By FRED PETRUCELLI
Special to the LOG CABIN


AThe 28th Walk-A-Thon of the Conway Human Development Center will be staged Oct. 2 seeking $25,000 as its goal to abet the costs of building a clients’ parents home.


Lofty as the goal may be, the CHDC Volunteer Council is accustomed to noble works and in this case planning to build a $175,000 home that will accommodate parents of clients on campus when they visit. 
As a matter of fact, plans are afoot to begin construction of the home presently. The project carries the appropriate slogan: “Raising the Roof.”


Sally Sellers, CHDC volunteer coordinator, says the parents’ house will contain three bedrooms, a living area, kitchen and all the amenities of a livable home.


“Parents and guardians will find the house a comfortable oasis when they plan an overnight visit with their loved ones,” Sellers said.
The CHDC Walk-A-Thon accounted for $25,000 in 2009.
It is Seller’s view that the “generosity of the people in the community has been astounding and noteworthy, counting its supporters from schools, corporations, business houses, caring individuals and parents and guardians of its clients.”


Behind this effort is the Volunteer Council, about a dozen local people committed to the idea of giving assistance to disabled people in many forms.
Since 1959, CHDC has delivered quality health care to Arkansas citizens who are developmentally disabled.
A significant number of the residents are health fragile, requiring frequent medical and nursing intervention. Programs at the center are designed to help the 500-plus clients maximize their capabilities and achieve the best possible quality of life.


When the upcoming walk begins at 8 a.m. from the front of the Visitors Center — the construction of which, incidentally, was orchestrated by the volunteer council — a horde of people young, elderly and disabled will head through the grounds of the CHDC center seeking prizes worth the effort.


A plethora of prizes will go to individuals and groups who raise funds. T-shirts will go to participants.
After registration on the day of the walk, walkers will be welcomed to fruit, pastries and drinks in the canteen area of the visitation complex.


The walk, which consists of two laps around the CHDC campus, is open to walkers of most ages. Students from all schools in Conway and Faulkner County have turned out in significant numbers in past years, winning the reputation as the largest single group of walkers.
Since 1981, members of the volunteer council, a non-profit group of citizen activists, have funded many projects on the CHDC campus, thanks to support and benevolence of the Faulkner County community.


These projects include a therapeutic pool, the visitation complex, iron fences across the front of the facility on Siebenmorgen Road, metal awning covers around he campus (providing protection for residents during inclement weather), new park playground equipment and lesser projects such as equipment for wheelchairs to make them conform to the bodies of the many clients who use such chairs.
The volunteer council adopts projects not funded by the Arkansas legislature or by federal funds.


For additional information about the walk-a-thon, the volunteer council or any other questions concerning the CHDC, contact the CHDC volunteer services office at (501) 329-6851.