Special-needs teens, young adults enjoy Halloween dance

By EMILY REED / Special to the Reporter

The Alabaster Senior Center hosted the third annual Halloween dance for special needs high-school students and young adults on Oct. 27.

“We had a great time,” Alabaster Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist Alicia Walters said. “The kids love music and they love to dance, and this provides them with an opportunity to have fun in a safe environment.”

The event was held at the Alabaster Senior Center with a pizza dinner, dessert, and range of tunes provided by DJ Ivan Correa.

Roughly 40 students from both Alabaster and Hoover therapeutic recreation programs dressed up in a variety of costumes including an owl, Fred Flintstone, Alice in Wonderland and Michael Jackson.

Walters said Hoover’s therapeutic recreation program is similar to Alabaster’s so the two groups thought it would be good to host corresponding events throughout the year.

“Hoover’s therapeutic program typically hosts a spring time dance, and we host a Halloween dance,” Walters said. “Many of the kids know each other so it is a great social avenue for them, plus it is a great avenue to do something with a neighboring city. When you have kids with disabilities there are limited social opportunities out there so we like to host things for them to come and have fun. It was also a great time for them to dress up in costumes.”

Walters said there were Halloween activities throughout the evening including a costume contest.

Students from Thompson High School’s Key Club helped serve pizza to the students.

“They did a great job of interacting with the students, and helping with the dinner,” Walters said.

The week prior to the event was spent decorating Alabaster Senior Center with Halloween decorations, Walters said.

“Although we usually put decorations up for the holidays at the center, we made sure to upgrade the decorations for the event,” Walters said. “Every year we have hosted this we have had more interest. We were excited to have 40 kids come, and look forward to having it again next year. Overall, it was a great night.”

For more information about future events or to learn about Alabaster’s therapeutic recreation program contact Walters at (205) 663-1307.