On Saturday August 20th, 2022, Nick and the Awesome in Action team were lucky enough to participate in the first annual Kidchella event hosted by the City of Loveland.
This event featured live music and performances, vendors, games, activities and Awesome in Action’s booth.
Nick wanted to spread his message of inclusivity by creating adaptive carnival games that were accessible to people of all ability levels. Nick often finds that when he goes to carnivals and festivals, the games are not accessible for someone in a wheelchair or with limited mobility.
Nick and the team started off by planning what accessible games we would offer. After a lot of thought, the team came up with a fishing pond game, a “choose your door” game, and a sensory bin with prizes. Nick loved the idea of the fishing pond game and was so excited for this project!
The next step was to do some fundraising to help pay for the costs of materials for Kidchella. Thanks to very generous donors, Nick was able to raise funds to cover all of the expenses for the project including all of the materials for the games as well as prizes and candy.
Then the team had to purchase materials for the event.
Well, it turns out that being experts in ability awareness and advocacy didn’t translate into being handy with tools and building materials! Nick’s team, including his mom and dad, all put in a tremendous amount of effort to create the games. Nick and his job coach Liz spent an eventful day at Lowe’s purchasing plywood, hinges, and other supplies to create the games, and Nick thought it was very funny that Liz had no idea what she was doing in a hardware store!
But, true to Awesome in Action’s mission, we persevered and didn’t let our perceived limitations stop us from being successful!
Nick and the team created the games from scratch and were so proud of their teamwork and ingenuity.
The day of the event, Nick and the team set up their booth with the adaptive games, resources about services for those with different abilities in Larimer county, and Awesome in Action marketing materials. The wind couldn’t stop the team from having a great time.
The fishing pond game was a huge success, and there was a long line of kids waiting to play the entire day! The younger kids loved the sensory bin, and Nick had so much fun watching them dig around in the rice and find prizes.
Nick and the team offered adaptive “fishing poles” with large grips for those with limited mobility, using dowel rods and pool noodles. Talk about smart!
Overall the event was a huge success and proved that Nick and the Awesome in Action team truly face any new challenges with an open mind, sense of community and team work.
This event wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible donations from the community, and Nick can’t say “thank you” enough!
Nick wants to specifically thank his mom, dad, Carl, Audrey, Kelleen, Allee, and Anne for coming together and helping him create the games and man his booth. Nick would also like to thank Kerry Helke and her team with the City of Loveland for giving Awesome in Action the opportunity to participate!
We can’t wait for next year’s Kidchella festival!
Thanks to the amazing work of Captain Crystal and her assistant Stacy, Nick was able to fulfill a long time dream of going up in an adapted hot air balloon in beautiful Wyoming!
Dream Catcher Balloon is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to give balloon rides in an adapted 2 seat custom built “basket” that allows those with mobility challenges or other concerns to fly! Dream Catcher and Captain Crystal work with people of different abilities, veterans, seniors, and anyone looking to have their dream flight. Captain Crystal is an amazing person and Nick’s flight has been several years in the making!
It was an early day, and tensions were high. Would the wind pick up? Would Nick get to fly? After waking up at 5AM Nick watched out the window while Captain Crystal and the team of volunteers including Nick’s family and friends set up the balloon. At about 6:30AM Captain Crystal gave Nick the OK to get down to the launch area and it was on!
Nick got to ride in the balloon twice, and was so excited. He spun around and looked at the beautiful views of the Snowy Range Mountains and the lake while waving his arms in the air and looking down to his cheering family and friends. His favorite part was looking at the horizon!
Events like these give people like Nick who have different abilities the chance to experience things they may not otherwise get to do.
It’s so important to Nick and his team to make connections with other non-profits looking to spread awareness and inclusivity, and we are proud friends of Captain Crystal and the Dream Catcher Balloon team.
Nick can’t wait for his next adventure!