The Exceptional Georgetown Alliance (EGA) began in 2008 with the primary goal of keeping our local special needs summer camps going when Georgetown Independent School District could no longer afford to offer them. Several members of the Special Education Community Advisory Council broke off and formed the Exceptional Georgetown Alliance (EGA), a 501c 3 non-profit fund, organized under the Chisholm Trail Communities Foundation umbrella. Our mission is to raise awareness and financially support programs for cognitively and developmentally disabled children and young adults in Georgetown, Texas. The EGA’s board is made up of parents, teachers, and community members from the local area. Additionally, community members serve at an advisory council level and volunteer on the various committees
Today, EGA has become the voice for every day fun for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities here in Georgetown. Our board consists of a group of wonderful volunteers with strong backs and loving hearts. They do not get paid a salary, nor do we have a national parent company helping fund us. Our main fund raising event is the Boo Run, a 5K and 1 Mile Family Fun Run. We also rely on donations and grants to help deliver our special needs programming.
Summer camps are important to the EGA because disabilities do not take summer vacation. The EGA has facilitated the development of therapeutic summer camp programs for school aged students with cognitive and developmental disabilities who do not have the same opportunities as other children during the summer months. The EGA has partnered with Georgetown Parks and Recreation to provide these adaptive summer camps for children in the age range of K-12th grade, including those young adults in the 18-22 Bridges high school program. This is our eighth year in support of our adaptive day camps and they have become so successful.
Because we use a highly trained staff made up of special education professionals and health professionals, our costs are greater than in a typical summer camp scenario. EGA supports these camps via scholarships for economically disadvantaged special needs children and young adults, as well as help with the funding of other aspects of the camps including field trips, supplies, transportation costs, etc.
Other Recreation and Social Programs: Working with community groups, EGA has facilitated the following new and ongoing programs: Georgetown Dribblers Adaptive Basketball League and Challenger adaptive baseball team with the Georgetown High School Eagle baseball team. The EGA works with Park Pals to organize a swimming program that provides free swimming lessons for special needs children, and if space allows, their siblings.
Educational Programs/Community Partnerships: In the past, the EGA has supported a number of “Coffee Talks,” where parents can meet other members of the community and exchange ideas. Our next Coffee Talk is scheduled for August 6, 2016. Through the use of email, our website, and social media, the EGA helps promote deserving programs and activities including sensory movie showings, the Georgetown Police’s “Take Me Home Program” and The Palace Theater’s inclusion programming. We also support Children’s Special Needs Network programs as well as various conferences and events for the special needs community.