Leadership Troup service project to benefit Exceptional Way

Published 9:00 am Thursday, April 6, 2023

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The Leadership Troup Class of 2023 has chosen to renovate The Exceptional Way’s outdoor area as its 2023 service project.

Currently, the area is unusable for participants as it is extremely uneven and difficult to navigate, which can be unsafe for participants who are unsteady on their feet. The area also lacks sections of shade, which can be dangerous for those who are prone to heat-sensitive strokes.

The Exceptional Way is a nonprofit, day-program facility in Troup County that promotes social and relationship development and provides community involvement for individuals with disabilities.

“We are so excited about the project that the Leadership Troup Class of 2023 is working to accomplish, and we admire their determination to improve the outdoor space at The Exceptional Way for all participants to enjoy,” Connie Hensler, president and CEO said. “Part of the purpose of Leadership Troup is to acquaint potential leaders with issues confronting Troup County, introduce these individuals to each other, and encourage them to take leadership roles in the community. This Leadership Troup class is definitely making a difference, and we could not be prouder of them.”

Hensler said the class dedicated the project to a classmate and The Exceptional Way Executive Director, Cindy Skipworth.

“This project will make the current outdoor space safer for The Exceptional Way participants. It will also make the space more enjoyable for all,” she said.

The group plans to grade the area to make it level, pour a concrete pad, install a sail shade, plant raised therapy garden beds and new dining and sitting areas.

Mary Beth Pelt, program coordinator, said the renovation is going to be a wonderful thing for the facility.

“We have been in our present location since September of last year. Before that, we were housed at Rosemont Baptist Church and quickly outgrew that space and needed to move to a bigger location. In moving to the bigger location, we had to give up an amazing outdoor back porch where our people love sitting outside, rocking in the rocking chairs and enjoying some outside time,” Pelt said.

Pelt said getting the upgrades to the facility will allow the participants the chance to enjoy being outside again.

“It’s going to open opportunities for our folks that they haven’t chance had in a while to sit outside, enjoy some fresh air and unlock some new opportunities to work the flowerbeds and that kind of thing,” Pelt said. “I’m excited to see what we can do moving forward with this new space. It’s going to only enhance the things we do on a daily basis, and I’m excited to see it come to fruition.”