Summer 2015 Newsletter

shapeimage_1 SUMMER 2015 NEWSLETTER

For many years “experts” considered a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy to be a losing battle. Enter Peninsula Outreach Programs. For over twenty years it has been our mission to help fund meaningful programs that will improve the quality of life for children and young adults living with C.P and other neuromotor disabilities.

What does “quality of life” look like when you or someone you love has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy? For many families, this has meant a unique struggle, one that requires working harder than most everyone you know. Thanks to the programs supported by POPSKIDS, it can also mean hope and a very particular brand of joy that comes in that moment of achieving a new personal best. POPSKIDS’ are battling for the Win!

One UCPNB/ BOOST Camp Mom tells the story ……

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For POPKIDS “Winning” looks like taking your premature twins home for the first time thanks in part, to funding toward an expanded, state of art, neo-natal care unit….

May 8, 2014 – Mr. Jon Guy, CFRE for St. Rose Dominican (Dignity Health) in Henderson, NV presented POPSKIDS and Ursula and Alan Miller with a dedication plaque for our support in the creation of a “nesting suite” to promote family bonding at the new Level II and III Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs).

The modern, comfortable Level III NICU features 26 NICU bays with the most advanced technology for monitoring sick and/or premature newborns while a caring, compassionate staff provides a full range of neonatal treatment for medically fragile infants.

Recent advances in neonatal care provide significant aid to prevent or minimize negative long term effects associated with premature births, improving physical functioning that may impact later development, including the development of healthy neuromotor skills.

June 17, 2015 – A “win” means the opportunity to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of our partnership with Executive Vice President and General Manger, Jack Brennan and the gang at Southern Wine & Spirits of Northern California

This sell out event included many long standing benefit sponsors along with a number of exciting new sponsors. A silent and a live auction were included for the first time, adding to the amazing success of the benefit. SW&S truly out did themselves. This year’s proceeds are expected to more than double the previous level of support to benefit POPKIDS.

Several of our former students returned to make the evening complete. Joe Pegueros started as one of
POPSKIDS first students in our Conductive Education program.
image2Joe is now a young man and an apparent master of sports trivia. “Winning” looks like Joe coming back to visit his old friends at SW&S, including a meet and greet with Warriors’ icon, Gary St. Jean and 49er Football’s legendary exec., Carmen Policy. Joe, now twenty-four years old, poignantly asked the full house not to forget about the older kids and young adults in need of continued programs.



Image: Joe and his parents with Ursula Miller at a SW&S event in 2002

Creighton Rochlin was three years old when he started at C.E. Boost Camp. Unable to walk, he was confined to a wheelchair. He is now fourteen years old, walking with the assistance of canes and attending

image3mainstream school. Despite his own determined accomplishments, Creighton humbly explained to the benefit audience that his take away win from Boost Camp was actually something that happened to his parents. “My Boost Camp experience allowed them to change their perspective about what I was cable of achieving.

Creighton is an avid history buff who aspires to study his way through the ancient cities of Europe.

Image: A young Creighton pictured with Jack Brennan


July 30, 2015 – Sinya does a “winning” hula dace from her wheelchair on graduation day at BOOST Camp’s summer Conductive Education program

Sinya will also be recognized for her achievements during Boost Camp at a special UCPNB awards ceremony held annually in August. POPSKIDS is a proud sponsor of the UCPNB “Life Without Limits” Recreation Academy


“Winning” can be bittersweet….

Dan and Nicki Miller have two young boys with C.P. Over the course of the 5 week Boost Camp program, other families may have witnessed their child experience a moment of “wow.” Nicki didn’t notice any particularly dramatic changes for her sons, Carson and Chase. What she seemed to notice might simplybe described as hope; a new sense of optimism coming alive with each small, consistent movement made day after day, allowing each of her sons the opportunity to work like “gangbusters” towards their own personal best.

Then, all too soon, Summer Boost Camp is over and it is back to the traditional Special Ed. While traditional classes can offer their own value to children with C.P., repetitive movement therapy such as that received through Conductive Education is unlikely to be part of the curriculum. A child faced with this current reality, may spend the majority of the school year “safely” secured to their chair.


For POPSKIDs, our partners and all of the families just like the Millers, “winning” looks exactly like our call to establish a year round Northern California School for Conductive Education. The hard work and determination of these children inspires us to move forward to make this dream a reality.



Welcome to our new board members!

Please join Peninsula Outreach Programs, Inc. in welcoming our two newest Board Members:

Jon Guy

guy 31 shari flemingJon Guy is a long time corporate finance executive with General Mills.  During the past fifteen years he has held several leadership positions in social service fundraising and most recently was Major Gifts Officer for the St. Rose Dominican Health Foundation in Las Vegas, Nevada




Tanya Ariana Bendis

Tanya graduated from the University of California, Irvine Magna Cum Laude and continued her career in dance and PR at Mystic Ballet. She is passionate about movement and dance, and looks forward to working with POPS Kids to help children with movement disabilities succeed, grow, and learn. Tanya will be our new director of PR and Web.

A story about Molly

July 22, 2010

Molly Millan, the little girl who inspired and propelled Peninsula Outreach Programs Inc. into being and is the reason for the creation of Conductive Education Programs in the nineties.

I first met Molly Millan on September 22nd, 1993, and on that day my life was changed forever. In one moment – as I looked into her eyes – I knew what it was I had to do. Nothing could be the same – not for Molly or me, or our families – or the thousands of children who came after her.
At the age of three Molly became the first child to be sent to Conductive Education by Peninsula Outreach Programs, Inc. It was because of her father’s tenacity and POPS, Inc. that, eventually, small Conductive Education pilot programs began springing up. Soon they were to become full time, year round Conductive Education Centers and programs. Today, many of the small CE programs we “umbrella” have gone on to become private schools and independent “501” organizations.
We are so proud of every dedicated Conductor who came to us from Hungary, each person involved in the advancement of Conductive Education, and all the children and parents that have come through the programs. They worked hard to achieve the personal best of each child and we congratulate the many kids who have gone on to join their peers in public schools.
Molly has now completed her Conductive Education and is a strong 2nd grader, who’s classmates adore her. She adores swimming, going to summer camp, and loves Disney World and Pizza. She is a very happy young lady who loves a good laugh and a good time. She is also bright, charming and strong willed, and gets great grades. She continues to benefit from the Family Assistance Program – her needs will always be special and she will always require some kind of assisted living – but the quality of her life and the life of her parents has improved immeasurably with the help of Peninsula Outreach Programs Inc. and the Family Assistance Program.
Thank you Molly for inspiring me – back then and now. Thank you for reminding me of the things that really matter; improving lives, sharing the gifts we are given and to always, always FOLLOW YOUR HEART! When you follow your heart you will always do the right thing! Thank you for showing me the way – one step, one child, one program at a time. It is good to know I am not in this alone!

Ursula Miller