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PACE Play for Holiday Donation Drive

[Spokane, WA]   Maizy Lannigan has long wanted to play Dorothy Gale from “The Wizard of Oz.” She believes that the character matches her personality and skills, so she was overjoyed when cast as Dorothy for an upcoming theater production at Spokane Community College.

Lannigan is a student in the PACE program (People Accessing Careers and Education) at SCC. The program prepares students with developmental disabilities to obtain careers after graduation. Last year, they served 296 students.

Every year, PACE students from the theater and leadership programs run a donation drive that raises money for winter breakfast boxes that include oatmeal, cereal and juice boxes. They also take new winter clothes and toys for people in need. Donation boxes are in SCC’s Building 1, Rooms G-223, G-229 and B-208.

“It’s a very responsible fundraiser,” Lannigan said. “It’s a great opportunity and good amount of support.”

The fundraising drive culminates with “The Wizard of Oz” play on December 2 at 6:00 p.m. at SCC’s Lair Auditorium in Building 6. Instead of money, the cost of admission is one food item per person. 25 students in the PACE program will be performing in the play, according to adjunct faculty instructor Caley Edwards.

“It’s so cool,” Edwards said. “Theater group is super excited, and they are full of energy.”

A student in PACE’s leadership program, Kanishia Noble, has a special connection to the food drive. As a child, her family relied on donations to have food at home. Noble said she tended to get food at school and didn’t always have anything to eat on weekends.

“I think [the food drive] takes the stress off of kids and parents,” she said. “I feel like I’m paying it forward.”

Students in PACE’s leadership program – including Noble – designed flyers and posters for the drive. Noble also crocheted scarves for the clothing donations.

PACE was formed in the mid-1980s and offers about 30 classes per quarter. Other than theater and leadership, classes include communication; career preparation; English; humanities; health and wellness; mental health; and science, technology and math.

“It's helping me get ready for credited classes and helping me know what my interests are for the future,” Lannigan said. “I want to continue taking classes at PACE to help me succeed with my future plans and career.”

Noble said the program taught her to believe in herself: “We’re not just some person who has a disability, we can have a passion and succeed in life.”

Other than academic and career opportunities, students said the program was valuable in creating community.

“We’re in an environment that accepts us for who we are,” Noble said. “And it helps the so-called ‘normal community’ to be aware of us because we're integrated now with the credited students. I think it's deserved for the people without challenges to be integrated with us, so that they have a different insight that we belong and that we have a place in the community. We're creating a whole new community together, which is beautiful.”

For more information or to set up an interview, please contact Caley Edwards at

CCS provides education and services in a six-county region of Eastern Washington, operates Spokane Falls Community College and Spokane Community College and is the largest provider of Head Start and Early Childhood Education in the region. Each year, nearly 30,000 people – from infants to senior citizens – are provided educational services by CCS.


Posted On

11/30/2022 9:36:37 AM

Posted By

Rachel Roman



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