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Afterschool Club Open House October 21 – Lake Villa

LCCIL After School FlyerHigh School and transition students with disabilities have a special invitation to attend an Open House on Monday, October 21, 2013 at Camp Peacock in Lake Villa.   The Open House is to promote a new “Afterschool Club” that is sponsored  by the Lake County Center for Independent Living and the Lake Villa Township.  The Open House will take place at from 3:30-6pm.  RSVPs are encouraged.

The “Afterschool Club” will emphasize leadership, employment readiness and self-advocacy.  Anyone with an interest in helping advance young people with disabilities should attend (parents, teachers, service providers, etc.)

Getting to the event:   Camp Peacock is off Deep Lake Road, north of Grand Avenue, on Crooked Lake.    (See map below.)  Information on transportation, including use of the Northwest Demonstration Project buses is available from the LCCIL. Call Allison at 847-949-4440

Camp Peacock used to be a summer camp targeted at young people with disabilities. (Read Chicago Tribune article here.)  It stopped operating some years ago and was recently purchased by the Lake Villa Township.  (Read the NewsSun article here.)


Peacock Camp

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Handicap This! Performers, Educators, Entrepreneurs

HTP-HOMEbar-POSTERHandicap This! may have started as a fun and educational enterprise for Mike Berkson and Tim Wambach, but it has grown into a thriving business.  The core business is a constantly-evolving show called “Handicap This!”.  It is a  funny, poignant and bawdy telling of the story of their friendship –  Mike has Cerebral Palsy and Tim was first hired as his assistant over a decade ago.  Their relationship grew and now they create a “Judgment  Not Allowed” zone during every show that educates and opens minds with facts, tales and heart.  They tell a story of human potential, using themselves as examples.

And apparently the business potential for Handicap This! is very great.  With three employees now, revenues tripled in 2013 and the company keeps growing.  They have performed for over 30,000 people in 10 states since debuting the show in 2010.  They are increasingly called upon as motivational speakers in a variety of settings.   Big users of social media, their facebook page has over 14,000 followers and offers unfailingly positive posts about life.  Handicap This! also has produced a series of 13 web episodes with more on the way.  You can watch the trailer here:

Like many businesses, they want to give back to their community.  Not surprisingly, they have created a foundation called Keep On Keeping On that has assisted 80 clients with the “high cost of living with physical disability” since 2007.

You can catch Handicap This! at the HOME Bar in Arlington Heights on September 5.  Admission is $15 online, $20 at the door.  Contact Tim to book an event.

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Disability Pride Parade: Get on the LCCIL Bus!

general parade logoExcitement is growing for the 10th Annual Disability Pride Parade in downtown Chicago.  Activities begin at 9am and the parade starts at 11.  There will be booths, entertainment and presentations.  Lake County-ers who want to attend the Parade can take the bus sponsored by the Lake County Center for Independent Living.  The bus leaves the LCCIL office at 8 and will return about 3.  To reserve your spot contact Matt at 847-949-4440, ext. 215, email:

Are you wondering about the parade itself?  According to the event website:

The overall mission of the Disability Pride Parade is:

  • To change the way people think about and define “disability”;
  • To break down and end the internalized shame among people with Disabilities; and
  • To promote the belief in society that Disability is a natural and beautiful part of human diversity in which people living with Disabilities can take pride.

Visit the website at:  


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Day at the Lake, 2013 — June 23 and July 28

day_at_the_lake_2013Individuals with special needs and their families are invited to spend a  “Day at the Lake”  on June 23 and July 29.   The event runs from 11am to 5pm  and is at Lake Como, just north of Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. The event is sponsored by a few members of  Willow Creek Community Church.  This event is free of charge, but registration is requested as spaces fill up quickly.

The event will feature swimming, boating, fellowship, food and fun!  Families are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and fishing poles in addition to the usual suits, towels and sunscreen.   TheNemoNews has heard that this is a *FUN* event as well as a chance to meet other families.

To register for a Day at the Lake contact Trudy at 847-855-9571 or email

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Stepping Out for Parkinson’s — June 9

Fun Walk

Fund Raiser for Parkinson’s

The Stepping Out for Parkinson’s Fun Walk will take place at Nippersink Forest Preserve on Sunday, June 9.  It features a 1.5 mile walk, run, wheel beginning at 11:30am.  (Packet pick up is at 11.)  The event also features volleyball, a bean toss and a raffle.  There are over 89 gift baskets so far.

The event benefits Focus on a Cure whose mission is raising awareness, increasing education and providing support to patients and family members who live with Parkinson’s disease.  This event was founded by Jodi Mara, a local woman affected by Parkinson’s.  This is the second year of the event in Lake County.

For more information about the Fun Walk, contact Jodi at 847-373-8320 or Barb at 847-970-8422.  Email them at

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SO Torch Run in Lake County June 9

COLOR-IL-TORCH-RUN-jpgOver 100 Law Enforcement Officers will be carrying the Special Olympics Torch through Lake County on Sunday, June 9.  There are several “legs” to the run and it is likely the officers will be running somewhere near you.  Check with your local police department to see if/when you can cheer them on. The routes start at various places near the state line with Wisconsin around 6am.  They are detailed below.

These runs are part of 23 similar Torch Runs that begin in various places around the state (East St. Louis, Quincy, etc.)  All 23 segments will join up at the Opening Ceremonies are scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, June 14 at Hancock Stadium in Normal, Illinois.

The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is a year round activity that has raised nearly $28 million over the last 27 years to support Special Olympics activities.   They aim to raise $3M this year.  For more information about the Torch Run visit the Special Olympics Illinois website, or visit this link

BTW — If you need a donut on May 31, stop by Cops on the Roof fundraiser held at these area Dunkin Donuts!

Supporters are invited to line the course and cheer for the torch bearers
as they show their support for the Special Olympics Summer Games.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run in Lake County details follow with itineraries and maps:

The Gurnee Route begins at the Six Flags Employee Entrance on Grand and Milwaukee at 6:15am  and proceeds down Rt 21 to Dempster.  From there, it meets other legs in Proesel Park in Lincolnwood.  The Libertyville Stars Swim Team invites others to join them in front of the Baker’s Square on Milwaukee (21) and Greentree.  The torch runners are expected to pass by between 7-8am.

The Sheridan Road Route  begins at 6am at Sheridan Road and 128th in Winthrop Harbor for the first segment.   They will run along Sheridan Road until they arrive in Lake Forest around 8:30.  Then they will follow Green Bay Road to Evanston and conclude in Lincolnwood around noon.  In Lincolnwood, they will meet up with runners on another leg of the Torch Run.

The Hwy 83 Route begins in Antioch at 6am.   It goes through Lake Villa, Round Lake, Grayslake, and Wauconda.  The route takes Hwy 83 to Hwy 120 to Fairfield to Chardon and ends at the Wauconda Police Department around 9: 25am.


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Extreme Recess on July 31 — Dreams for Kids

Extreme Recess -- Dreams for KidsDreams for Kids will hold its annual summer Extreme Recess event on July 31 at 9am.  This is a  spectacular water sports day for kids with disabilities held in in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin (not too far from Fox Lake.)   Following a day full of adaptive water skiing, swimming,  jumpy castles, water slides,  fishing, canoeing, kayaking, tube and jet ski rides, there will be a free ski show by the famed Aquanuts!

Contact Shelly ASAP to sign up as a participant, volunteer or an event sponsor.

 Read last year’s review here.


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Shepherds Ministries Launches Summer Camp Discovery

SC BumperShepherds Ministries (in Union Grove, Wisconsin) will offer three one-week residential summer camp sessions for individuals with intellectual disabilities this year.  “Camp Discovery”  will target students aged 13-21 as they discover “purpose and possibility” in their lives.  The camps will feature field trips, sports, devotions, life skills and counseling.  Empowerment, goal setting and collaboration are themes in the camp.  The fee for each week is $700.

“We encourage students to discover their abilities over their disabilities in everything we do at Shepherds Ministries” said Brian Canright, Transition Coordinator at the College.  “We try to create a space where the student’s abilities can  surface and build possibility.”

Some (but not all) campers  are attending the camp to try out life at Shepherd’s College.  The College offers 3-year programs  in horticulture or culinary arts during the school year.  Shepherds Ministries offers a variety of residential and day services as well as sponsoring Shepherds College.

Click here for the Discovery Camp webpage.  (  The sessions will be held:

  • June 17-23 for ages 13-17
  • June 24-30 or July 1-5 for ages 18-21,

Shepherds Ministries has a Christian spiritual component in all their offerings.  Programs are open to anyone interested.   For more information about Camp Discovery contact Andrea Humphrey at 262-878-5620, ext. 1423,


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Tis the Season to Walk, Run and Wheel for Charity

There are about 15 weekends every summer that can be used for outdoors fundraising events that benefit the disability community.  These include fairs, 5Ks and more.   These events are wonderful community builders as they raise vital funds for programs.   TheNemoNews is creating a ‘master list’ of summer events, so that any supporter, athlete or outdoors person can easily find a way to  have fun and do good in our area.

To get on the list, fill out the following form

If you have questions, contact

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Grinch Steals Christmas! Not. SRACLC

Cast of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

The people were seated,
The lights now were dim,
The curtain came open,
Twas time to begin.

With walkers before them,
With chairs and their aide,
The lines they had learned,
And backdrops they made.

With memories true,
Applause in their heart,
These ShowStopper actors,
Brought joy with their art.

That Grinch who stole Christmas,
Just couldn’t stay mean,
With dancing and singing
For all to be seen.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas was put on by the Special Recreation Association of Central Lake County, (SRACLC) and performed on December 5 at the Sullivan Center in Vernon Hills.  It featured over 25 participants in the ShowStoppers program who prepared 13 weeks for the production.  It was produced and directed by Cassie Newton.  They are producing Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory  in the spring.

For more information on ShowStoppers contact Cassie Newton at SRACLC,  (847) 816-4866,

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