the fundamentals of soccer, playing as a team and releasing some energy. The team is called Dan's Daredevils and the kids are happy and look forward to this NEW activity every week!
Left to right: Cortney Payne-Escobedo, SKSF Staff; Christian, Zach's Place program participant; and SKSF Staff - Crystal Costa, Brendan Ackley & Assistant Program Director, Dan Donovan with Zach's Place kiddos
At Zach's Place, the kids are also swimming at the YMCA and bowling at KingPin Lanes. The youth are visiting the community about 4-5 times a week.  Several volunteer groups have also come to Zach's Place to do some general cleaning and playing games with the youth.
Maddy Pelon and Amy McKenzie are Girl Scout troop leaders that come every week to help with craft projects.
A glimpse of the craft projects hanging on the wall at Zach's Place of the children's work completed with the help of the Girl Scout troop leaders.
First Presbyterian Church group playing outside with the kids at Zach's Place.

First Presbyterian Church group playing board games with the kids at Zach's Place.
Cindy Phelps, Adult Program participant soaking up the sun & participating in activities
 ICAN clients are enjoying community integration via a variety of activities including volunteering at the ARC Thrift Store, Humane Society, The Springs Mission and Sunnyside Church. In addition, visits to Bear Creek Nature Center, the public library, museums and Garden of the Gods Visitor Center learning about dinosaurs. We are continuing our Passport monthly activity where clients learn about different countries and take "visits" - countries included India and Scotland. Money management classes, utilizing menu boards to practice ordering and using calculators are building math and problem solving skills.

BBB Success!
Our Bluegrass, Brews & Brats event was a completed success!
We raised over $20,000 to support the Zach's Place program
with the help of event sponsors, donors and volunteers!
We received so many compliments on our wonderful local brewers! They all donated beer to the event and several reps were on hand to pour and highlight their popular brews! Thank you for helping us make this event successful - we appreciate the way you support the community!!
Fossil Craft Beer Company representatives
Storybook Brewing representatives
Bristol Brewing Company representatives
SKSF Staff Toni Duran & Shkak Yousef pouring for Colorado Mountain Brewing Company
SKSF Staff volunteering at event
Wirewood Station
Crowd dancing away!
BBB Guests
Friends of SKSF
BBB Guests
SKSF in the NEWS
THANKS TO the morning crew at FOX21 News for covering our BBB event with feature report, Lauren McDonald! We appreciate your support and helping us spread the word! http://www.fox21news.com/live
Linda Ellegard, SKSF Executive Director was LIVE on the morning on  Mountain Country  107.3FM promoting our programs and the BBB event.
Thanks to Our Town host, Sarada Connors and the folks at 740 AM KVOR for promoting our BBB event and giving information to the public about our programs!
We appreciate your support!
Volunteer Spotlight
The HEART of a Chef
Chefs often don't get recognition since they are behind kitchen doors so we'd like to acknowledge Chef Greg Harsch and wife, Myong, for putting together 14 pans of homemade macaroni salad and fixins for our BBB event! Thanks to Rocky Mountain PACE center for the use of your kitchen!

"Greg served as a cook in the Army for more than 20 years. I met him at Zeb Pike Youth Services Center more than 10 years ago where he developed a culinary arts program that earned him a “ employee of the month award” within less than 6 months of his employment. He set a great standard of how such a culinary program should be run and it was very popular vocational program with students and staff. Chef Greg always had a waiting list for students wanting to participate in the program. His beautiful wife, Myong cooked at Spring Creek Youth Services Center for about 10 years. Since leaving Zeb Pike, Greg has worked with Rocky Mountain PACE and the Disabled American Vets both In Colorado Springs. He often volunteers his time to worthy causes and cooked for VIPs including pilots, WWII Vets and other dignitaries at Last Falls Airshow out by the airport. When the need to have someone cook at the Triple B last Saturday there was no one else who came to mind than Greg and his very lovely wife Myong. I doubt the cooking could have been done more efficiently. I think one of my greatest strengths is my incredible ability to choose phenomenal friends. Greg and Myong are definite proof of that skill."

Mark Schaefer, Friend of Greg & Myong Harsch and SKSF Board Member. 


Chef Greg cooked at the grill all night
Myong and Chef Greg preparing for fixins and the macaroni salad!
A Special SKSF Friend
Friends like Linda Warren don't come around too often. This dedicated individual has time and time again volunteered her energy and talents for SKSF! She made this wonderful "SKSF" sign for the BBB event and prepared a FUN photo booth for our guests to dress up and be goofy! We just love her sense of humor and her bright smile just MAKES OUR DAY! Thanks Linda for your contributions!
Mark & Linda Warren at the BBB photo booth

We'd like to thank WellCare, Inc. for being our top GOLD Sponsor at our BBB event this year.

WellCare, Inc. was founded in Colorado Springs by a group of therapists, parents and volunteers. They envisioned an organization that would provide the community with high quality in-home therapy, research, education and support for children with special needs and their loved ones. Their dedicated team is proud to serve our community as they continue to expand their services and support across Colorado!

WellCare , Inc. provides the following services

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Pediatric In Home Care

(719) 598-5555

Learn more about WellCare: https://wellcareco.com/
A Dedicated Local Business Owner
Amy Gehrett has been volunteering and supporting SKSF for many years. We appreciate her support at the BBB event not only with sponsoring the event, but helping with various tasks. " You have been such a great support for these events over the years. I just love working with you," says SKSF Executive Director, Linda Ellegard. Thanks Amy!

Other Upcoming SKSF Events...
SKSF is a Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) Approved Training Entity and offers courses monthly for Support Staff and Host Home Providers caring for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

These courses are OPEN to the public.
NEXT CLASS: Friday, AUGUST 17th / 8-4pm

Featured Comedian

Nancy Norton who is known for performing uniquely funny performances that connect with universal truths through her intuitive, authentic, high energy, fast paced, and engaging style.

We welcome and are excited to have Nancy as our featured comedian at our 7th Annual Night of Comedy event! Read more...
Featured Emcee

Abbie Burke is an anchor for FOX21 Morning News since September 2017. “Being part of the morning team at FOX21 has always been a dream of mine,” says Abbie. Prior to that she worked in a variety of roles for FOX21 News, from intern to editor, to news producer and reporter. 

We are happy that Abbie has volunteered to be this year’s new Emcee for the Night of Comedy event!   Read more…
Welcome NEW SKSF employees
Blake Dresibach
Childcare Worker II
Zach's Place Center
Katherine Draper
Adult Mentor
Joey’s Place Adult Services
Tyler Thompson
Adult Mentor
ICAN Adult Services
Brendan Ackley
Child Care Worker
Zach's Place Center
Stephen Reif
Accounts Receivables
Administration Offices
Taryn DiMariti
Adult Mentor
ICAN Adult Services