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Nonprofit Kids On The Move to hold evening museum event in Thanksgiving Point

By Nichole Whiteley - | Aug 8, 2023

Grant Hindsley, Daily Herald file photo

Eva Tsing, front, and Alyssa Spangler cross a rope bridge at the Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi on May 15, 2015.

The Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point, in Lehi, will come to life for kids in September. On Sept. 21, those attending the night at the museum will get to become part of bringing light and life to children with autism and special needs, to low-income families, to busy and struggling parents and to children in need of extra care and guidance as they grow and develop.

Kids On The Move, a nonprofit organization that supports families with special needs children, is selling 1,200 tickets, at $20 each, to the Night at the Museum fundraiser. Last year, KOTM supported over 3000 children and that number of children the nonprofit assists continues to grow at a rate of about 11% each year. This fundraiser at Thanksgiving point will go towards supplying the necessary resources to meet this growth and never turn a child away.

Thanksgiving Point has donated The Museum of Natural Curiosity for the night as the venue. “A Night at the Museum” will go from 6-9 p.m.

“I’m so excited. I couldn’t be more grateful to all of (the sponsors). Thanksgiving Point has just really been a blessing and a great partner,” said Ruby Haddock, vice president of development.

They are also encouraging companies who wish to be a sponsor to buy a larger quantity of tickets and give them to their employees or donate the tickets to schools, which is what Galen College and Rocky Mountain Power have done. When companies choose to be a sponsor, they will receive a 10% to 20% discount on all tickets.

KOTM has five pillar programs that are focused on children’s different needs: Autism Center, Early Head Start, Early Intervention, Preschool and Child Care and Respite Care. The money raised at the Night at The Museum will go into a general fund and be dispersed to each program, as needed, to support children that are part of the program and to serve those not yet in the program.

“We teach the families how to work with their children. So we don’t do it all, but we teach you to be empowered and help you learn to work with your child. I would just say we give back by teaching the families to feel comfortable and confident to learn how to do these things, and also just how to support their child,” Haddock said.

Those participating in the Early Intervention Program are covered through Baby Watch funding, which comes from client payments and state or federal grants. Haddock said, on average, they have over 1,000 active children enrolled in the Early Intervention program. KOTM served 2,455 children during the 2021-2022 fiscal year under the Early Intervention Program, averaging 2,259 visits each month.

Not all families qualify for these government grants, but they are never turned away. KOTM provided 3,352 visits during the last fiscal year to families in the community that were not funded by Baby Watch. This service is funded through other donations and grants. The money raised at the Night at the Museum fundraiser will assist these extra families in need.

“Future years will require even more unfunded visits grants and donations as the need increases year after year,” Haddock said.

After each child assessment, KOTM will either refer them to an internal program, if the government can offer assistance, or will refer them to another program. Haddock said whether or not the child will be enrolled in their program in the future or not, “we don’t turn any children away.”

“We will still tell them what that assessment looks like, what their score is, how that child is doing, and either we can help them or we don’t. But we always give them that assessment to let them know where their child stands and what type of support can be provided by KOTM, or if they need to go to a private physician,” Haddock said.

Haddock hopes the museum fundraiser will help the community become familiar with their services and give the organization a chance to serve those in need. Kids on the Move will have representatives from each of their programs at the museum to give attendees the chance to learn about the different offerings.


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