FitMixx Fitness Studio in Bellmore held a fundraiser for children with special needs on Sunday, November 15, and raised over $$2600 in raffles by noon, with several more donations coming in.
The monies raised were going directly to the development of Sensory Beans, a children’s gym that will be specially fitted to accommodate children with special needs, and offer plenty of exercise fun and a place they can call their own.
Parent Angela Connelly, second left, and FitMixx owner Shannon Palagiano, second right, are framed by Signature Smoothie employees Eric and Craig Pastel.
Among the Bellmore-Merrick merchants who had donated special items such as store and restaurant cards, coffees, candies, liqueurs, mugs and cups, jewelry, bric-a-brac , purses, pillows and much more included Piccolo’s Ristorante, Lemon Tree, Left Coast, Dime Savings Bank, Bagel Boss, Panera, CM Smiles, Dunkin’ Donuts, Margarita’s Cafe and more.
Angela Connelly, who has a special needs child, told Your NewsMag that such a gym for special needs children to go to is very important because “after school is out for the holidays, or for summer, the children need some place to go for recreational purposes, and to interact with their friends.”
Www.sensorybeans.org notes that the gym will be a place for kids to go to make friends and play.
Some of the jewelry on sale
Shannon Palagiano, owner of Fitmixx Studio, said word spread quickly among her many members at the studio, 1494 Bellmore Avenue, and within two weeks many donations had been received.
Signature Smoothie of East Meadow provided a power drink for those participating in the raffles and purchasing other items toward donation.
Sensory Beans is the creation Merrick resident and mom Rachel Raslow, who has an autistic child. She told Your NewsMag she has been fundraising for Sensory Beans since August andh as raised $23,000 in that time. The goal is to reach $75,000 to leasing a storefront and purchase specialized equipment for the children.
She says she developed the idea for Sensory Beans as an outgrowth of her own autistic child, as a means for him to be able to play at his speed and not be judged by what he does.
“This is a strictly recreational place where parents can go to interact one-on-one with their children,” she said of the gym. It is constructed to be a sensory-rich environment in which the children can run, jump and tumble in a safe environment, as part of their development. She said special needs children see therapists all the time, and Sensory Beans will provide them a place to interact with their parents and their friends.
The new gym will be based solely on donations. Another fundraiser is planned at FitMixx Studio in February.
For information on Sensory Beans call Raslow at 308-1462, visit the website, or call Shannon Palagiano at FitMixx studio at 851-2292.