Tresha Stamper said she is passionate about the Kelly B. Todd Center and Walk because it gives her son Jody — and others afflicted with disorders such as cerebral palsy — an opportunity to have a good time.
“It’s a day just for them,” Stamper said. “It gives them a chance to be typically developing kids for a change. Also, the families can get together and share experiences.”
The Kelly B. Todd Walk is an annual event that is used to raise awareness and educate the community about the Kelly B. Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuro-Muscular Center. Sponsored walkers traverse the trail around Civitan Park, and then spend the day engaging in fun activities.
Stamper’s son, Jody, raised $1,300 for the Walk this year. Before he and his brother Zack started running down the trail, Jody said his fundraising strategy was simple.
“I go to my grandpa,” Jody said. “I tell him I need money for the walk, and he gives it to me.”
Stamper said it was a little more complicated than that, and there were many donors from the Inola, Pryor, and Claremore area.
In addition to playing on brand new park equipment provided by Civitan Park, the kids were able to have their faces painted, participate in carnival style games, play on inflatables, and enjoy snow cones.
Pat Pack, the event coordinator, said the event gives children with disabilities an opportunity for interaction,
“There are so many people who have helped with this,” Pack said. “We have a wonderful board and staff, full of compassionate people.”
The center was started when a Muskogee family realized the need for a kid-friendly physical therapy location after having a son born with cerebral palsy. As a result, more than 3,500 children have gone through the center, most for long-term therapy.
Staci Anderson, a walk participant, said her daughter Reagan raised almost $700 in two weeks this year.
“We have awesome friends and family,” Anderson said. “Reagan has an unspecified connective tissue disorder, and her doctor referred us to the center in Muskogee. The staff there has become like our family.”
Reagan, 4, was joined by her twin brother Ruger, and three other brothers and sisters. She won a bouncy ball at the flip-flop roulette wheel run by the Fort Gibson High School football team.
The threat of rain didn’t stop walkers and attendees from showing up, with 100 people participating in the walk and around 500 coming overall. In her welcome address, Pack thanked those who took the chance of getting wet.
“We are grateful to the Lord for the rain,” Pack said. “But we are also thankful that it has held off for a while.”
Pack said that Muskogee has a lot of choices when it comes to giving to non-profit organizations, and she was thankful for all the support the center receives.
“When the economy is down, it’s tough for people to give as much,” Pack said. “Muskogee has a wonderful attitude toward our cause, and I believe God will provide for us.”
You can help
If you are interested in participating in next year’s walk, other events, or if you would like to donate to the Kelly B. Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuro-Muscular Center, visit www.kbtoddcpcenter.org.