North Augusta, South Carolina is home to over 21,000 people, including Pam Stickler.
“My name is Pam Stickler and I have lived here since 2000,” Pam told me.
She moved to North Augusta with her husband and, then 22-year-old son Stephen, who has cerebral palsy. She was looking for something for her son to get involved with after his schooling and the REC-ing Crew was born.
“The REC-ing Crew is a non-profit that provides leisure and recreational programs for those with physical and cognitive disabilities within the CSRA,” Pam told me.
The organization started out with a bowling program with 25 people participating and has now grown into something much bigger. From the Alley Cats bowling team, to soccer, ballet, swimming, movies, dance, and even karate! The group has something to do for anyone with a disability.
“Every single season, and with every program we have, I have learned something new about somebody’s disability that I didn’t know about, so I’m always learning,” Pam said.
Pam has more than 100 people registered, right now, from all around the CSRA. The programs are open to anyone with any disability from anywhere in the CSRA from ages 6 to 83. Pam feels that her community has helped make the REC-ing crew and the other programs successful. “I can’t believe how welcome we always feel within the community and I keep telling myself we must be doing the right thing and we have to continue to do it…the right way,” she said.
Pam is busy year-round putting events together, getting volunteers, and working with sponsors and making sure anybody who wants to participate can. Even with all that, she’s still thinking about the future. “In 5 years, I’d like to see us in a big office with a lot of staff and having more people knocking on our door wanting to volunteer,” she said.
What Pam started 14 years ago, trying to help her son Stephen, has turned into a learning experience not only for those who are disabled but for her, as well. “The people that participate teach me something all the time. They appreciate everything that’s done for them,” she said.
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