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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Sacred Heart Catholic Church, located at 1400 Perry St. in Richmond’s Manchester neighborhood, will hold its 9th annual Latino Festival from noon to 10 p.m. The street festival celebrates the vibrant Latin culture of many of the parish families from Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Cuba and other Central and South American countries. Highlights include authentic cuisine, live entertainment, a performance by students of The Latin Ballet, raffle prizes, bounce houses and face painting for children, a mechanical bull ride for adults and the popular Miss Reinita contest for girls aged 6-11. Admission is free but guests are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the parish food pantry. For details, call 232-8964. Full text

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