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Nearly 300 people gathered recently for Sidekix’s inaugural Trick or Trot event held at Wilson Medical Center’s track. Sidekix, a nonprofit, promotes inclusion through friendships of individuals with special needs and disabilities with typically developing peers or friends.
“The turnout was overwhelming, and there were lots of smiles and encouragement throughout the day,” said Hunter Peebles, founder of Sidekix and owner of Hunter’s Dance Studio.
Peebles, along with help of several other mothers who have children with special needs, started the movement back in the summer.
The fun-filled event started with a competitive run followed by a costume contest and then a trot for the individuals with special needs or disabilities alongside their friends and families.
Medals were presented with all participants in the trot and costume contest.
Peebles said they raised $18,000 for the first-ever event. She said part of the money will help fund the special needs playground at Vinson-Bynum Elementary School, and the rest will be used of offer free Sidekix Mix events. The nonprofit holds fun outings and programs aimed to bring children with special needs or disabilities together with typical-developing children in an effort to spend time together and develop friendships that will last a lifetime.
Peebles said they plan on making Trick or Trot an annual event.
“Now we have a year to spread awareness about Sidekix, and hopefully we will double everything next year,” Peebles said. “Our goal was to raise enough money to offer all of the events at no charge for a year.”
Peebles said there is nothing like seeing children thrive and feel included.
“We hope Sidekix is going to be life-changing for everyone on both sides of the spectrum,” she said. “The children are having fun and finally making friends.”
Parents and also making friends and offering each other support, too.
“Sidekix is spreading awareness about the special needs community throughout Wilson and beyond,” she said. “And the more time we all spend together the less our differences matter.”
Sidekix also has an ongoing fundraiser until Dec. 20. Tickets are $10 with a chance to win Leonard’s Playhouse, valued at $2,000. For more information on tickets or how you can get involved contact them at 252-237-0024, visit its website at sidekixfriends.com or find the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sidekixwilson.