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Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino hosts fall festival for 1,500 with disabilities

By in Press Enterprise on November 6, 2017

By Brian Whitehead

If only for a day, Inland Regional Center staffers created an environment in which 1,500 people didn’t have to worry about their disability.

On Saturday, Nov. 4, the San Bernardino nonprofit held its seventh annual Fall Festival at San Manuel Stadium, a carnival-themed rendezvous sponsored by community partners and attended by local leaders.

The fair, which has increased in size every year, not only provides clients resources, “it gives the IRC community a chance to laugh, smile, dance and be silly together,” Amelia Maldonado, IRC community relations specialist, said in a release.

“We see it as a celebration of disability, inclusion and community.”

For attendees young and old, the Great American Y Circus returned to perform acrobatic and aerial routines. Youth dancers from Saint John’s Angels, a new act, entertained with ballet folklorico performances.

There were balloon artists and clowns, and for the first time, IRC called upon a client, magician Alejandro Pelayo, otherwise known as Alexo Presto, to wow the crowd.

“These events are designed for our consumers to have a day where they don’t have to worry about their disability, or worry about fitting in,” said CJ Cook, an IRC community engagement manager. “Our high school kids, and the kids right out of high school, are not very social because society can be harsh and mean at times.

“But at an event like this, those kids can smile and laugh and be in the moment for a day without having to worry about the outside stress of having a disability.”

Daisy Felix, an IRC event developer, worked with community partners to ensure the festival was offered at no charge to attendees. Pathway, Inc., a home assistance provider, presented the event for a third year.

More than 75 area agencies set up shop to offer information on their services.

Sponsors included People’s Care, In-Roads Creative Programs, Inland Respite, California […]    

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