WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News, Weather, & Sports

Special Kids Day

By: Teresa Moua-Her
By: Teresa Moua-Her

Going outdoors to enjoy the deal should be a simple task but for some, it also means taking out a wheelchair or calling a bus in order to get to a park.
Some kids that require a little extra care got to enjoy this sunny Friday at Lake Wissota State Park.
As Newscenter 13's Teresa Moua-Her found out. The special day began seven years ago by one couple who wanted to give these kids and their helpers a little something extra.
Tom Leuck and his wife have two autistic children.
In 1998, the couple held a pizza party to thank the teachers. They also invited the class.
Even before the party began, he came to realize the situation of what other kids with disabilities faced.
“The two of them said they couldn't eat pizza and I was devastated,” Leuck says, “I take eating for granted I never realized that people out there can't eat like you and I.”
From that point on, Tom and his wife decided to give special kids a day for fun.
That May, the couple used their tax return to organize a picnic for them.
The two, cooked, served, and did everything with minimal help from sponsors and the community.
Today, seven years later, there are students from five school districts, more than 70 sponsors, and a dozen of volunteers.
“It's a really rewarding experience as much work as it is. It feels really good and the people love it and that's all that matters,” says Leuck.
“They remember who I am. It's kind of like being Santa Claus when I walk through the door.”
Today kids and their teachers danced, ate barbecue, and even rode on pontoon boats.
Tom tells us he never expected this day to come and says he can't wait to start planning for next year—the 8th year.


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