All Abilities Athletics was started when Chris Homyk had an idea that forever changed people’s perspectives on disabilities. Chris and Stacey wanted their son, Eli, and other kids with disabilities to be able to get involved and be a part of things they can’t normally do. Some of these things include sports like soccer, baseball, and football.
How did All Abilities Athletics start? Eli Homyk, Chris’s son, has autism. Chris and Stacey as well as other parents wanted their kids-- who, like Eli, have disabilities-- to have an activity that they could participate in and have fun with. Chris had taken Eli to SPENSA in Fenton, where he started getting into the sport of soccer. Chris, just like any other parent, could see how much Eli liked the sport. What if other kids didn’t have the opportunity to go to St. Louis to participate in activities like this? Chris got an idea. What if he could bring activities like baseball, football, soccer, and other games to areas near Washington? He brought his idea to several people who helped bring this organization to life.
Only 15-20 kids were expected to go to All Abilities Athletics the first year. But on May 7, 2017, All Abilities Athletics was put into action and around 60 people came to participate and help out with the event. By now, just a few months later, over 100 athletes are now participating in All Abilities Athletics. Each pre-K through senior student gets 3 volunteers to help make sure everything goes smoothly-- safety is the number one priority.
Another great thing about this organization is that no one is judgemental. Cindy Scheer, mother of Claire, said, “When we get there, our kids get to be typical kids.”
According to her mother, when Claire goes to this event, she gets to be with kids like her. All Abilities Athletics is a great addition to our county, and volunteers are always welcome. This organization is seen as “top-notch”-- the best people are gathered into one group.
Lillian Ford, second grader, has also attended All Abilities Athletics. Her family has said that it has made her happier. Her mother, Elizabeth Bennett, has said that “[the more] exposure, the better they are, behavior-wise.” According to Elizabeth Bennett, she only wants what is best for her child-- to be regarded as a normal kid, just like other parents want.
This organization has helped Lillian find her love for running-- just like her big brother, Nathan. Claire “feels the need for speed” and loves doing the relay race. Eli still has a love for soccer. Each and every kid who participates finds something they love, something that makes them feel on top of the world. The organization changes lives.
Elizabeth found out about this wonderful organization through Facebook and connections through groups. Cindy found out directly through the founder, Chris Homyk.
“Chris is amazing,” Cindy Scheer commented. “Without him, none of this even would have been started. [He] is a generous, honest man. He truly is kind.”
Chris and his team have even created “Adopt an Athlete.” You can become a member for a donation of $50. There are three levels to “Adopt an Athlete.” For $50, you can get a picture of your athlete. $250 will get you get pictures and videos. $500 is the highest level, and you get pictures, videos, a thank you on Facebook and the website, and an update of the athlete and updated pictures for a year. Claire Scheer was adopted by Citizens Bank.
That is not the only thing to love about this organization. All Abilities Athletics has a great team that really focuses on kids with disabilities. They create an environment where kids can fit in and find what they love.
Chris said, “This is one of the most fun things I’ve ever done.”
Chris also commented on how great his team is. “I had an idea, but others dragged it forward.”
More people go and volunteer with this organization all the time. All Abilities Athletics is open to all volunteers. Go and see how all of these events work. You can go to allabilitiesathletics.org to learn more about this organization.
Thanks to everyone who allowed me to interview them-- Cindy Scheer, Mrs. Bennett, Elizabeth Bennett, Lillian Ford, Claire Scheer, and Eli Homyk.
A very special thanks to Chris Homyk, who, despite our protest, doesn’t like to take credit where credit is due. Chris had an amazing idea that is growing and growing with every passing week. I hope the rest of the first year goes well, and we all truly appreciate all you have done for this organization.