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Therapeutic Recreation Professor Devoted to Helping Clients

April 27, 2010

Category: Faculty, Sport & Health Sciences

By Shavonne Potts,

It can be a hug or a kind word. But no matter how she receives the love, Renita Ritchie is going back for more.

Ritchie is therapeutic recreation supervisor with the Rowan County Parks and Recreation Department. She primarily works with people who have disabilities.

For years, she has organizedEvents for the blind and people with developmental disabilities. She also works with the mentally ill and elderly people considered frail at nutrition meal sites.

The supervisor position had been vacant prior to Ritchie taking on the role. When the program started, it was operated through the ARC, then called the Association for Retarded Citizens, and in 1979 it was moved to the Recreation Department.

Ritchie began the program afresh. She had a list of former participants and with help from the ARC, got the program going again.

She soon added adult day care — the first site was on Fulton Street — and it has grown and expanded over the years. Abundant Living Adult Day Care Center hosts the program through the Rowan County Senior Services Department.

In the beginning, the adult day care program had about a dozen clients. Now, more than 60 receive services at Abundant Living.


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