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Rhythm of Inclusion by T Rex and the Upbeats

Team members: Row 1 (l-r): Megan Mitchell-Hoefer, Fran Moore, Julia Jeter, Allyson Brown
Row 2 (l-r): Brandon Madden, Jeff Crocker, Tyler Rex
Not pictured: Amy Linsin

Disability affects more than 61 million people in the United States. Disability inclusion challenges all of us to understand fully the relationship between the way people function and how they participate in society. The goal is to make sure that everyone has the same opportunities to participate in all aspects of life including social, health, and recreational activities.

Thrive Upstate is the largest and oldest provider of services to people with disabilities in Greenville County. Currently, Thrive offers a wide variety of services and support at low or no cost to families and individuals. The mission at Thrive is to provide all people with disabilities and special needs with meaningful services, opportunities, and support, so they may thrive in life, work, and play.

Last March, during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, a group of individuals with disabilities performed a drumming circle demonstration in downtown Greenville with the goal of bringing attention to the special needs community. The event was appropriately named “Drumming Up Awareness”. The Thrive team greatly enjoyed the hour-long activity and was considering hosting a similar event in 2020.

Early next year, on March 27th from 12pm - 1pm at the Peace Center Plaza in downtown Greenville, Rhythm of Inclusion by T Rex and the Upbeats will partner with Thrive Upstate to sponsor an enhanced version of last year’s Drumming Up Awareness event. Drum lines from several local schools will perform with the Thrive group. Additional percussion instruments will be available for all attendees to be able to take part as well. A social media presence is being developed to help promote the event. Corporate and public partnerships are being established now, and donations are being received.

Our hope is that this event will continue to grow as an annual one which will serve not only to promote inclusion of special needs individuals in our community, but will also provide Thrive Upstate with an additional funding source.