Fun with Friends plans trips for special-needs individuals

Special to the Banner
Posted 7/16/17

Fun with Friends, a program under the nonprofit Love Nancy, provides community-based activities for young adults with special needs.

As part of the Fun with Friends program, special-needs …

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Fun with Friends plans trips for special-needs individuals

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Fun with Friends, a program under the nonprofit Love Nancy, provides community-based activities for young adults with special needs.

As part of the Fun with Friends program, special-needs individuals are offered opportunities for overnight trips to various places. This gives the group the chance to visit new places, travel with their peers, and practice independence.

“The desire for most young adults with special needs is to participate in fun activities just as their non-disabled peers,” explained director Catherine Patten. “In planning travel events, the Fun with Friends group is asked to give their input on where they would like to go and what they would like to do. By doing this, they feel as if they are making their own choices about their travel experience.”

One of the Fun with Friends trips included a Nashville Sounds baseball game, swimming, and a visit to the Rainforest Cafe.

“Our latest trip was a visit to the Cumberland County Playhouse to see ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and a trip to Neyland Stadium for an awesome tour,” Patten said.

UT tour guide Andrew Raabe said that having the group there for a tour was a very special event.

“I have given a lot of tours over the last couple of years, and this was by far the most memorable and rewarding one I have ever given,” he said. “I think what you do is great, and I feel blessed to have been a part of it.”

The Fun with Friends annual overnight trip is yet another opportunity for these special friends to experience living life to their fullest potential.

When Patten asked a couple of Friends what their favorite part of the overnight trip is, Shane Smith said he loves hanging out with my friends, “and I want to go to Hollywood.”

Emily Conn said she enjoy ed“rooming with you” when asked about her favorite part of the overnight trip.

“We have many more places we would like to visit including a trip to Dollywood, the Grand Ole Opry, and maybe even the St. Louis Zoo,” Patten said.

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