Parents of Special Children, Inc. hosted its backyard barbecue Saturday at Douglaston Manor Farm, 4360 State Route 13 in Pulaski—home of Mr. and Mrs. H. Douglas Barclay. Various community individuals and organizations donated facilities, talent, food and entertainment for children with special needs to create an enjoyable day.
A highlight of the day was Magical John, recently featured in the Post Standard. He performed a magic show, walked on stilts and juggled. Other highlights included caricature artist J.P. Crangle, known for his drawings that are featured in Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse in Syracuse. Race cars, patrol cars, and fire trucks were also on site. Kids were able to sit in race cars and patrol vehicles, as well as tour a fire truck.
Music, dancing, bounce houses, pony rides, face painting, food, and arts and crafts were all part of the free fun. About 180 people took part in the event.
Organizers said children and their families had the opportunity to enjoy a special day together and get to know each other better. Chrystal Hoyt, coordinator at Parents of Special Children, Inc. and an organizer of the event, said she was pleased so many turned out to enjoy the barbecue and be with other families. The community support for this event has been overwhelming, she said.
“What a great day. Just a great, enjoyable day. Fun was had by all and there was so much for the kids to do. I’m grateful to everyone who made this possible, especially to our hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Barclay. They’ve been huge supporters of our organization and have made this day possible for two years in a row. One of our main objectives as an organization is to empower families. When families strengthen connections with other families at events like this, it helps the entire family unit. This was a good day,” said Hoyt.
“Both DeeDee and I are pleased to be able to host this event for the Parents of Special Children, Inc. After hosting the event last year, and seeing all those kids and families smiling and enjoying themselves, we made plans that day to start planning for next year’s event. It is my hope that through this event, the network of parents and children who face special challenges in caring for and raising children with special needs strengthens and grows. Today’s event enabled families, once again, to connect through good food, entertainment and fun. We’re glad to be a part of it,” said H. Douglas Barclay, former U.S. Ambassador and host of the backyard barbecue.
Assemblyman Will Barclay, whose staff helped organize the four-hour event and who also volunteered and donated to the event, said he was glad to see people enjoying themselves. “I’m glad to be a part of this event. I love to see the families come together and the kids play. I hope it was a memorable day for those who took part. I know it was for me,” said Assemblyman Barclay. “The community network for parents who have children with special needs is strong in Oswego County and that’s an important component to raising healthy families. Oswego County should be proud of this tradition it has started of helping one another through education. It all lends itself to better healthcare and stronger family networks,” said Assemblyman Barclay.
Several other agencies and individuals made the event possible and included: Roy Clark of Dunkin’ Donuts, Jennifer Cook of Assemblyman Will Barclay’s office, Kathleen Harrington of Port City Logistics, Christopher Nelson of State Farm Insurance, Jim & AJ Bernys and Amy Hall, Shane Broadwell & Broadwell Companies, Burritt Motors, Douglaston Manor Staff Members, Dunkin’ Donuts Employees, Eagle Beverage, Frito Lay, Tonya Grossman & Family, Half-Shire Historical Society, Hershey Ice Cream of Oswego, Lighthouse Lanes, Frank & Sharon McKeown, Omicron Sorority Members of Oswego State, Oswego County Sheriff’s Department, Oswego Harbor Festivals, Inc., Pepsi Beverage Company, Port City Logistics & Doug Grandjean, Pulaski American Legion, Ringgold Fire Department, Brian Sobus & Danielle Soule, and ZBT Fraternity Members of Oswego State.
For more information about Parents of Special Children, Inc., please call Chrystal Hoyt at (315) 598-7672 or (315) 529-4605