How would you like to enjoy a night at Toby’s Dinner Theatre? Catch a Ravens game with a group of friends? Or perhaps get dolled up for a Valentine’s Day dance? These are examples of the kinds of activities that members of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland’s (UCP-CM) On the Go Social Club enjoy.
Started three years ago in UCP-CM’s Central Region, under the direction of Michel Baker, director of Residential and Support Services, the Club helps individuals who live together through UCP-CM’s residential program have an opportunity to pursue similar interests in the community. “Thanks to the generous support of donor Morty Gudelsky and his wife, the Club has funds to cover the expense for club-sponsored activities for those who cannot afford it on their own,” explains Michel, who talked with individuals and used a questionnaire to learn about the kinds of activities individuals would be interested in.
For Tim Bennett, a self-proclaimed Steelers’ fan who has been a member of the On the Go Social Club since its inception, the Club’s big highlight is attending football games. “I enjoy getting out and meeting new people,” says Tim. “I like to be a social guy.” Other Club experiences such as attending the Reba McIntyre concert and catching his first fish have fueled Tim’s desire to do more. “I just want to keep going,” stresses Tim, who includes seeing wheelchair basketball and women’s body building on his wish list for future Club activities.
Another popular Club event is watching wrestling, which both James Gillium and John Dunn, UCP-CM residents, have immensely enjoyed as Club members. “We went to the 1st Mariner Arena to see a WWE event,” recalls Michel. “The wrestling club has performed at the day center, and they send us complimentary tickets to their local sporting events. For events hosted by the club at the UCP-CM center, we invite individuals from other agencies to attend as well.”
Whether it’s going on the Spirit of Baltimore cruise, watching the Orioles head to the play-offs or attending a dance hosted by the On the Go Social Club, James and John express excitement and joy for the experiences they have had through the Club. With 42 active members, the club is busy planning for future events including the Halloween dance. James and John already plan to attend – possibly donning the Club’s signature collared shirts created thanks to Morty Gudelsky’s donor support. One thing is clear: Club members are embracing life on the go with UCP-CM.