Help support therapeutic recreation sport programs

Pancake feed for a good cause

Alice Busch, TRS Recreation Superverisor 1, 509.625.6245

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 11:22 a.m.

Therapeutic recreation staff and volunteers are planning a fantastic all you can eat breakfast to raise funds for TRS Sport Programs, Sunday, November 3.

Here's what you help support when you attend this fundraiser:

Parks and Recreation's Therapeutic Recreation Services (TRS) program serves a broad range of people with developmental and/or physical disabilities by providing year round recreation opportunities. The purpose of the program is to assist people in having positive experiences and developing appropriate leisure and social skills that can be used throughout a lifetime.

One of the many goals of the program is to make a difference in people's lives and give them the tools to increase independence, self-esteem and improve their quality of life.

“We believe all people have the right to recreate and thus promote play for people with and without disabilities,” said Alice Busch, manager of the TRS program. “In addition, all Recreation Department activities are open to individuals with disabilities.”

Alice Busch has a passion for the customers she serves. She is accredited in Therapeutic Recreation and was named the Community Therapeutic Recreation Specialist of the year in 2009, an honor awarded by the Washington State Therapeutic Recreation Association.

All together Alice has dedicated 24 full-time years to TRS. Here's how she built the program.

“I first found out about TRS (called Specialized Recreation at the time) as a junior attending Eastern Washington University. I was studying Recreation Therapy and needed to get hands on experience. I applied to be a volunteer ski instructor and was approved even though I was not the most skilled skier. I had a student that hung out with me on the bunny hill and we ended up teaching each other.

“Fast forward three years, I was a Recreation Therapist at Lakeland Village and was hired by Spokane Parks and Recreation as a temp/seasonal staff to coordinate the downhill ski program that I had been volunteering in for the past three winters. My pay was $5 hr and I remember purchasing my first pair of Birkenstocks with those paychecks.

“Fast forward another 3 years and I found myself as a full time employee of the City running the Specialized Recreation program which I later changed the name to Therapeutic Recreation Services.

“This is my dream job and I'm most passionate about providing recreation opportunities for people with disabilities. It has now been 24 years full time and I'm truly blessed. I'm grateful for a city and a Park Board that believe in the importance of providing recreation for all the citizens of Spokane and continue to provide funding to do so.”

The primary age group served by TRS is 16 years and above, although there is a variety of programs for those 6 years of age and above. Therapeutic Recreation staff provide leadership for activities including sports, exercise, outdoor adventure, and social events. Scholarships are available on a limited basis for participants needing financial assistance. Donations from individuals and organizations are gladly accepted.

Volunteers are vital to the TRS program. Parents, care providers, siblings, community members, and students are encouraged to volunteer.

Additionally you can help support the work of the TRS Sports program by attending the annual All-You-Can-Eat Pancake feed on November 3, 2013.