Inland Regional Center Celebrates Disability Awareness at the Annual IRC Fall Festival
Above Photo: IRC Senior Training Specialist Jonathan Eckrich (back row), wife Jennifer, and their children welcome Fall Festival attendees. Photo Credit: Amelia Maldonado
Local non-profit hosts more than 1,500 people with disabilities and their families at carnival-themed fun fair!
San Bernardino, CA – On November 4th Inland Regional Center (IRC) Consumers, families, staff, and vendors spent a warm autumn afternoon at the 2017 IRC Fall Festival. This event connects Inland Empire families with services available to people with developmental disabilities while celebrating the disability community in a fun carnival atmosphere.
“The IRC Fall Festival is an event our Consumers and families look forward to year after year,” said IRC Community Relations Specialist Amelia Maldonado. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to learn about services and resources. But equally as important it gives the IRC community a chance to laugh, smile, dance and be silly together. We see it as a celebration of disability, inclusion, and community.”
More than 75 community agencies hosted exhibitor booths to provide information about their services to festival attendees. In keeping with the carnival-theme, exhibitors provided games, activities, raffles, and giveaways at their booths.
Entertainment could also be found around every turn. The Great American Y Circus performed acrobatic and aerial routines on the main stage. Saint John’s Angel’s showcased youth dancers in their ballet folklorico performances. Alejandro Pelayo, who goes by the stage name Alexo Presto, performed magic tricks for the crowds. Pelayo is also a client of Inland Regional Center. Jugglers, face painters, and balloon twisters rounded out the afternoon’s entertainment.
IRC Event Developer Daisy Felix worked with community partners to ensure that this event was provided to the community free of charge. This year’s festival was presented by Pathway, Inc. and sponsored by People’s Care, In-Roads Creative Programs, Inland Respite, California Mentor, IEHP, and Premier Healthcare.
The festival was also attended by several community leaders and legislators including Congressman Pete Aguilar, Senator Mike Morrell, and Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes, among others. These legislators toured the event and met with Inland Regional Center staff to discuss the services provided by the regional center as well as challenges faced in providing services to diverse communities.
About Inland Regional Center
Inland Regional Center is a springboard to greater independence for people with developmental disabilities in the Inland Empire. As a non-profit agency IRC has provided support to people with intellectual disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy since 1972. Today IRC provides case management and service coordination for more than 33,000 Consumers in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. To learn more, visit inlandrc.org.