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Next Generation will celebrate its grand re-opening with a Carnival for Autism fundraiser from 11 a.m. -3 p.m. June 2 in the Big Lots shopping center parking lot in Shallotte to help raise money for the Sapphire Autism Awareness Program.
The program is creating a day camp for autistic children in this area. Along with Dance Connection, Next Generation Paint Your Own Pottery and Coastal Academy of Martial Arts, this will be the first summer program of the year.
Next Generation is providing all the carnival games, a Sponge Bob meet-and-greet, prizes and more. There will be a 40-foot obstacle course, toddler town, face painting and local fire trucks for children to explore.
Attendees will be able to spin “the wheel of discounts” to receive 10-50 percent off purchases that day. A booth will be set up to allow parents of children with autism to sign up for the free day camp. Next Generation will also be donating five percent of its sales that day to the camp.
The store buys and sells new and gently used clothing at discounted prices and also has a pottery studio for people of all ages to enjoy painting.
They also have several weekly activities, including Monday Toddler Time, Friday Girls Night Out or just come in and relax and learn hand-building on Thursdays. This will be its first summer offering Art Adventures at Next Generation Day Camp! Join Next Generation for a month-long adventure during the month of June, exploring art and craft techniques.
Each day will be a journey into the world of art, guided by captains Sarah and Wendy, who will inspire campers to get creative and explore their inner artists through daily projects, including pottery painting, paper crafts, cooking art, nature crafts and more. Classes run from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Lunches will be provided by local businesses.
Autism affects one in 91 children, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Every 20 minutes, another child is diagnosed with autism and help is needed. Autism is an epidemic and more children are diagnosed with autism than cystic fibrosis, childhood cancer and muscular dystrophy combined.