Ninety and Keeping a Strong Beat at The Arc Tampa Bay

Don Orchard, volunteer for The Arc Tampa Bay, will be celebrating his 90th birthday on July 8th at the TRAP Drumming Class.

Clearwater, FL, July 03, 2015 --( One might agree that most 90 year olds spend their time relaxing and enjoying family and friends.

Don Orchard is not relaxing, but he is enjoying his circle of friends found through volunteerism.

On July 8, Don will be celebrating his 90th birthday surrounded by these friends at The Arc Tampa Bay. This organization’s mission is to support and empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). We enable them to live life with dignity and thrive among their peers.

Each Wednesday, you can find Don combining his love of drumming with his new enjoyment of volunteering. Don actively participates in the Hammerax TRAP Drumming Program, a drumming curriculum designed to stimulate and enhance learning for those served by The Arc Tampa Bay (previously known as UPARC). The program has been available in Clearwater since 2007. Don was introduced to this opportunity to give of his time and talent by his fellow resident at Largo's Brookdale Pinecrest, Alice Thalheimer. Both Don and Alice help teach the therapeutic drum class at The Arc Tampa Bay’s Long Center campus, motivating individuals with I/DD to learn in an innovative way.

"Don is a vibrant, active volunteer. He engages each drummer, extracting more zest and vitality than we have seen in most," says lead drum volunteer, Polly Stannard. "He adds gentleness and compassion to each class. We are so fortunate to have Don's involvement and enthusiasm."

As an added bonus to the classes, Don dresses in fun attire to commemorate the nearest holiday. He has been dressed "head to toe" as a leprechaun for St. Patrick's Day, sported red heart suspenders for Valentine's Day, and “donned” patriotic garb for both Memorial and the Fourth of July celebrations. His Easter bonnet had the entire class in hysterics. Additionally, Don brings his own drumsticks, sharing with avid drummers, trying to engage them in the various exercises.

Don's birth certificate says he was born in 1925, but his youthful spirit defies any age category.

If you are interested in joining Don in TRAP Drum Class, volunteering for The Arc Tampa Bay, or learning about programs and services offered to the individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, please call 797-8712 or visit The Arc Tampa Bay invite you to “Like” their Facebook page to see further updates on programs and possibilities at the campuses of The Arc Tampa Bay.
The Arc Tampa Bay Foundation
Kalani McDaniel