An adult mixer will be held on Thursday evening, June 15, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the ballroom at the Elks Lodge located at 223 Front St. in Owego, N.Y.
Admission is $5 per person and includes refreshments. A disc jockey will play popular music.
The event is hosted and sponsored by Sue Michaels, international cooking teacher and owner of The Kitchen Store located at 59 North Ave. in Owego. Coordinated with the Southern Tier Independence Center (STIC), the mixer is an opportunity to bring the special needs community together with the public in a social atmosphere and as a way for guests to meet each other and form friendships.
Five years ago Michaels was approached to teach a one-on-one cooking class for a special needs adult. Fast-forward to today, and a number of Michaels’ days are booked teaching the art of cooking to special needs individuals and groups, along with their DSP (Direct Support Personnel). The individuals and groups come from all over Tioga and Broome Counties, and as far away as Oneonta.
Special needs adults who take classes at The Kitchen Store set goals to learn multiple elements of cooking, which include cutting food and understanding kitchen gadgets and tools, and familiarizing themselves with working in a kitchen, among other aspects. Goal setting might also include making a grocery list, going to the grocery store to purchase items and then bringing the items home or to the class to cook. The individuals who participate either live independently, with their families, or in group homes.
Add in Michaels’ positive style, flair and international cooking experience and her classes aren’t all macaroni and cheese. Actually at a higher notch on the cooking sophistication chart, Michaels described a recent dish that was comprised of blackened fish and accompanied by cheese grits and tomato compote. Michaels enjoys teaching and witnessing the enthusiasm for cooking, and also gives credit to the learners for their accomplishments.
Michaels is excited about the mixer and hopes the event will give everyone an opportunity to socialize in a happy environment, while dancing to great music, and just hanging out and having fun.
Michaels explained that during cooking classes, many discussions have turned to questions about how, when and where the special needs community can meet others.
“We’re all social creatures, so this event will be a place where people can meet and socialize,” Michaels said.
In addition, Michaels said about organizing the event, “It’s an opportunity for me to give back.”
For questions about the event, call Michaels at (607) 625-5048. For more information about The Kitchen Store, find the business on Facebook or online at kitchenstoreny.com.
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