News-bits Shared By Our Caravans
Halloween Trunk or Tricks or Tricks or Treats
October 30, 2023
This Halloween, Alhamar Caravan No. 4 participated in a ghost (the "g" is silent) of Trunk or Trick events which made them hauntingly visible to thousands of trick or treaters and parents throughout their local community. Costumed Caravan members had fun handing out gum and lollipops to the children, and Alhamar's business cards to the parents. Depending on the location of the event, the Caravan either stood alongside an informative table or their aptly decorated red truck. They even used bubble machines to attract attention.
List of spooky appearances for 2023:
October 21st: West Wyoming Trick or Treat, a special time was reserved from 3:30 to 5:30 for those with special needs and autism.
October 22nd: Swoyersville Kiwanis and the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Knights of Columbus Council #12976 Truck or Treat Tailgate Party. Members handed out candy to trick or treaters from noon to 4:00 pm at the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church and school grounds. Fr. Chmil, the parish priest at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was very supportive of our work.
October 28th: King's College Halloween Dance for Special Olympics bowlers and guests. Pizza, snacks, music, a photo station and dancing made it a memorable night on campus. Fr. Brogan Ryan, Chaplain and director of Campus Ministry hung out with the athletes and was very impressed by all their costumes. Special thank you to Ryan Pettipaw, King's College's student volunteer for coordinating such an amazing occasion. Alhamar members passed out candy bags to everyone at the end of the night.
October 29th: City of Wilkes-Barre Trick or Treat, which ran from noon to 3:00 pm.
October 29th: Wilkes University Trick or Treat, Supreme Director Ada came dressed as a nurse and Maureen a Mariachi band member.
October 30th: Exaltation of the Holy Cross Church Trunk or Treat event which ran from 6:30 to 8:00pm.
Check Presented to St. Anthony School Programs
September 22, 2023
A $1000.00 check from the Order of Alhambra Charity Fund, Inc. was presented at North Catholic High School in Cranberry, PA. by Supreme Director Ada Magni to Korin McMillen, Director of Special Education for St. Anthony School Programs in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. This donation was made to assist St. Anthony’s in purchasing school supplies for students with special needs.
Currently, 10 students with special needs are enrolled in St. Anthony School Programs at North Catholic High School. On the morning of her tour, SD Ada met 3 of the students who were working with teachers in a special resources classroom.
Thank yous to Korin for her graciousness during the visit, to the St. Anthony staff for their warm welcome, to Joe Wilson the President of North Catholic High School who gave a tour of their 10 year old state of the art facility, and to Anthony Beilstein, Director of College & Career Readiness at North Catholic High School for time spent learning more about the Order of Alhambra and the scholarships we provide to college students majoring in special education.
May God continue to bless St. Anthony School Programs, their staff and students.
Detroit Boat Cruise
September 24, 2023
Manresa Caravan No. 217 with 21 volunteers treated approximately 100 special needs individuals and their caregivers to a two hour cruise on the Detroit River aboard the Diamond Jack. The guests were treated to pizza, cookies, snack mix, and sodas. A variety of fun and entertaining music was broadcast over the boat's public address system.
Manresa Caravan would like to say a Special thank you to Julia Sydlowski, and Bob Rogenski, co-chairs for this year's event. Our contributing photographers were Norm Pranger, Janet Kurkie, and Gloria Rzucidlo.
A great time was had by all. – Laus Deo
Special Needs Picnic
September 17, 2023
Alhamar Caravan No. 4 resumed their annual special needs picnic at the Plains Polish American Veterans Pavilion on Sunday, September 17 (from 12:00pm to 3:00pm) after a three year hiatus due to Covid. At this year's event we honored (posthumously) life member and Captain of the Body Guard Joseph Pikaitis who passed on April 24, 2023.
The guests were treated to hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob, ice cream, cookies and desserts. Plush toys, T-shirts and raffle tickets were given to each special needs individual upon their arrival. Items donated by local businesses and individuals were raffled off. Alhamar Caravan's members and their volunteers WELCOMED St. Joseph's Center and their affiliate locations, Step by Step group homes and Special Olympics athletes, their families, guests and staff with GREAT hospitality and friendliness.
Thank you to all who helped make the day such a success. HAPPY faces were seen everywhere throughout the afternoon.
Some Nice Words from St. Anthony’s
August 1, 2023
"Yes, please send me your newsletter! I am looking forward to reading it. I had a wonderful time at the ladies tea, and it was truly my pleasure to speak with the ladies about St. Anthony School Programs, and all that we do in the Pittsburgh area for students with special needs. Thank you for this beautiful opportunity! And thank you for all that the Order of Alhambra does for individuals with special needs – you all do such tremendous work!
Take good care,
Korin H. McMillen
Director of Special Education
St. Anthony School Programs
Golf Outing and Scholarship Giveaway
June 14, 2023
Galicia Caravan No. 77 held their 32nd Alhambra Charity Golf Outing at Devil’s Ridge Golf Course in Oxford, Michigan. This year’s honoree was none other than a good friend, spiritual guide and humble supporter of the Caravan, Father Ronald DeHondt (pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland parish in St. Clair Shores and celebrating his 50th year of ordination). The Caravan owes a debt of gratitude to Fr. Ron and all the golfers, donors, volunteers and others who continually turn out in support of the Caravan's mission.
As a special treat for those who came out that day (showing donations at work), a scholarship check was presented to Emily Golenbiewski who is currently earning her masters degree from Grand Valley State University in early childhood endorsement special education. Galicia Caravan uses local donations to support students like Emily who are pursuing degrees in special education in order to work with children with intellectual disabilities and other special needs.
End of Covid Dinner Dance for Special Olympics Bowlers
May 11, 2023
Alhamar Caravan No. 4 hosted an End of Covid Dinner Dance for 31 Special Olympics bowlers, their families, and guests at Fox Hill Country Club in Exeter, PA (A total of 90 guests attended). DJ Joseph Hussey from Jester Entertainment provided the music. Raffle prizes which were donated enhanced the event for the athletes. The scrumptious meal included: penne in red sauce, breaded chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables, fruit cup, and Ice cream for dessert. The staff at the venue even joined in dancing with God's special people. A FUN time was had by ALL. What a FANTASTIC event that brought HUGE smiles to the bowlers.
Eater Egg Hunt
Oran Caravan 67 is just one of many Alhambra caravans which held a very special Easter party for our good friends. Thank you to all our members and the volunteers who bring happiness and joy to the intellectually disabled people we love so much.
Community Service Award Presentation
March 14, 2023
During the March council meeting in Chesterfield Twp., Michigan, Past Grand Commander Lou Caloia was presented with a community achievement award for his dedication to hosting the annual Life Handicapped Outdoors Fishing Derby in beautiful Brandenburg Park. Lou has been the lead organizer since the events inception, nearly 30 years ago. By the township's own estimation, Louis and his team have directly serviced over 2,500 individuals with special needs and their families. Galicia Caravan 77 is proud of Lou's achievement and grateful to be a co-sponsor of this wonderful event.
Show how much you appreciate the work Lou does by liking the Life Handicapped Outdoors Facebook page.
Alhambra Day at the Shrine Circus
February 9, 2023
The Alhambra Caravans of Region VI and their crew took over 2,000 special friends, their teachers and caregivers to a special performance at the Shrine Circus. The extended crew consisted of Alhambra, Knights of Columbus, Shriners, Stellantis, GM and many volunteer friends of Alhambra. Everyone enjoyed the work of unloading, greeting, seating, preparing food, and serving those in attendance. It warms the heart to see so many smiles and so much excitement on the faces of God’s Special People.
Alhamar Caravan No. 4 Hosts Holy Hour
TIMES LEADER - February 1, 2023