Dessert Event Helps Educate, Raises Funds

By Donna Fouts, executive director, United Cerebral Palsy Association

United Cerebral Palsy Association (UCPA) started at a local community level before it ever developed a national office. In the 1940s, several families on the East Coast that had children affected by cerebral palsy decided to get together and create programs that would support their children and their families.


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Donna Fouts

The Hawaii chapter launched in 1959. It started its Child Development Center, a hands-on multidisciplinary program that worked with youngsters from newborns to 3 years of age who were diagnosed with cerebral palsy, as well as other children with developmental disabilities. That program has grown since its inception and now serves more than 230 children and their families each school year.

The organization offers other support programs, including the Social Services program, which addresses the ongoing needs of individuals with cerebral palsy. These issues include counseling, case management, housing, social support and financial matters.

We also offer a Public Health Awareness program, as well as a recreation program called MAC Plus and the Kuwili Martial Arts Center.

Individuals with disabilities are no different than everyone else in our midst. Their desires to do what their non-disabled friends can do is of critical importance and desire to them. Most importantly, they want to be treated equally and like everyone else.

Public perception and understanding of people with a disability is a constant challenge for UCPA. Along with that, of course, is raising adequate funds to support the continued growth of those with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

UCPA has a diversified budget, but is a strong believer in doing its own in special events, which are a wonderful way to accomplish two outcomes at the same time. We are helping to educate the public at each special event as to what is cerebral palsy and programs that the organization provides. The flip side of the coin, of course, is raising much-needed dollars for the organization and its programs.

One of tastiest fundraisers that the public can enjoy is UCPA’s Dessert Fantasy. This event has blossomed into one of the island’s favorite food sampling activities. This year’s Dessert Fantasy takes place Nov. 4 at the Pacific Beach Hotel. There are more than 50 desserts, all under one roof, and for one ticket price you can eat to your heart’s desire.

For more information, call UCPA at 532-6744 or visit