Disabilities Advisory Committee Could Form

Kids of all ages enjoyed the prom designed just for them earlier this year. (Photo courtesy Shanna Cermak)

  BERKELEY – In an effort to make the township more inclusive, a volunteer group might be created made up of residents who are well versed on the challenges of people with disabilities.

  This Mayor’s Advisory Committee On Developmental Disabilities – if that’s the name that sticks – would serve to help the governing body make decisions on matters that they might not ordinarily be aware of.

  Councilman Thomas Grosse brought up the issue at a recent Township Council meeting.

  He noted how one example of how the town could help is with events like an Easter egg hunt. Regular education children swarm the field while those with special needs don’t get as many eggs, or they might get overstimulated by the noise and commotion. Therefore, accommodations for them would make the children have a more enriching experience.

  Over the years, the township has created committees made up of volunteers who have expertise in various topics. For example, there is a waterways group and years ago a group was formed to give advice on the status of the town’s golf course.

  Grosse said he was approached by the Cermak family about certain issues.

The governing body discussed a number of topics at a recent Township Council meeting. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

  The Cermaks started Mikey’s Mission, a nonprofit providing social and learning opportunities for special needs children. It’s named after their son Michael, who has autism.

  Mikey’s Mission put on a special needs prom at the Bayville Firehouse recently, attended by 75 kids of all ages.

  Pretty dresses, sharp suits, and shoes made for dancing were the clothes of choice. Decorations made the fire hall come alive with fun and the kids loved every minute of it.

  The PBA and Bayville Fire Department co-sponsored and brought in props, music, and more. Pies Place provided the food.

  Previously, the group had put together a Turkey Trot at Cattus Island County Park in Toms River. Last year, they held a Valentine’s Dance.

How To Help

  If you want to get involved with Mikey’s Mission, visit Mikey’s Mission on Facebook. The best way to get in touch with the group is to email Mikeysmission1@gmail.com.