2023 LOOKING FORWARD…
We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! It is January 3, 2023…time does fly.
2022 was an exciting year for SBC, we celebrated our 50 years of serving those living with spina bifida and recognized those who influenced SBC during those years! We grew once again and were together in-person for many of our programs and events!
Each year we choose a theme that shapes our vision for the upcoming year, and for 2023 we have chosen “The future influences the present just as much as the past”. -Friedrich Nietzsche. We chose this theme as it honors our past 50 years, but also encourages new ideas and forward thinking to be a vibrant organization.
2023 promises to bring new programming and experiences for all of our service areas. After meeting with many of you, we reviewed your suggestions and ideas, and they influenced our vision for 2023. Educational, peer mentoring and opportunities to engage in some fun activities have been added to this year’s calendar of events. A regional conference for all of our stakeholders is being planned for the weekend of November 10th and 11th at the Great Wolf Lodge in Mason – so be sure to Save The Date!
Our Board of Directors along with representatives from our service areas will be meeting on February 4th to address our strategic plan.
Growth means additional staff for SBC. We will be adding two part-time positions to our team, a Program Assistant and an Administrative Assistant. More information will be shared in our next Newsletter.
Finally, this will be the only “formal” E-News that will be emailed out in 2023. You may go to the SBC website and scroll down the What’s Happening section on the home page to find the news link.
We are excited to get started on 2023 and look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events.
2023 SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION
SBC is pleased to announce that Kathy Downs will be responsible for reviewing and approving our scholarship requests for this year. Kathy has been a volunteer at our Walk & Roll for 6 years and is a recent P&G retiree.
Thank you, Kathy, for agreeing to provide this service and thank you also to Robbie Bomar for reviewing scholarship requests for many years.
Scholarship information may be found below. Questions, please contact Rhonda Horick.
1. $300 is available per calendar year
2. Available to all individuals living with Spina bifida in our service areas
3. An invoice/statement is required to process the scholarship request
4. Please allow 5-7 business days for processing
5. You will receive notification when the scholarship is being processed, and when it has been paid via email
6. There is NO PROOF of NEED required
7. Scholarships are first come, first served and may be unavailable after the budgeted amount has been exhausted
• Camp/Recreation- for participation in adaptive camps, recreation activities and therapeutic programs
• Direct Aid – for medical supplies, medical bills, as well as assistance with rent/mortgage, utilities, etc.
• Sich Family Post-Secondary – may be used for tuition, living expenses and/or other educational expenses at colleges, trade schools or certificate programs. Limited to $2000 Lifetime
• Geier Family Adaptive Driving/Automobile Modification- available for adaptive driving instruction or modifications such as hand controls to an automobile. $500 Lifetime Maximum- Can be combined with any of our other scholarships.
Thank you to the George and Bobbie Sich for their continued support of the Stephanie Sich Post-Secondary Scholarship and to the Staarman family for their support of the Geier Family Adaptive Driving/Automobile Modification Scholarship. SBC and their stakeholders are very thankful for these families.
CHILD CARE EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES
During our discussions with families about 2023 programming, child care and time for self-care were high on the list of needs. We want to share a couple of options for families in Cincinnati and Westlake Ohio now and will continue to look for additional solutions across our service area as the year progresses.
Blessed Respite Care at the Countryside YMCA in Lebanon, OH has seven dates in 2023 planned for drop off care where children with special needs and their siblings take part in fun activities led by trained care givers.
Pause in Butler County, OH hosts Parent’s Night Out for caretakers of children with special needs. They desire to give parents a night to unwind, relax and decompress while providing a fun, safe, engaging night for their kids with special needs.
Youth Challenge in Westlake, OH provide a unique opportunity for teen volunteers and young people with disabilities to connect and engage one-another peer-to-peer. Each teen volunteer is trained by professionals and peers to work with children with disabilities. Transportation can be provided to the program.
University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities offers periodic training for mature teens and young adults to learn skills necessary to care for children with special needs. You can enlist someone you know to take the training or complete the online form to get connected with someone who has already been trained. When you click on the link above, scroll down to family support – babysitter training for more information.
New Program for Teens and Adults
Teens with spina bifida are telling us they benefit from hanging out with adults with disabilities to hear about what they are doing and how they handle different situations related to spina bifida. Adults with spina bifida enjoy getting out to do different activities with friends, especially when the activities are planned for accessibility and inclusion. Our recent research with the Spina Bifida Center at Cincinnati Children’s shows that mentorship benefits both teens and the adults mentoring them.
With this in mind, SBC is launching SBSync for teens and adults with spina bifida. Every other month on a Saturday, SBC is planning a community-based activity that brings teens and adults together for fun and conversation. Our first venture is bowling at The Pin Deck in Milford, OH on Saturday, February 11th at 9:45 AM. Pin Deck has accessible lanes and bowling ramps to easily include people with disabilities in the game. SBC will pay for 2 hours of lane time which allows for one game as well as some practice time for those new to bowling. Food and drinks are available for purchase at the Pin Deck bar. There are also several restaurants close by, including the bar and grill at Scene 75 next door.
The intention of this program is to allow teens and adults with spina bifida to interact and form meaningful peer and mentor relationships. For this reason, parents, caregivers, spouses, significant others, and friends are welcome to stay after drop off but will be asked to move to another area of the facility to socialize separately from the teens and adults with spina bifida. There are also nearby restaurants (including Dunkin’ Donuts for morning coffee) and other activities at Pin Deck, such as foos ball or ping pong for $5/half hour to enjoy time spent waiting.
Go to https://spinabifidacoalition.salsalabs.org/sbsyncbowl/index.html for more information or to register.