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Strive's picnic helps with activities

July 16, 2014 - An upcoming picnic at Clintonwood Park will help disabled individuals get active with a variety of "adaptive sport" activities, July 20, from 3-6 p.m.

Strive hosts the picnic which includes food, hand cycling, adaptive yoga, wheelchair hockey, lawn games and a variety of wheel chair sports are a few events featured at the picnic.

The event was planned for July to celebrate Recreational Therapy Month and spread the word about services offered by Strive, an organization with offices in Clarkston and Florida.

They focus on helping disabled individuals get active by planning outings, events and activies as well offering in-home services.

"The whole point of Strive is to get people active again and increase their quality of life," said Strive Special Projects Director Drew Burns.

"We planned a summer picnic to spread word about adaptive sports," said Burns.

Donations are collected to soak Strive President, Stella Husch, who volunteered to be in the dunk tank at the picnic.

A recreational therapy program, the therapists at Strive use recreation and leisure services to get the disabled active on a regular basis.

"We help people meet physical, mental and social goals," said Burns.

Since their arrival in Clarkston in 2003, Strive's therapeutic recreational therapists visit a clients homes to plan recreational activities to a variety of people with developmental disabilities or people disabled due to injury or illness.

Burns added Strive specializes in home and community based recreational activities to help the disabled in their daily life while helping the community.

Some of Strive's clients include injured veterans, amputee patients, strokes and heart attack patients, spinal cord injuries and those with development disabilities.

Strive, a non-profit 501c3 organization, serves disabled individuals who lack the means to pay for services.

"Patients either lack the monetary means for many services or lack insurance," said Burns.

Uninsured individuals can participate at a lower cost thanks to funding from grants and fundraisers.

Strive also advocates on behalf of the disabled population to increase quality of life for both the disabled and their family and friends and promotes increased independence.

The picnic also includes yoga with Clarkston Hot Yoga, where owner Susan Stencil created a special adaptive yoga program for disabled individuals.

During the Strive picnic, participants can try yoga to help stretch their lungs and muscles. Stencil added during the picnic she will perform a gentle yoga.

"Any person with a disability can participate," said Stencil. "The whole point is to get active again and increase their quality of life."

The yoga classes at the picnic will also focus on breathing.

"Breathing is huge, and it helps them be more peaceful while extending lung capacity," added Stencil. "Breathing is especially important for people who don't move a lot. They don't get the cardio exercise normal people get. They don't get to use their lungs as much as they should."

She said those with a variety of disabilities can participate.

Stencil has partnered with Strive since March to offer New Pathways Yoga for Individuals with Disabilities classes at her Clarkston studio on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. with each session price for only $2

Each class focuses on stretching and breathing. The classes are always open to anyone with disabilities and helpers.

"We have people with Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, or paralyzed from accidents," she said.

Depending on the type disability there are different ways to get disabled participants active during yoga-and the benefits are plentiful.

"It certainly has physical benefits and helps with range of motion helps," she explained. "Yoga can help with depression, and helps their disposition by allowing them to socialize with other with disabilities. They get to meet new people."

Stencil said she bases classes depending on the type of disability and those in wheel chairs can get out of their chair if they bring someone who is willing to assist them.

"We help people get out of chair and onto floor," she said.

Participants wanting to register for yoga at the picnic or Saturday classes can register through Strive.

Burns thanked Independence Township Parks, Recreation and Senior for all their help planning the event.

For more information on Strive visit or call 248-922-1236.

Staff writer covering Independence Township and Clarkston area.
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