Easterseals event will take place at Sportika

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The bake sale will be held from 7-10 p.m. Dec. 17; 1-10 p.m. Dec. 18; and noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 19, at AMF Strathmore Lanes, 1061 Route 34, Aberdeen Township.

The Sportika sports complex on Woodward Road in Manalapan will host the Easterseals New Jersey fundraiser, “Play with Purpose.” The event is designed to educate the community about Easterseals and the work it does to support individuals with disabilities and special needs, including autism, physical disabilities and mental illness.

Co-hosts for the event are Bill Spadea of WKXW-FM/NJ 101.5 and Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Matt Hamill. Event proceeds will be used for programming that enables Easterseals’ clients to achieve their personal goals and become active, contributing members of their community, according to a press release.

“Play with Purpose” highlights the theme of inclusion and the message that anyone, regardless of ability, can and should have the opportunity to participate in recreation. It also underscores the premise that play is a vital ingredient in achieving overall wellness, work-life balance and reducing stress, according to the press release.

The fundraiser will take place on April 28 with registration at 9 a.m. and recreational activities for all ages and abilities starting at 10 a.m. “Play with Purpose” supports Easterseals’ motto, “Live, Learn, Work, Play,” and its mission to build an inclusive community throughout New Jersey, according to the press release.

The New Jersey Chapter of Easterseals serves individuals age 18 and up with social service programs in all 21 counties that include community living services, adult day training, workforce development and employment solutions, senior community service employment programs, and camping and recreation options. Youths under 18 are eligible to enroll in Easterseals Camp Merry Heart, one of the only fully-accessible and inclusive camps in the area, according to the press release.

The public is invited to attend and join in the “Play with Purpose” activities which will include prize giveaways, arts and dance programs, visual arts, accessible bowling and golfing, soccer shootouts, skill drills and more. There will be opportunities to win door prizes and raffles. Corporate sponsors include CVS, Century 21 and Amway. The suggested donation to attend is $25 per adult or child.

“We are excited to celebrate the impact that recreation has in helping those with disabilities and special needs achieve a positive sense of self-worth,” said Helen Drobnis, chief advancement officer for Easterseals New Jersey. “As a deaf athlete with significant accomplishments on the national stage, Matt Hamill, our MC for the day, reinforces this concept. Matt is a great example that regardless of an individual’s disability, they can still attain their personal goals.”

For more information, visit www.eastersealsnj.org/play