‘Club Heyday’ offers new creative outlet for area adults with special needs

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T-R PHOTOS BY ROBERT MAHARRY — Those who participated in the inaugural gathering of Club Heyday, a new group for area adults with special needs, show off their projects on Wednesday afternoon at Marshalltown Community College. Organizer Hattie Roth, also pictured, is planning to arrange quarterly meetings with the long-term goal of launching a summer camp sometime in the future.
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By Robert Maharry, Times-Republican

Hattie Roth has big dreams of running a full-on summer camp for adults with special needs in the future, but she knows she has to start somewhere.

Roth, a service coordinator with Central Iowa Residential Services Inc. (CIRSI), led the first meeting of Club Heyday on the Marshalltown Community College campus Wednesday evening with 10 participants and a handful of support staff helping out with a painting project. For now, it’s being billed as a quarterly event, but if the demand grows, she would love to make it more frequent.

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“I’ve worked for CIRSI for about a decade, and I’ve seen things kind of come and go with the different clubs, groups (and) opportunities that they have,” Roth said. “And I think, first of all, Marshalltown has a lot of opportunities (and) has a lot of opportunities for children. For any adults, I think we’re kind of lacking, but especially for these guys.”

Roth is involved with the Arc of Marshall County, which hosts monthly events like dances and taekwondo sessions, but it used to be weekly and focused on smaller tasks like crafting and artwork. In that sense, she sees Club Heyday as a way to fill the void and hopes it will continue to grow.

“I’d like for it to get to be monthly. It’s a volunteer based thing,” she said.

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Darla Andersen works on painting a pot during the first Club Heyday event at MCC on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, they worked on painting and assembling wind chimes, and Roth plans to tailor the crafting projects to the season — in August, it will be tie-dye and summer camp themed. Several of the participants in attendance on Wednesday night said they were having “lots of fun” and definitely planned to be back for the next session.

To learn more about Club Heyday and how to get involved as a participant or a volunteer, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61558690747123. The events will always be held on the MCC campus, but they may move to different rooms depending on the number of participants.

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“I’m really grateful to Iowa Valley. The staff over here have been really great to work with, and it’s a great first step,” Roth said.

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