BBC News

A beautiful video from BBC News, “Abandoned as a baby, meet 16-year-old Tjili who is deaf and has cerebral palsy – she is winning acclaim for her art.”

Tjili gives us at POPS Kids an amazing amount of inspiration! We love her dedication to trying everything and living a life without limitation. What a wonderful artist!

the 16-year-old girl winning international acclaim

Abandoned as a baby, meet 16-year-old Tjili who is deaf and has cerebral palsy – she is winning acclaim for her art.

Posted by BBC News on Friday, 28 April 2017



Boost Camp Winter Wonderland

Our friends at Conductive Education ~ Boost Camp have been serving their community with summer programs for many years. This week, they held their first “Winter Wonderland!” Despite the snowflakes and posters that adorn the classroom, these kids are doing so much more than “just chillin.”

Director/Conductor, Saskia Kramer explains, “When … the kids play hide and seek …even the experience of doing it for 10 minutes means a lot to them. They never get to stand up and dance with their friends and Boost is a place where they get to do all these things, without feeling bad about not running fast or dancing with a ladder or a cane. Without your support we would not be here… (it) means the world to these families.”

# I did good today!


Welcoming Saskia Kramer

A Pops Kids “shout out” to Saskia Kramer, the new BOOST Conductive Education Director. This past Thursday evening, United Cerebral Palsy of the North Bay hosted a wonderful celebration of community at “Grapes and Gratitude.” For Saskia, it is a night of “fundraising 101” with raffle tickets in hand. Thank you to all of our friends and partners at UCPNB!

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Beating college with a disability! From the Huffington post


A wonderful article was shared on the Huffington post from Bryan Dooley, about disabilities in a University. Dooley shares his tips and tricks to navigating the hard career of an education. Losing the support system that you have during your k-12 education is always an adjustment.

Dooley talks about his struggles hiring a Personal Care Assistant while at University. Communication is always a key point in hiring someone to take care of you. “It is important for your PCA to really get to know you as a person and not just a job. They will be less likely to blow off their responsibility if they have a personal interest in you,” Dooley says.

Another important note that Dooley makes in his blog, is to have a social life while in college. The social aspect of college is one of the most important. Learn how to interact with other students, speak to your instructors, administrative staff, campus staff, and learn about people. Whether you are studying sociology or math, the interactions and relationships that you make while at university can lead to a bright future in your field. Of course, the curriculum is important too, but enjoy every moment learning about what is right in front of you nose.

If you are interested in applying for universities, I highly recommend reading this article to get an insight on Dooley’s great plan to be successful while at school.

Read the full blog here.

Parallel London: The World’s first disability-led mass participation run event

For everyone, getting up and going to the gym can be a difficult task. We make excuses, we don’t have time, we don’t have the energy, or we just don’t like it. But being active is the healthiest way for us as humans to get more energy and to be able to do more! Physical activity is really important and can be really fun.

Struggling with CP or any disability can be an easy way to rule out physical activity in general. But that is why POPS provides scholarships to children to attend BOOST Camp and other programs to help them get up and move!

“A recent survey by Parallel London showed that 83% of disabled people would like to be more active and take part in more physical activity. But of these, 69% felt that they faced barriers in doing so.”

We want to help you push those barriers away and go for it! Walk or wheel your way to the finish line at Parallel London’s run, it seems difficult and daunting, but remember there will be people around the world supporting you and inspiring you! Or log on your computer and be the support team for your friends.

Wether you get the chance to participate in the Parallel London run or not, there are always some great training tips from these athletes. Check out what Sophie Morgan has to say:

“Sophie Morgan’s training tips

  1. Think about what you CAN do, not what you CAN’T do.
  2. Find a fitness routine that works for your body, no one else’s.
  3. Set yourself a weekly or monthly fitness goal and break it down into daily tasks.
  4. Put some of your favourite dance music on, it really will get you motivated!
  5. Eat healthy and balanced meals to compliment your exercise routine – you need the right fuel!”

Let’s get inspired together!


Read the full article here

Let’s be thankful for February

Let me just say that February was an awesome month. Yes, I know it is the month of love with Valentine’s Day and all, but this year we had some special moments for our work to help movement disability.

Let’s start with the Grammy’s and Stevie Wonder’s great joke “You can’t read it, you can’t read braille. Nananananana.” This was such a fun and strong request for equality. Everything should be accessible for everyone. The best part of Wonder’s joke was that it caused such a roar in the media, drawing attention of billions for the plea of understanding disabled people. We have to recognize the challenges that the disabled face on a daily basis and should not ever forget that basic tasks are not basic for everyone. And the Grammy’s was definitely a great place to bring that light to the world. Read More on Hollywood Life.

And after the Grammy’s we got this awesome new clothing line by Tommy Hilfiger that is easier to dress and use for children with movement disability. Definitely a great thing for some of our POPS Kids! Check out the shop. According to the brand’s website, the line is “a very special collection addressing the challenges the differently-abled community faces each day when getting dressed.” It was developed by Mindy Scheier in partnership with the Non-profit Runway of Dreams.

And New York Fashion week is taking a great step forward by having an entire catwalk of models with disabilities. The pictures are stunning. Daily Mail UK made an excellent article here. Hopefully Tommy Hilfiger can make that suit set soon!


Models took to the catwalk in wheelchairs at FTL Moda's AW15 show

Sky Ranch Foundation gives thanks for the holiday season!

skyranch-black with SM

December 1 2015 –

Every day, countless citizens volunteer their time and effort assisting those in need. At this time of the year, it is especially time to give thanks to those worthy charitable organizations and their staff and volunteers, who unselfishly and often thanklessly devote their time. We therefore wish to recognize and thank the Foundation Executive Committee, Senior Advisory Committee and Directors of Sky Ranch Foundation ℠, all in the Beverage Alcohol Industry, for their years of dedicated service toward assisting in giving at-risk youth a second chance. Foundation grants total well over $1 million to-date.

Executive Committee of the Board and Vice Presidents: Peggy Donovan, Secretary (retired-Wirtz Beverage Group), Mike Donohoe, (retired-Jim Beam Distilling), Barry Becton, DIAGEO, John Bodnovich, American Beverage Licensees and Bill Slone, Beverage Media Group.

George Suttles, Foundation Officer and Dori Bryant, Director of Partnership Development earn our thanks as well.
Senior Advisory Committee members: Steve Bellini, Sidney Frank Importing Co., Dr. Peter Cressy, Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS), Bill Earle, National Association of Beverage Importers (NABI), Raymond R. Herrmann, Jr., Charmer-Sunbelt Group, Gerry Ruvo, Campari America and Craig Wolf, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA).

Directors: Tim Condron, Agave Loco, Donna Hood Crecca, Technomic Inc., Don Pydo, Wirtz Beverage Group, Aura Reinhardt, Bacardi, Jack Shea, Pernod Ricard USA, Jody Slone-Spitalnik, Beverage Media Group and Suzanne Riga, Greens Beverages (retired).

We encourage everyone to get involved and to lend support to Sky Ranch Foundation and the recipients of 2015 grants:

Boys and Girls Club of Rosebud, SD

Boys’ & Girls’ Towns of Italy, NY

Boys and Girls Haven, KY

Pacific Lodge Youth Services, CA

Peninsula Outreach Programs Inc. Conductive Education Centers of California (POPS Kids), CA

Club for Boys Foundation, SD

Red Hook Initiative, NY

‘sacred’ Sexually Abused Children Relief Endeavor, KS

SOS Childrens’ Villages, IL

Urban Initiatives, IL

Wounded Warriors Family Support, NE (in association with DISCUS)


With your support, know that countless young adults are enjoying the Holidays!


George F. McCarthy, Chairman

Ralph Aguera, President


About Sky Ranch Foundation ℠ and Sky Ranch For Boys ®

Since 2011, the Foundation ℠ has awarded $1,117,394 in grants to organizations providing support for at-risk youth. Formed in 1961 and building on more than 50 years of tradition, Sky Ranch Foundation ℠ is a tax-exempt charitable organization committed to identifying and offering grants to efficient and effective programs focused on improving the quality of help available to these youth.

Sky Ranch Foundation ℠ is governed by a board of directors comprised mainly of active and retired members of the beverage alcohol industry. The Foundation’s ℠ funds have come largely from individuals and companies associated with the beer, wine and spirits industries and reflects the industry’s great concern and commitment for at-risk youth. ℠