Chubbfathers, Angel Warriors host sensory friendly dinner

ALABASTER- Chubbfathers owners Will and Stephanie Cholewinski partnered with the Angel Warriors Foundation to provide a sensory friendly dinner for community members with special needs on Monday, April 17.

“We changed the lights to make it darker, and we don’t have very loud music. The biggest thing is to have a judgment-free dinner,” Angel Warriors Vice President Erika Zoebelein. “For a lot of parents of children with special needs, there is some anxiety about what will happen when they go out.”

According to Stephanie Cholewinski, the sensory friendly dinner was a great way for Chubbfathers to give back to the community and give families of people with special needs a chance to enjoy themselves.

“It was put on our hearts to help these guys out. We’re opening doors for parents and kids to experience things that they wouldn’t get to, otherwise. It’s all about the children, and we’re happy to be a part of it. It was the right thing to do,” Stephanie Cholewinski said.

Parent Elaine Ethridge said she was grateful to have the opportunity to take her family out to dinner, and used the event as a way to celebrate the 26th birthday of her daughter, Rebecca, who has special needs.

“This is just a whole new thing, to be able to do more at a restaurant,” Ethridge said.

Zoebelein said she was pleased with the feedback both organizations received from the community

“We’ve had a lot of interest. Everybody is very positive about it,” Zoebelein said. “The owners of Chubbfathers are very relaxed and low-key. They’re good people.”

According to Zoebelein, the sensory friendly dinner is one of several sensory friendly events that the Angel Warriors Foundation is hosting alongside local businesses.

The Angel Warriors Foundation plans to partner with AmStar on Saturday, April 22, at 9:30 a.m. for a sensory friendly viewing of “Smurfs: The Lost Vollage.” Angel Warriors has also planned an event for sensory friendly haircuts at Shear Grace Salon and Spa on Saturday, April 29.

“As a parent of a child with special needs, this gives me hope to know that there are business around me that care and understand,” Zoebelein said.