In 2005, Alpharetta’s Kiddos Clubhouse began as a place where children with special needs could receive the best occupational, speech, physical and behavioral therapies. Pediatric Occupational Therapist and Founder Brett Devore discovered that a personal approach would be his path to providing a truly impacting experience to each patient. Devore became painfully aware of the struggles families faced trying to provide therapy and equipment needed for their children with special needs. In 2007, Devore and his wife, Nell, branched a foundation from Kiddos Clubhouse, which would raise funds to provide scholarships to all of those in need. Today, the Kiddos Clubhouse Foundation is made up of an all-volunteer board, and with minimal operational costs, donates nearly every cent of proceeds to families.
To date, $225,000 of scholarships have been awarded to 106 patients with special needs. These invaluable donations allow each individual to receive the care they need to attain the skills to walk, talk, eat or perceive the world.
While the foundation receives and gives support beyond their own city limits, an abundance of local businesses and individuals have extended a helping hand.
Beer, and the enthusiasm to become involved in community charities, began the sponsorship relationship with Alpharetta construction company, The Beam Team, who joined up with Kiddos for the 2014 Race to Rally Hope. “They are a fun group of people who are so passionate about what they do for families that need help, and we were inspired to take an even larger role with helping this charity and helping these families in need,” says Vice President of HR John Morris. He also credits Kiddos with changing the culture of their company into one that seeks opportunities to help others.
Nancy McMinn, marketing coordinator for Rhonda Shell Real Estate and a volunteer board member, began working with Kiddos at this past spring’s Race to Rally Hope. “Donating my time to the board takes a small effort in comparison to what these children face on a daily basis,” says McMinn. “If it means that my time is helping shape better lives for children with special needs, then my role as a board member is worth every minute.”
Race to Rally Hope, an annual 5k in historic Downtown Alpharetta, is thus far the largest annual Kiddos event. The Peachtree Road Race qualifying event takes place the last weekend of April, and raised $50,000 this year alone, through its 50 sponsors and 450 runners. Local sponsors included Rogers Electric, Forthright Wealth Management and Hallway Plumbing.
Music and food trucks add a fun, lively atmosphere, while there is something for the young ones, too.
“We have a run set up for kids with special needs,” says Devore. “That, to me, is the highlight of the night.”
Balls, Beer & Barbecue, or BB&B, is the latest installment of fundraising events. The autumn tennis tournament will be held at the Atlanta Athletic Club and Alpharetta’s Cue Barbecue will be smoking up a delicious dinner.
Last summer, Alpharetta resident Ainsley Gatlin noticed her daughter, Abby, showed signs of struggling in her daily activities. Abby’s nearsightedness provoked thought in Gatlin and their occupational therapist; a functional visual assessment was conducted to see if her vision could be the root cause. Significant deficits were confirmed: Abby needed therapy which was not covered by insurance.
“We applied for a scholarship through Kiddos. Within a month, we were granted a scholarship to cover almost a year of vision therapy,” says Gatlin. “Abby has had significant improvement in her functional vision, which has helped her make progress in handwriting, tracking, copying and completing some ADLs (Activities of Daily Living). We are incredibly grateful for this generous gift!”