Ring toss was one of the six games attendees needed to play to earn a participation ribbon at Beverly Farm’s Spring Family Weekend Field Day afternoon.

GODFREY - Beverly Farm Foundation welcomed family members and friends to join residents and staff for its annual Spring Family Weekend, Friday, April 26th and Saturday, April 27th. It was a wonderful opportunity for the Beverly Farm community to again come together, reconnect and create memorable experiences with loved ones.

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In addition to informational meetings presented by Beverly Farm Foundation, its board of directors and parents groups, highlights of the weekend included:

  • A Field Day afternoon of fun and games– Residents, family members, friends and staff enjoyed playing a variety of fun yard games: soccer croquet, ring toss, Grand Slam tee ball, yard pong, bowling and corn hole. Attendees who participated in all six games earned participation ribbons. Box lunches and fresh popped popcorn added to the outdoor fun, as did music which had people spontaneously dancing in the street and at the pavilion at several times throughout the afternoon.
  • Bocce exhibition matches – Members of the Beverly Farm bocce team, including Kathleen G. who represented Team Illinois at the Special Olympics USA Games in 2022 and brought home a gold medal and two silver medals in bocce, played doubles exhibition matches.
  • Beverly Farm Foundation Inaugural Community Champion Award– The afternoon of Field Day fun concluded in the Groves B. Smith Recreation Center gym with an award presentation. Beverly Farm Foundation CEO Crystal Officer presented Todd Laux, owner of Pride Fitness in Wood River, and his Kindly Savage community with the first Beverly Farm Foundation Community Champion Award in recognition of all they have done for our community. Todd, his trainers at Pride Fitness and a host of volunteers have created and regularly hold workout sessions they call the “Kindly Savage Circuit” for Beverly Farm residents and other individuals with disabilities at his gym. The “Kindly Savage Circuit” is a workout that focuses on movement and can be done at any pace to accommodate a wide range of abilities. Through these efforts, Todd and his Kindly Savage Community have motivated our residents to keep active when they return home to the farm and built bonds between our residents and people in the surrounding area.

“It feels so good to have the residents with us,” Todd Laux said. “The pure honesty, lovingness and joy they bring to the gym – I’ll get 200 hugs in a day when they’re here. I get way more in return than I give. While I accepted the Beverly Farm Foundation Community Champion Award, it needs to be chopped up into about 222 pieces and given to everyone who truly makes this special. Our next “Kindly Savage Circuit” is Saturday, May 11 at 10:30 a.m. We encourage everyone to come out and be a fan that day -- to show up and cheer for these athletes. The more fans that show up to cheer, the more special the event is. I promise it will change you. It has for me.” Laux also showed a video of the “Kindly Savage Circuit,” with the athletes working out and the trainers and gym members cheering them on.

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“Todd and the entire ‘Kindly Savage’ community have profoundly impacted our residents,” stated Crystal Officer, CEO of Beverly Farm Foundation. “Each ‘Kindly Savage Circuit’ spreads enthusiasm among our residents, and they are always ready to go back! The Kindly Savage circuit truly is a blessing for our community. We could not think of anyone more deserving of our first Community Champion Award than Todd Laux and the ‘Kindly Savage’ community.”

About Beverly Farm

Beverly Farm was founded in 1897 by Dr. William H.C. Smith and his wife, Elizabeth, to establish a caring home that included socialization, proper medical care, healthy diet, physical exercise, education, recreation and meaningful work for people living with developmental disabilities. Today it is a planned community that looks and feels like a neighborhood. There are homes, a recreation center with a pool, an equestrian center, medical services, therapies, and much more. Just under 300 individuals who live with intellectual or developmental disabilities currently call Beverly Farm home.

The mission of Beverly Farm is to provide a loving, caring home for adults with developmental disabilities, providing each individual with physical and emotional security and a dignified quality of life, with opportunities and challenges, within each individual’s functional capabilities.

As music played through loudspeakers at the pavilion all afternoon, dancing spontaneously broke out on multiple occasions during Beverly Farm’s Spring Family Weekend Field Day afternoon.

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