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Service Learning

Black Mountain Neuro-Medical Treatment Center Celebrates 11th Annual Fall Festival

by Claire Toal, staff writer

Established in August 1995, the Black Mountain Neuro-Medical Treatment Center has provided services, support, and education to families, community members, and individuals with Alzheimer’s and developmental disabilities. Treatment is based on a person-and family-centered philosophy, working to unify the environment of the center itself, as well as to strengthen its bond with community programs and families. The treatment center worked to further strengthen this bond Sept. 29, when the residents of Black Mountain Neuro-Medical Treatment Center gathered with family and friends to celebrate the foundation’s 11th annual Fall Festival.

A few weeks ago a fellow psych major, sophomore Deanna Dragan, invited me to help her supervise a weekly service trip to BMC. Although I knew very little about the treatment center, I had a stellar time on our first trip. So on Saturday, Deanna, 15 Wilson students and I ventured to Black Mountain where we teamed up with 20-30 other community volunteers to assist in the various activities that the fall festival offered. Although the rain resulted in an hour early cessation of the festivities, a lively folk/bluegrass band played during the festival. Residents participated in pony and trolley rides with volunteers from the community serving as conductors. Wilson students were in charge of hosting the various activity booths which consisted of a bean bag toss, Wild West Shoot em’ Up Stand, October bean count, pumpkin weight, balloons, fall photo stand, beads and jewelry, tattoos and stickers, pumpkin walk about, milk bottle throw, fall magnets, leaf art, pumpkin crafts, and fall flower arrangements. Residents traveled to each booth, accompanied by a nursing assistant, and partook in all sorts of games and autumnally themed art activities.

Junior Emily Sprouse and I advised a booth that offered “Leaf Art,” a simple project consisting of broken, naked crayons, white art paper, and fall leaves that produced a unique tracing pattern.

If you are interested in working with the residents of BMC, weekly trips will be held on Tuesdays from 7-9 and meet at the Service Program Office. Email ddragan@warren-wilson.edu for more info.

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