Change is good, especially when it comes to helping others in the community.

The group formerly known as Run for Autism officially became Perfect Fit Foundation of SWK, and with the change, the group hopes to open a Perfect Fit Therapy Clinic in Dodge City in the future.

"We decided to become a legal foundation for many reasons, but one was to start a new venture in bringing services to the children living with special needs and disabilities in southwest Kansas," said Perfect Fit Foundation of SWK president and co-founder Trista Fergerson.

Run for Autism was started by Fergerson and other mothers who became friends about four years ago when talking of the struggles they had with their children on the spectrum.

"The purpose behind Run for Autism was to just get the word out about autism and if we raised a little money in the process we would do something good with it," Fergerson said. "Once we realized how successful the 5K race was we decided to make it a legalized foundation and do something really great that would leave a lasting legacy and would also get our boys the help they so desperately needed and deserve."

Perfect Fit Foundation of SWK is a nonprofit organization with a letter of good standing with the Kansas Secretary of State and with its official letter to arrive any day.

"Once we obtain that letter from the IRS we will start the process of making Perfect Fit Therapy Clinic, which will also be a nonprofit organization, a corporation," Fergerson said. "The decision behind the clinic was for our kids.

"There are so many children in this area that are not receiving therapy services they need to live fully functioning lives and one day become productive members of our community.

"There are options of traveling to another clinic but the nearest is in Wichita and those services are limited to time restrains most of the time. Families become unable to make that travel commitment, so they either have to move from our community or go without services."

Perfect Fit Foundation of SWK would own and operate the clinic and offer four disciplines of therapy, such as speech and language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and applied behavioral analysis therapy.

According to Fergerson, a clinical director is currently handling all the therapeutic aspects of the clinic, while the foundation is currently in the fundraising process.

"We are soliciting larger donors as well as writing grants and organizing a large fundraiser to be held in September," Fergerson said.

The next step for the clinic would be finding a location. The foundation is looking at existing structures in Dodge City.

"We believe this clinic is not only going to be good for the families with special needs but also for the economic development of Dodge City," Fergerson said. "We want to rent or purchase an existing building to fill some of the holes that Dodge City currently has in development."

Perfect Fit Foundation of SWK will welcome any and all questions regarding the programs and other questions parents may have.

"I know this can be something very exciting for parents with kids living with special needs or disabilities," Fergerson said. "It’s something I myself have been waiting for for several years, to get my son help. I just decided, if I don’t do it, who will?"

Perfect Fit Foundation of SWK can be contacted at tristafergerson@gmail.com for donation and/or program information or any other questions.

 

To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.