Caring Bunny hops into VCC for children with special needs

Caring Bunny will hop into Virginia Center Commons Mall, 10101 Brook Rd., for children with special needs and their families on Sunday, April 1 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the JCPenney Court. The event will be held prior to the mall opening, so that accommodations can be made to support the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of all guests.

Caring Bunny is a joint program developed by The Noerr Programs, the digital imaging company that provides the Bunny Photo Experience for malls nationwide and AbilityPath.org, a national online resource hub and special needs community.

“We had an overwhelming response to the launch of Caring Bunny and Caring Santa last year. As a result, we are thrilled to expand this program to 52 malls,” said Sheryl Young, CEO of AbilityPath.org. “Holding the event before the mall opens to the public helps provide a calmer, sensory-friendly environment,” adds Young.

For children with a variety of special needs, standing in line, bright flashes, crowds and sounds can create major disturbances and distractions. “We take great care in making sure our photo setting is conducive to all abilities, to allow these families to participate in a heartwarming tradition that so many take for granted,” said Judy Noerr, CEO of The Noerr Programs. “It’s very rewarding to see the number of siblings who attend, many for the first time. It’s just as much for them, as it is for their brother or sister with special needs,” notes Noerr.

Registration is requested at http://www.abilitypath.org. For more information, call VCC at 266-9002.
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The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation will host the Virginia Ride for Kids at 11 a.m. The family-friendly loop ride begins at Richmond International Raceway and travels through Henrico County. Any make or model of street legal motorcycle is welcome. There will be activities for non-riders as well, including a bike show, food, vendors, speakers and activities for the whole family. The Virginia Ride for Kids is one of 30 PBTF-hosted motorcycle rides taking place this year. Now in its 15th year, the Virginia Ride for Kids has raised more than $1.1 million to help the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation fund childhood brain tumor research and life-changing family support programs. Admission is free but a minimum donation of $40 per motorcycle is encouraged. For details, visit http://www.rideforkids.org. Full text

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