SAN FERNANDO VALLEY, CA — Nearly 250 developmentally challenged people, along with staff and some 50 volunteers, visited the Griffith Observatory on Saturday, March 3, for a Community-at-Large Day sponsored by Valley Village and partner agencies. After touring the world-famous Observatory, touching a moon rock, holding a meteorite, and weighing
themselves on Jupiter and other planets, the large group gathered on the lawn in front of the observatory for a relaxing picnic lunch that included socializing, laughter and lots of photo opps. It was a remarkable day, made even more so by the accessibility and hospitality of the Observatory.
“We appreciate everything the Griffith Observatory staff did to make our group feel welcome and be able to access the exhibits,” said Caitlind Alexander, who organized the event for Valley Village and its partner agencies in the San Fernando Valley for Community-at-Large Day — New Horizons, TLC and the Child Development Institute. “We want to say a big thank you to all our volunteers, who gave one-on-one attention to many of our clients, as well as helping with registration, the picnic and the clean-up,” said Jo Ellen Krumm, volunteer coordinator at Valley Village. “Our clients can’t stop talking about their wonderful ‘new friends.’ We were thrilled to have such a turnout from the community, including groups from Best Buy, the Youth One Source, and the UCLA Indian Student Union. Many staff members also volunteered their weekend time. Everyone was helpful and cheerful and made the day special for our clients.” Some funding for transportation came from a New Freedom grant. Valley Village, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Winnetka, provides residences, day programs and therapeutic services to some 400 adults with intellectual and developmental challenges. For information, visit www.valleyvillage.org or call (818) 587-9450.