Spring Fest raises money for youth, adults with disabilities

Funds raised by Southwest Austin–based nonprofit The Adventurers Academy of Lifelong Learning during Spring Fest 2013 on May 11 will support activities for youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Retired teacher Diane Mackey founded the nonprofit in September but had launched a program years earlier called Austin Adventurers for youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, TAALL board member Elizabeth Gandy said. Through the organization, Adventurers interact with the community, travel, attend local recreational and hands-on educational events and learn vocational skills, she said. Students pay tuition of $600 per month to participate full-time in Academy classes, which last from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Evening classes and extended hours are added on a case-by-case basis.

"A lot of them can go and be in high school until they're 22, and after that they have to be on their own, so to speak," Gandy said. "This school enables them to have somewhere to go, it trains them to have a job and it just promotes their entire well-being."

Spring Fest 2013 will feature live music, food, a magician and a silent auction. All proceeds go to TAALL, Gandy said.

"Our goal is to support these youth and adults with learning disabilities in ways that allow them to be a part of the community [and] to have experiences that they would not be able to experience without this group," she said.

The event lasts from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The $15 ticket cost includes an enchilada dinner. Children age 3 and younger get in free. Spring Fest takes place annually at La Fuente's Restaurant, 6507 Circle S. Road.

More information is available at www.austinadventurers.org.



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