Sanibel resident Jeremy Flickinger recently attended a session of the Trailways Camp.
Flickinger, 34, has Downs Syndrome and is profoundly deaf, and attended the February session of the camp, founded by island natives Sharon and Jerry Miller. They established the Robert V. & Benjamin G. Miller Fund in 2012 and partnered with Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida and the Riverside Retreat Center in Alva to provide a unique experience for adults with special needs.
"It provides an opportunity to do things, to be part of something, meet new people, make some friends and to have new adventures," said Shelley Brunner, Flickinger's mother. "For me it was an opportunity to have some healing time from surgery that I had the week before."
Pictured above, Jeremy Flickinger, Shelley Brunner and the toy poodle Bella. PHOTO PROVIDED.
These feelings were reflected in the ratings given by campers, families, volunteers, and staff who participated. The overall rating for Trailways Camp in February was a 4.87 out of 5 possible for the various experiences at the camp.
Brunner, Flickinger, and their toy poodle "Bella" moved from Tennessee to Florida in May of 2013. Family members had lived in the Fort Myers area for many years and Mrs. Brunner had worked on Captiva. She is now living in Sanibel and working at Magnolias in Periwinkle Place. They reside in an apartment with assistance from the Community Housing Resources.
The next Trailways Camp is April 7-10. An application can be made by contacting Jesi Cason, Trailways Camp Coordinator at 357-3623, ext. 2312, or on line at goodwillswfl.org/trailwayscamp.