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A Family Affair to perform for Special Populations fund-raiser

By Staff | Sep 14, 2011

Tickets are now on sale for a dinner show featuring A Family Affair, which will be held at Lake Kennedy Senior Center to benefit Special Populations in October.

Joyce Zeigler, who belongs to Guardian Angels for Special Populations, said she has seen A Family Affair perform at her church and at the Cape Coral Cultural Theatre a few times and decided to ask them if they would play for a fund-raiser to benefit Special Populations.

“They said yes,” she said.

Zeigler said she has seen A Family Affair perform a ’50s play, a country and rock ‘n’ roll theme play, along with performing patriotic songs. She said their motto is “music from our family to yours.”

Vince Marcucci, recreation specialist for Special Populations, said the group is comprised of two ladies and two gentleman who are quite talented with several music instruments, along with telling jokes. He said they know just the right music to please the crowd.

Marcucci said the performance will be a great boost for the fund-raising mission that they are involved with for Special Populations.

He said they have tickets for 180 seats. Tickets are $20 for a turkey dinner catered by Bob Evans and the show.

“We could make room for a dance floor, but our goal is to sell out,” Marcucci said.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 239-574-0574 or by stopping in at Special Populations.

The show will be held on Oct. 8 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Lake Kennedy Senior Center, 400 Santa Barbara Blvd.

Special Populations began 32 years ago in 1979 as a summer program for three individuals with disabilities. Since then it has grown and now 180 people participate in the program.

The mission statement for Special Populations is “to promote independence for persons with developmental disabilities through exposure, education and experience in a safe, caring environment.”

“I can’t speak more highly of the workers,” Zeigler said about those who work for Special Populations. “They get to learn their needs, fears, what they can do and what they can’t do.”

There are many programs and activities individuals can participate in at Special Populations.

Some of the activities include continuing education; job skills training; health and safety; social and life skills; competitive employment information; drama and dance; exercise; art and music therapy, horticulture therapy and special equestrians.

Zeigler said she has a daughter who is autistic that has been going to Special Populations since she was 7 years old. Denise is now 29.

“It went from an after-school program to an adult program,” Zeigler said. “It’s a great program. I would never stop going there.”

Denise was attending Tanglewood Elementary School when her mother found out about the program. Zeigler said there was a notice sent to the school about the program and she decided that it would be good for her daughter.

“She just enjoyed it from the get-go,” Zeigler said.

Now Denise enjoys going on outings, anything music related, along with watching afternoon movies that they show at Special Populations.

Before settling in at the Lake Kennedy Senior Center after it was built in 1992, the program moved around to different locations through the city Parks and Recreation Department. In 1994, the Special Populations facility was built after three years of writing grants to the federal government. In 2002, an addition was built onto the facility.