For 58 years and counting, Irene Wortham Center (IWC) has helped children and adults with developmental and/or socioeconomic challenges lead happier, healthier, and more independent lives. The mission of Irene Wortham Center is to help every individual reach their fullest potential by believing in the value and promise of every person. From the CARF accredited Adult Day Activity Center and Supported Employment programs, to the 5-star rated pre-K Early Learning Center, to the comprehensive around-the-clock residential care home, IWC and its dedicated staff inspire and empower individuals in the programs every day. The impact of IWC's efforts extends beyond the individuals in the programs; families find peace of mind knowing their loved ones are part of the IWC family.
IWC’s participation in Drums & Dragons stemmed from the organization’s partnership with WNC Bridge Foundation. WNC Bridge Foundation has been a huge supporter of IWC and neighboring organizations in Western North Carolina. In 2019 WNC Bridge Foundation funded 3 new handicap accessible vans for Irene Wortham Center. These vans have been a huge asset and enable IWC to transport more individuals to activities within the community.
IWC is proud to participate in Drums & Dragons again this year and is grateful to WNC Bridge Foundation for navigating the pandemic and figuring out a virtual event solution. Though we can’t show off our paddling skills this year, the spirit is alive and well. The IWC Team Argonaut has even been spotted walking around campus!
Funds raised from this event will help IWC address COVID-19 related needs as they continue to arise. It’s critical that we continue keeping our programs safe and supplying our staff and the people in our programs with all of the necessary PPE. We will continue providing essential services while prioritizing the health and safety of everyone at IWC. Please consider donating to Irene Wortham Center if you are able. Fingers crossed we will all be back battling on the water again next year!
For any questions about Irene Wortham Center or how the organization has responded to COVID-19, please contact Sydney at 828-274-6053.
This year, due to the ongoing pandemic we've had to temporarily hang-up our paddles and move to a virtual format. Our goal is to keep the virtual event health-driven and engaging while upholding the camaraderie-based, team-building nature of the event in our fundraising efforts.
Virtual Drums & Dragons Month-Long Calendar of Events
Week 1 (9/21-9/27)
Congratulations to Bob Jackson, Elizabeth Williams, Nathan Johnson & Deb Curley-Dempsey ('cuz we simply couldn't pick only 3) for being chosen as the winners of Week # 1's Challenge "Stay Healthy, Stay Active."
Bob has run in three virtual Marathons since the pandemic began...and he runs to and from work each day!!! Deb has been chasing her toddler, has him helping tend her garden, and is ultimately spending as much time as possible out in the natural world to remain healthy & grounded. Elizabeth has Bodie and Molly to keep her outdoors...in rain or shine. And Nathan just biked up to Point Lookout! Way to stay healthy and active, friends!
Theme: Stay Healthy, Stay Active
Challenge: Show us what you've been doing to stay active and healthy throughout the pandemic. We want to see your photos, videos, or even a sentence or two on your methods. Meditation, gardening, cycling, running, boating, walking...even housekeeping and child-rearing count! ;-)
Email: [email protected] by no later than 9/26/20 and we will select the top 3 choices to share on next week's page. Winners will be entered into a prize drawing.
Penny Sanburn of Dynamic Dragon Boat Co. demonstrates all things Dragon Boat Racing in a video she recorded EXCLUSIVELY FOR our 2020 Virtual Drums & Dragons Event! She will demonstrate paddling techniques that can be used for all types of boats, including kayaks, canoes, and of course...dragon boats! She also shares insight on how best to cope during the pandemic, information on the sport and the incredible work these important fundraisers are doing around the country, and much more! There's also a surprise guest who shows up around minute 19...but you have to watch it to catch it! Enjoy!
Week 2 (9/28-10/4)
Congratulations to Kris Bryant for winning last week's "Pay it Forward" wellness challenge!
"COVID has closed Physical Therapy access for many seniors. They also don't get outside much. So, I took this dear lady along when I went to see my horse and made sure she got some good fun exercise to replace her physical therapy." - Kris
Theme: Pay it Forward
Challenge: Do something positive for a person or place in your community. Offer to cook a meal for a single parent. Share items from your garden with your neighbors, walk an injured or ill friend's dog, pick up trash on the roadside, at a park, or at your favorite hiking spot.
Email your photos, videos, or thoughts to [email protected] by no later than 10/3/20 and we will select the top 3 choices to share on next week's page. Winners will be entered into a prize drawing.
Week 3 (10/5-10/11)
Theme: Nature Is the Best Medicine
Challenge: Spend time outdoors with your family & friends. Pitch a tent. Kayak, canoe, or just go for a swim. Hike somewhere new. Take time to stop and smell the flowers. Then share with us your methods for winding down during this difficult time.
Congratulations to our Week #3 Winners: Troop 603 from Hendersonville who hiked 15+ miles in Pisgah National Forest, exemplifying that "Nature is the Best Medicine!"
Theme: Be the Change Our Community Needs to Paddle Forward!
Ultimate Fundraising Push!!!
Congratulations to our 2020 Top Fundraising Nonprofit Team: MountainCare!
2020 Best Dressed Drummer: Nathan Johnson of Irene's Argonauts!
Best Dragon Costume or Prop: MountainCare
The organizations that participate in Drums & Dragons and the services they provide are as unique as the event itself.
Funds raised during this year's Drums & Dragons will allow Blue Ridge Health to greatly improve medical treatment options for low-income families, help The Community Table prevent families in Jackson County from going to bed hungry, and allow developmentally challenged adults to thrive with the help of caring Staff of the Irene Wortham Center. Your generosity will also help St. Gerard House improve their capacity to serve children with autism, allow caregivers respite while their family members attend MountainCare's Adult Day services, and provide low-cost temporary housing at the Rathbun House, the only Hospitality House in the region, for non-Buncombe area residents whose families are undergoing medical treatment in nearby hospitals.
We can't do any of this without your help! Please give what you can and share the tremendous needs of these nonprofits with others. We wholeheartedly thank you all for your support!
A very warm thanks to this year's Platinum Dragon Sponsor, Vannoy Construction!