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Special needs day draws 2,200 to DellOsso Farms
DELLOSSO3 10-5-13
Students from Tracys Central School pose for a class photo in the DellOsso Pumpkin Patch during Fridays Special Day on the Farm. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Paul Rengh had as much fun at Friday’s Special Day on the Farm as his Valley Community Action Programs consumers.

“They always have such a good time,” said the executive director of the program servicing over 340 adults with development disabilities at five different sites. “They wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Of course, it helped having the event at the Dell’Osso Family Farm. Rengh indicated that his consumers often look forward to spending the day with familiar attractions such as the hay ride, train ride, jump house, the Dell’Osso Speedway, and the corn maze.

“These are things that everyone can do,” said organizer Elaine Thompson, president of the Kiwanis Club of El Dorado ‘CLBU.’

This Kiwanis morning chapter of Stockton had 100 or so volunteers helping out at the event. Together, they serviced about 2,200 with special needs, from various agencies in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Amador, Tuolumne, and Calaveras counties, ranging in age from 18 months to age 80 and older.

Special Day on the Farm began as Special Access Day some 27 years ago. In the early years, Thompson recalled hosting the event at various venues with midway-type rides. “It was difficult for some with (physical) handicaps to hop aboard the rides,” she said.

About seven years ago, Dell’Osso Family Farms agreed to host the event. From there, it transformed into the pre-kickoff event to the pumpkin patch and corn maze.

“There’s something very magical that happens here at the farm every day,” said Dell’Osso Family Farm marketing director Yvonne Sampson. “But this day is the one most dear to our hearts.”

She‘s especially grateful for the grants and donations from the many supporters, making Special Day on the Farm possible.

Sampson said the train ride was the most popular attraction at this year’s event.

Vanessa, a youngster from Transition program in Modesto, enjoyed dancing to the music played by the disc jockey.

“They all had a good time,” said parent Nick Calton, who also helps out at Transition. “They look forward to coming here every year.”