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Altamaha Down Syndrome Society to Host Skating Event

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The Altamaha Down Syndrome Society will host its first event of the year, as it invites all individuals with special needs to fellowship and skate at Sweet Onion Skating, located at 645 Georgia Highway 292 in Vidalia.

This nonprofit organization was created in 2021 when a group of parents of children with special needs set out to create a group of fellowship, awareness, and acceptance within the area. ADSS held its first event in October during which the public was invited to participate in a short, 1-mile walk and festival to promote the message “Differences aren’t so spooky.”

“It was crazy to see how many people came out for that event,” ADSS Founder Stacie Randolph commented. “It truly shows that we live in a very supportive community.” Around 200 people attended the event, and the Society has worked to plan another gathering ever since. “We were working with a church to try to do an event at Christmas, but because of some unforeseen circumstances from both parties, we were not able to pull it off,” Randolph explained. “So, I’m very excited to be back out in the community for our “Rollin’ with My Homies” skating event, where we will provide a welcoming atmosphere for those with sensory issues to enjoy skating.”

Fellow ADSS Representative Cynthia Crawford also spoke on the event. “It gives our children a chance to experience the same fun things as children who are deemed ‘normal’ by society experience,” she emphasized. “For example, my child cannot tolerate loud music or excessive crowds; these things cause her to go into crisis mode and make her completely shut down, which usually comes with crying, screaming, and holding her ears. Her heartbeat will also race and she can’t move. She just wants to go home to her safe place, but she deserves to experience things, just like any other kid.”

To ensure that everyone will be able to participate without complication from sensory issues, while skating, there will be very little, if any, music; and lights will not be used.

This event will be held on Saturday, March 25, 12-2 p.m., and any child or adult with special needs is welcome to participate. For more information, contact Stacie Randolph at 912253-3356.

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