‘I like to dance’: More than 3 dozen special needs adults celebrated at Valentine’s Day party

Program manager Vickie Rogers, right, dances with Sandi during the first Ability to Thrive Valentine’s Day dance held Friday, Feb. 14, 2020 at the Ability to Thrive building on Joe Nuxhall Way in Fairfield. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Program manager Vickie Rogers, right, dances with Sandi during the first Ability to Thrive Valentine’s Day dance held Friday, Feb. 14, 2020 at the Ability to Thrive building on Joe Nuxhall Way in Fairfield. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Every loving heart wants to dance on Valentine’s Day, and a Fairfield program helping special needs adults made sure there was room on the dance floor this year for everyone.

The Ability To Thrive  organization held its first Valentine's Day dance for members Friday.

The Valentine’s Day dance was a first for the Fairfield organization, but the fun it generated for more than three dozen participants will likely make it a new, annual tradition.

Vickie Rogers, ATT program director, said a big part of the dance’s creation was to due to “our DJ, Jacob Hardesty. He has autism and has his own DJ business. He does a fantastic job and he’s played for Kings Island, and special buddies events.”

“It was our first Valentine’s Day party. They (ATT members) like to be treated normal. They just had a blast and that’s all that matters to me.”

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The ATT organization’s mission is to “promote health, wellness, self-reliance, community integration and skills development for our members through education, exercise and preventative measures to ensure a healthier lifestyle.”

According to ATT’s website “Employment Services Program assists each participant to learn the skills needed to transition into community living, work and employment. Our program provides participants with a wide variety of stimulating activities that enhance their education, recreation, work-employment opportunities, community integration and other essential programs.”

One of the happiest dancers at the Valentine’s Day dance was Monica McQueen.

“I liked it. I had very much fun and I like to dance,” said McQueen.

Being in the family-like and supportive atmosphere of ATT is important to her, she said.

“It makes me feel good and special because people care,” she said.