By Lisa Ackerman
Every year, I am full of excitement; it’s not a major holiday or my birthday, but it is absolutely my favorite time of the year. It is PICNIC TIME!
I am happy to share with you the upcoming 10th Annual Family Picnic on Sunday, June 2nd at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, California. A fun-filled day designed specifically for kids affected by autism, their families, and friends. We have visitors from several states in attendance for this huge event.
The one-of-a-kind TACA picnic features an amazing array of choices in our food court (including gluten-free, casein-free items), fun carnival-like activities for kids, a vendor resource fair, and a silent auction to help raise funds to support the 32,000 families we serve.
This year, we have new, great activities ranging from a petting zoo, horse and carnival rides, Autism Youth Ambassadors offering activities for our teenagers, and over 30 other partners to make this an amazing day! There will also be a NEWLY EXPANDED meet and greet opportunity and educational roundtables with Drs. Dan Rossignol, Richard Frye, Elizabeth Mumper and Richard Neubrander. We are also fortunate to have Fullerton Cares/Bourbon Street providing food for our families’ enjoyment.
TEN years ago, a creative TACA mom proposed a picnic for families with autism – a day when families could be themselves, not worry about tantrums (or dirty looks), have allergy- free foods available, and play and laugh with other families “just like us” in a fun and safe environment. For my family, this was the first picnic we ever attended. The sense of community we so desperately craved was restored as we enjoyed the day with many new family friends.
Since that first picnic in 2004, The TACA Family Picnic has grown from 900 to almost 2,000 people, and has become a Southern California family summer tradition. For my 16 year-old son Jeff, and other brave kids living with autism, it’s a fun day to dance, laugh, and play with good friends, typical or not. It is also a day with mothers, daughters, fathers, uncles, grandparents, sisters, brothers, and family friends who have all been touched by autism. During this one day, we are all connected. Each year so many kids are getting better. Their stories will melt your heart and restore your faith in miracles!
A family of four can spend a fun day eating and playing for less than the price of one ticket to a major theme park. Scholarships for families in need are also available.
For those of you already registered – I can’t wait to see you there! If you haven’t – what are you waiting for! For more info and registration: http://www.tacanow.org/event-list/taca-family-picnic-oc-13/. Hope to see you there on June 2nd!
For more information:
TACA Family Picnic Info page: http://www.tacanow.org/event-list/taca-family-picnic-oc-13/
Here is a short video about our TACA Picnic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7rdY63FUFA