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The Capable Kids Foundation teamed up with RGVision Magazine to organize the first ever Light Up The Night Gala on Oct. 27 at the McAllen Convention Center.
The Gala was a huge success, raising awareness and over $130,000 for a local nonprofit organization changing the lives of kids with disabilities here in the Rio Grande Valley — the Capable Kids Foundation.
Children with disabilities may have limitations in their mobility, social skills, and independence, but they still want to play, make friends, and participate in all the activities that constitute growing up. A group of therapists at Milestones Therapeutic Associates saw from speaking with families of children with disabilities that they have limited opportunities to do so, and a plan was hatched to organize community events — from holiday-themed activities to sports leagues, where children with disabilities can interact with each other, their families, and the community at large.
Melanie Watson became the president of the nonprofit Capable Kids Foundation, the vehicle by which the Milestones team began to reach out to families. Support and interest has poured out for each Capable Kids Foundation Winter Wonderland, Inclusive Trick-or-Treat, and Prom event, and attendance at the Champion League’s soccer, basketball, and Sparks cheer teams are growing every year.
Currently, the organization is completely volunteer-based. With funds from the gala, Capable Kids may cover operational expenses such as hiring staff.
Carmen Pagan, co-founder of Milestones, was recognized as an RGVisionary Honoree at the Gala for her work with the Capable Kids. After her speech, the Sparks Cheerleaders gave a presentation that drew a standing ovation.
RGVision Magazine worked with the foundation to create the mini-documentary, “Capable,” which was also shown at the Gala. Produced by Kevin Martinez of RGVision Media, it is an introduction to the world of children with disabilities.
“Working with the kids let me see firsthand the struggles that families go through on a day-to-day basis,” Martinez says. “It feels good to get something out there that shares that with the rest of the world.” He plans to produce three more episodes that will focus on each of the kids introduced in the first segment. You can view the first segment here: http://bit.ly/2fBz3mL.
The Capable Kids Foundation and RGVision Magazine thank all of our sponsors, donors, volunteers and organizers, particularly Celeste Cantu, without whom the event would not have been possible.