Food and Folly 2021 Silent Auction

Although our meal deadline has come and gone, the fun for this year’s Food and Folly at Home has just begun! Our silent auction is now open and will be until Thursday, October 14th at 7:00 p.m. This year’s silent auction is filled with more exciting items than ever before! We have everything from whiskey baskets, hotel and condo stays, and much more! Make sure to follow the link below or visit www.32auctions.com/foodandfolly21 to get in on the excitement!

Food and Folly at Home 2021

Tickets for this year’s Food and Folly at Home are now available! This year the event will be catered by Naman’s Catering and the menu will include sliced beef brisket, spinach and cheese stuffed chicken, and crawfish etouffee! Each adult meal ($45/person or $70/couple) will also include your choice of red/white wine or beer and a commemorative glass. We will also have a Dom Perignon drawing that you can enter with the purchase of a wine grab basket. Make sure to buy your meals and wine grab tickets today!

#UCPSpotlight – Matrisza Alvarez and Molly Schemm

Matrisza and Molly at the Miles for Smiles fundraiser

United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile is happy to present the #UCPSpotlight Series. Each month we will be featuring clients, staff, board members, volunteers and programs! There are no shortage of incredible stories from our organization and we are proud to share some of them with you.

If you’ve ever been to Camp SMILE, you’ve probably met either Matrisza Alvarez or Molly Schemm. Camp SMILE returned this summer after a brief hiatus and the team couldn’t have been more excited. The Director and Assistant Directors of Camp respectively, Matrisza and Molly are responsible for putting on Camp SMILE every year. Each summer hundreds of campers come to Camp SMILE, which aims to empower children and adults with disabilities with an inclusive summer camp experience. With adaptable activities ranging from swimming, boating, archery, horseback riding, fishing, arts and crafts, and more there is never a dull day for the campers. Molly says the campers’ favorite activity is the end of week talent show, “Many participate and get a chance to shine on stage, and all of the campers love cheering on whoever is in the spotlight at the time. It is a great chance for camp to come together and always provides lots of laughs and applause.”

Although Camp was only able to be 50% capacity this year, Molly and Matrisza both were very excited to see everyone involved again. Molly said she was looking forward to getting back together after a summer apart. “Even though it won’t be the ‘traditional’ camp experience, I have missed being together with campers and counselors so much!” For some, the ties to Camp run very deep. Matrisza has been part of Camp SMILE for most of her life, “My mother volunteered at camp as a teenager & I have been going to camp most of my life.” However for Molly, coming across Camp was more coincidence than anything else, “I heard about camp through word of mouth. As I was looking to engage with a non-profit, UCP of Mobile consistently came up as a well-loved local organization. Camp was hiring, and I was so happy to get the call to come on board!” Molly has worked with Camp ever since, “I have been with Camp SMILE and UCP for a little over three years, and this will be my fourth summer camp.”

Matrisza and Molly have been an incredible team and work really well according to Molly. “We perfectly balance each other out, and are able to play our strengths and weaknesses off of each other. Plus, not a day goes by that we aren’t making each other laugh while getting ready for camp.” Besides preparing Camp every year, Matrisza enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and dogs while Molly loves to spend time with her friends, often outdoors or cooking dinners.

Thank you Matrisza and Molly for all you do for Camp SMILE and sharing your experience! If you would like to help with Camp SMILE, Molly says different changes in Camp have caused additional costs, “Overall, we are asking the community to keep us in mind for monetary donations, or if they happen upon any Microban while they are out and about, we will happily take any and all of it!”

We appreciate you reading this month’s UCP Spotlight and please look forward to more features like this each month. If you’d like to learn more about Camp SMILE, please visit their website here. If you or a family member would like to share your experience with our organization, please contact us at 251-479-4900.

#UCPSpotlight – Nate Staton

United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile is happy to present the #UCPSpotlight Series. Each month we will be featuring clients, staff, board members, volunteers and programs! There are no shortage of incredible stories from our organization and we are proud to share some of them with you.

Introducing Nate Staton, a former client of UCP’s Early Intervention (EI) program. Nate was diagnosed with spastic diplegic Cerebral Palsy after his first birthday. When Nate’s mother Elizabeth was pregnant with Nate she was in a car accident. After being trapped in the car for 45 minutes and taken to the hospital, it was discovered she had a complete placental abruption. Elizabeth says, “Nate was born in the emergency room at Sacred Heart as soon as they saw what happened on the sonogram. He had a grade 2 brain bleed and 102 day NICU stay before he came home to us.” He left the hospital diagnosed with a chronic lung disease as well as a feeding tube.

Nate and his family learned of UCP through our Early Intervention program. After working with the EI program for 3 years, Nate hit milestone after milestone progressing through the program. “We weaned him from his G-Tube, that was the biggest accomplishment,” Elizabeth says of Nate’s achievements while in the EI program, “Eating by mouth, however, transformed his life. It allowed him to really excel toward all his other physical and occupational therapy goals.”

While Elizabeth says it was very difficult in the beginning, the EI staff was able to help guide them through the process. When discussing the experience that comes to mind when she thinks about their time with UCP she says, “Sitting on the floor with each therapist and talking and planning how to get through the first few years. It was nice to have someone to talk to that had been around other children and families with special needs.”

Nate’s parents, Elizabeth and Lance, have done everything they could to make Nate’s future as bright as possible. “Our hope is to put the work in early for the best lifelong outcomes for Nate. Our biggest trial definitely became our purpose.” Elizabeth says Nate is stubborn and that is an important factor in him taking on the challenges he’s faced. “I know his drive and ability to dig his heels in will be what carries him to infinity and beyond.” Nate has now not only graduated from his G-Tube, but has even beaten his chronic lung disease, “He also has triumphed through his lung disease and can hold his breath longer than most adults!” Elizabeth knows her son has an impact on everyone he meets, “We know Nate will change the world. He already has. He inspires every person he meets.”

Thank you, Elizabeth and Lance, for opening up to us about your family’s story! Please look forward to more features like this each month. If you or a family member would like to share your experience with our organization, please contact us at 251-479-4900.

June 2-4, 2021

Click the logo above to take a look at our CARF Accreditation business plans.

Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

Names from left to right
Standing:  Oliver, Clemmie, Luke, Kalan, Alex
Sitting: Olivia, Sincere, Emmie & Riker

Please join us in congratulating our 2021 Preschool Graduates. We are so proud of the growth they have achieved during their time at UCP. They are going to go on to do amazing things!

Teacher Appreciation Week

This week at UCP we are celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week! We’d like to thank our teachers Chloe, Gabby, Janet, and Marcia for all the vital work they do with our preschoolers. In a year with many challenges they adapted and overcame these obstacles to provide an excellent learning experience for their students. That dedication and hard work is admirable and greatly appreciated!

Thank you Williams!

UCP of Mobile would like to thank our local Williams office for their donation of cleaning supplies to the Mobile offices. These supplies are invaluable in keeping our offices sanitized and our clients safe! UCP greatly appreciates this donation and everything our local Williams office does for UCP.

#UCPSpotlight – Ginny and Seth McKinley

United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile is happy to present the #UCPSpotlight Series. Each month we will be featuring clients, staff, board members, volunteers and programs! There are no shortage of incredible stories from our organization and we are proud to share some of them with you.

Ginny McKinley is a familiar face for many people acquainted with United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile. Ginny is UCP’s resident “T-Shirt Expert ” and runs United Cerebral Palsy’s Casual Day Program, one of UCP’s largest fundraising efforts. “Casual Day is a t-shirt fundraiser throughout the city that helps to fund programs for individuals with disabilities from birth through adulthood. Offices collect orders from their employees and allow them to have a “casual day” where they wear their casual day shirt to work to show support of United Cerebral Palsy and their mission of Life Without Limits,” says Ginny of her program. 

Ginny has been an employee of UCP’s for over 6 years, but her involvement with the organization goes back more than 25 years, when her son Seth entered UCP’s Preschool Program at the age of three. When asked about Seth’s diagnosis, Ginny said, “Seth was diagnosed at the age of two-and-a-half with PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) which is now classified as Autism.”

Prior to attending UCP Preschool, Seth had attended Easter Seals Play Therapy. It was here that he was referred to UCP’s Preschool at the age of three. When Seth attended Preschool, his autism made it difficult for him to sit still during classroom circle time. “Keri Drew was his teacher and used a little red car as his chair,” Ginny mentions of Preschool’s solution to this problem. In addition to attending preschool, Seth received Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and as an adult attended the Adult Day Program.

The way that Autism is experienced by the individual is as unique as the person with the diagnosis. Seth happens to be nonverbal, but he began communicating through typing at the age of 13 and later began writing to express himself. When asked about what his disability means for him and his life, Seth writes, “My disability is difficult to sum up. My inability to talk hinders my entire life. People don’t understand that I am intelligent and I am not the person they perceive me to be. Autism is a life that affects the entire family. Nothing is typical.” For Seth, some of his greatest challenges manifest in the way that he sees his Autism. “Autism is a monumental disorder, we seem lost but we are just trapped like fog in the morning, trapped between places, mist and water. Autism is like that, trapped between what we are and what we are supposed to be.” Seth says. As for things he enjoys, “My favorite things are all things Disney, Disney World, Disney movies, Disney books, Disney music. I love movies but mostly animated ones,” Seth said. 

For UCP, the story of Seth and Ginny is one that is encountered a lot – the introduction to one of our programs that begins a lifelong relationship between UCP and an individual person. “Ever since Seth was in preschool at age 3, I have wanted to work for UCP. As an organization, UCP makes such a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities and I wanted to be a part of that in any capacity,” said Ginny. As for Seth, “I am proud to be a part of my Mom’s homework.” 

Thank you, Ginny and Seth, for so bravely opening up to us about your story. The experiences of those with Autism and their families can be difficult, but we know your story helps those with similar experiences in knowing they are not alone. Given that April is Autism Awareness Month, we encourage readers to seek out more resources of individuals with Autism talking about their experiences. 


Please look forward to more features like this each month. And to make sure you don’t miss out on next month’s #UCPSpotlight, sign up for our newsletter HERE. If you or a family member would like to share your experience with our organization, please contact us at 251-479-4900.

UCP Patriotic Tee

UCP of Mobile’s mission is simple – promoting the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. For us, Independence Day is every day!

Click the link below to be a part of continued independence for those with disabilities in our community.