Recreation Alliance of North Pittsburgh providing opportunities for people with special needs - PineCreek Journal

Recreation Alliance of North Pittsburgh providing opportunities for people with special needs

Friday, January 31, 2020 | 12:01 AM

Families who have loved ones with special needs have a number of ways to celebrate the holidays and the season with upcoming programming from the Recreation Alliance of North Pittsburgh.

First on the list is a Valentine’s Dance from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday. Feb. 7 at the Ohio Township Community Park Nature Center in Sewickley. The Recreation Alliance hosts dances throughout the year, with locations moving through the various member townships, including Richland. After the Valentine’s Dance, next up on the calendar will be a St. Patrick’s Day dance to celebrate the luck of the Irish from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 13 at the Cranberry Township Municipal Center. The cost for each of the dances is $5.

“They’re open to all ages and we got a lot of kids, a lot of adults and some volunteers who come out to help keep them going and participating and dancing,” said Andy Rubino of Ohio Township.

Then from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22 the alliance will host its winter edition of the Special Needs Family Fun Day, also at the Cranberry Township Municipal Center. Also open to all ages and all abilities, the event is free. It starts with a lunch at noon and then participants will move to the gym.

“There is an Olympic/Miracle on Ice theme because of the anniversary of that event,” Rubino said, referring to the U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team beating first Russia then defeating Finland two days later to win the gold medal in Lake Placid, N.Y. in 1980. “We’ll have a lot of Olympic-themed crafts and we’ll be doing some hockey and snow-related activities and games.”

Coach Dave Gray, who runs inclusive sports camps and programming through his Hampton Township-based CDG Sports, will be on hand for the activities and there will also be a DJ.

They’re always looking for volunteers to help out, Rubino said, especially for the family fun days. The more people they have, the more they can partner up participants with volunteers for more one-on-one interaction and assistance, and it’s a good opportunity for volunteers of all ages.

Registration for both dances and the family fun day can be found online at by viewing the calendar and selecting the event. For more information or questions, contact Andy Rubino at