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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YMCA event will focus on teen mental health


The YMCA, in partnership with the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation and PartnerMD, will host a free event May 2 to help parents learn how to deal with teen mental health issues. “When the Band-Aid Doesn’t Fix It: A Mom’s Perspective on Raising a Child Who Struggles” will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Shady Grove Family YMCA,11255 Nuckols Road. The event will focus on education, awareness, and understanding the issues facing teens today. > Read more.

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.
Entertainment

Restaurant Watch


Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

 

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Fifty-eight FIRST Robotics Competition teams from Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia will face off at the FIRST Chesapeake District Championship Apr. 7-8 at the VCU Siegel Center. This is the culmination of seven district qualifying competitions where over 125 teams competed. Winners will advance to the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis, Mo. Admission is free and open to the public. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Full text

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