Written by Phil Cerroni
By Jess Paniszczyn
Families filled the Our Children's House at Baylor – Irving (OCHI) to spend a fun filled morning participating in the Irving Healthcare Foundation’s (IHF) annual Kiddin' a Round Miniature Golf Classic. Nine holes of miniature golf filled the daycare and overflowed into the outdoor play area where kids could have their faces painted, pet therapy dogs and enjoy the playground.
“Our Children’s House at Baylor Irving (OCHI) is a daycare facility for special needs kids,” said Mariel Stribling, development specialist for IHF. “They take care of young children with Down syndrome, spina bifida, autism spectrum disorders and other needs. Each of the holes in the miniature golf fund raiser is devoted to a child, so that golfers can learn about the child’s family, condition, and how OCHI has improved their lives.
“At this point, we’ve raised about $100,000, which will be used for general facility costs. This daycare is primarily run on donations. All of the kids here receive tuition reimbursement. The price of raising a special needs child is so prohibitive that a lot of families qualify for financial assistance. Families really need donations from the community to help pay for their child’s tuition.
“OCHI has a speech therapist and an on-site nurse. A lot of the kids have feeding issues, so they need trained staff who can handle their situations.”
Charlotte Norris attended the event with her family.
“I came out today for my grandson Sam who attends here. They do good work here, and we appreciate all their help.
“The guys have played putt-putt golf. The kids have had their faces painted, blown bubbles and have played on the swings.”
Shedrick Ross watched as his wife and children played golf.
“We came to support my wife who works for OCHI. We are having a good time playing miniature golf. Our Children’s House is a good place for kids to come learn. They help a lot of disabled kids, which is a good thing. There are not a lot of resources out there for parents with special needs kids. I think OCHI is doing a great job.”