Superfriends Club gives love for Valentine’s Day

The Superfriends club has a bake sale Monday morning to raise money to take special needs children to Disneyland. (Oliver Yu)

McKenzie Sixt

The happiest place on Earth is beckoning the Superfriends Club at Saddleback College. The club is responding with a bake sale and fundraisers to earn money for an end-of-the-year trip to Disneyland.

The mission of the club is “to provide an opportunity for socialization and friendship for persons with disabilities,” according to the Superfriends’ constitution. There could not be a better place than Disneyland to reward a club with such a mission.

Club members with disabilities are also a part of the Adult Transition Program. The program’s members are able to transition into society by learning “basic skills…so then when they graduate from the transition program they’re able to live independently, that is the goal,” said Superfriends Club president, Isha Cecere, 21, dance.

Superfriends is a “friendship club” says Lori Thibeau, a special education teacher and faculty advisor for the club. With the club, members and volunteers alike are able to build lasting friendships while working toward their goal of the Adult Transition Program.

As a chance for members to bond outside of class, the club participates in monthly group events such as bonfires, themed parties, karaoke night, and school sporting events. The group takes outings to theme parks including Boomers and Disneyland and also participates in events with the Special Olympics.

Reminiscing on these past events, Riley Hess, 20, an Adult Transition Program and Superfriends member, expressed his love for the club and excitement about the Disneyland trip.

Thibeau said the monthly event and club membership are good for all the students involved.

“It’s very rewarding, it’s fun, and it’s good for these guys because it helps them get integrated into the college,” Thibeau said.

This year the goal is Disneyland. In an effort to attain that goal Superfriends held a Valentine’s Day bake sale and ice cream social on last Monday. Club members were socializing and “entertaining the masses” with their “vivacious personalities,” Cecere said.

Cecere tirelessly went from bakery to bakery asking for donations for the sale. Aside from the home-baked goods donated by club members, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts provided some sugary donations. High hopes for the outcome of the sale are for profits to be somewhere near the $500 range, Thibeau said.

An estimated 60 people will be attending Disneyland and “all together it costs $2,800 for us to go,” Cecere said.

Other fundraising efforts, donations, and member payments are underway to contribute to the goal.

Regular Saddleback students can join the club to volunteer their time and friendship. Superfriends also recruits members at club fairs.

More efforts to recruit members include visiting classes such as those that cover topics like abnormal psychology, child development, human services and special education or other professions that concentrate on helping others, Thibeau said. However, membership is open to any interested student.

“We go and we bring some of our students, our Superfriends, and we present our program and see if people want to join,” Thibeau said. “It’s really good for them to get this experience.”

There are many college students who participated in Superfriends “who afterwards were hired on with us as staff and they’ve gone into teaching and adaptive PE,” Thibeau said.

The college students who just want to help and volunteer “gives me hope for the generation,” Thibeau said. “There still are good people out there.”

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