Probus Annual Picnic 2021
Probus Greater Hartford has partnered with the oldest camp in the country to share the joy of a summer picnic with area group homes and special needs individuals. Probus Greater Hartford held it’s Annual Picnic for intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals on Sunday, August 29th at Camp Courant in Farmington, CT. This camp was founded 124 years ago and it is the oldest and largest free summer day camp in the nation. It served as the ideal venue to welcome our 109 guests who arrived in vans from area group homes, and other facilities, including The American School For The Deaf in West Hartford. Our 22 Probus volunteers and board members cooked hamburgers and hot dogs to 25 picnic tables under the massive pavilion. Chips, cookies and bottled water were also handed out. The 2020 pandemic cancelled our picnic last year and this August, Hurricane Henri caused us to reschedule our picnic date to the end of the month.
Kudos to our hip D.J. Matt “Funktavious” who provided a great mix of danceable tunes to set the mood and provide a palpable energy. Many attendees danced among themselves and with caregivers. A number of our guests also availed themselves of the camp’s swing sets, jungle gyms and other recreational equipment, or strolled the lovely campus.
As our guests were departing Camp Courant they were given some small gifts to take with them, to help remember the day.
We are indebted to Camp Courant for outstanding cooperation and generosity and their Director of Donor Involvement, Jessica Pierson, and her talented and tireless staff!
TWENTY-THREE GROUP HOMES REGISTERED FOR OUR PICNIC. They came from the following 13 towns: South Windsor, East Hartford, Rocky Hill, Newington, Storrs, Manchester, New Britain, West Hartford, Bloomfield, Hartford, Ellington, Simsbury and Willimantic. PROBUS looks forward to further events serving those in the IDD community.
Probus Volunteers for Special Olympics
Probus volunteers were excited to participate in two Special Olympics CT events on Saturday June 19, 2021, welcoming this extraordinary organization’s return to physical gatherings after last year’s forced pandemic suspension.
The two events included a track and field meet held at Fitch Senior High School in Groton, CT, and a cycling competition at a corporate facility in Cheshire, CT. Probus members Charlie Dobrow, Dr. Bob Dobrow and Chris Magnifico volunteered as Cycling Course Marshals at the Summer Sports Series Cycling Event in Cheshire. The trio were supplied with walkie talkies and stationed at various points on the oval course to help monitor and maintain a safe riding environment for the competing athletes. A myriad of bicycles, including English racers and over-sized adult tricycles were safety inspected, and used for a series (1K to 5K) of time trials.
Meanwhile, at the Groton Summer Sports Series Athletic Competition, the threesome of Adrienne and David Maslin, along with Mark Goldberg, were busy attaching assigned numbers to athletes, escorting them to their starting positions on the track, and providing last minute lane and finish line instructions. The day saw a full range of races — from 50 meters to 1500 meters – each involving multiple “heats”.
The Probus volunteers also cheered on and encouraged the determined athletes who have been training for months for these events. Many of the Special Olympians smiled and pumped their fists at the crowd as they competed. The competitions were truly inspiring: there was a palpable sense of joy and pride displayed by spectators, coaches and family members of the athletes who urged their loved ones on.
Commemorative Medals were awarded to all the athletes.
Probus sends a big “Thank You!” to Special Olympics Connecticut for the opportunity to partner with you on this festive day of competition!
”3 D. Disability, Dream and Do“, arranged by Dave Clark, hosted by The Hartford Yard Goats team, and assisted by Hartford PROBUS volunteers on the field.
Two annual summer Clinics have hosted hundreds of area youngsters with special needs enjoying the thrill of sports participation.
Memorial Day Parade – West Hartford
Every year. ( weather permitting ) Volunteers from PROBUS sell balloons at this festive parade, raising funds to support our programs for the IDD COMMUNITY. With the expected control of the COVID pandemic we expect to resume this in 2022.
The Annual Picnic
SPONSORED BY PROBUS has hosted as many as 275 persons from area Group Homes and Respite Care facilities. This extremely popular event features barbecued grilled meals and hours of D-J music in an outdoors and open pavilion settings, which are wheel-chair accessible. Recent entertainments included College sport celebrities and professional team mascots. Travel to this event has been in specialized vans provided by DDS.
Basketball at Central Connecticut State University
For several years Probus of Greater Hartford has sponsored group homes attendance at varsity college basketball games. Most recently nearly 150 residents and caregivers enjoyed double-header CCSU men’s’ and women’s games at Detrick Gymnasium on the New Britain campus. Tickets were given by the CCSU Athletic Dept. Probus volunteers welcomed each guest on arrival and seated all at court side. Attendees have expressed great satisfaction with these exciting outings.