Paying it Forward -

Paying it Forward -

GiGi University student Aubrey and Hugs + Mugs intern Brian accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Joined by GiGi’s team members Sarah Rickaby and Jayne Drew, the foursome were caught on video paying it forward. The participants not only challenged some of their friends, but also two of GiGi’s other 16 playhouse Locations. Will GiGi’s Playhouse – Des Moines and GiGi’s Playhouse – Twin Cities accept the challenge?

Brian Ice
On social media, it has been nearly impossible to escape the Ice Bucket Challenge videos and photos of people dumping ice water over their heads. When Hugs + Mugs mentor Brian Rogala was challenged by his Uncle Enzy, he solicited the help of fellow GiGi’s participant Aubrey Soukup and brought the idea to the GiGi’s Playhouse team.
Brian felt strongly that it would be a great idea to show thanks for our own blessings and were happy to pay it forward to support the ALS movement.”

Find the video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=eH7ZkRySBgg. A donation to ALS will be made via the Les Turner ALS Foundation of Chicago.

Believing they CAN!!

Believing they CAN!!

I’d like to introduce you to a few of our interns at Hugs + Mugs, Matt, Chris, Patrick and Nicole. Nicole is a mentor and from the 1st class of GiGi U and the boys are all interns from the 2nd class,  they graduated in May.  They were so very busy this week getting everythingContinue Reading

Make the shot. Make a difference.

Make the shot. Make a difference.

This past Wednesday (8/13/14) we held our 1st Annual Golf Outing to benefit GiGi’s Playhouse, Inc. With 18 sponsors, 25 volunteers and over 100 golfers in attendance, it was a day to remember! We began the day with registration and a putting contest with our very own Special Olympic Silver Medalist, Matt! Matt successfully out-puttedContinue Reading

Nine Playhouses offer LMNOP this summer!

Nine Playhouses offer LMNOP this summer!

First piloted at our Quad Cities Playhouse in the summer of 2012, Language, Music ‘N Our Peeps (LMNOP) has quickly become one of the most requested GiGi’s Playhouse programs! Led by a volunteer speech-language therapist and designed to facilitate language skill development through use of music and movement- LMNOP helps some of our youngest rockstars find theirContinue Reading

Be Inspired by Danny Bottcher…..

Be Inspired by Danny Bottcher…..

We are surrounded by amazing families that have inspired us. We’ve had 2 families show their support for GiGi’s Playhouse and Hugs + Mugs by hosting Lemonade Stands and 1 family created friendship bracelets they sold to raise money for GiGi’s. When I asked why they decided to host a lemonade stand, they explained thatContinue Reading

GiGi U students prepare for graduation

GiGi U students prepare for graduation

This summer, our GiGi University students have been nothing short of fabulous!  Each day, they give all that they’ve got, with the ultimate goal of developing their confidence, health and “whole self”.      For the past several weeks, GiGi U has focused on challenging this group of remarkable adults to give their “Best ofContinue Reading

Meet our future intern – Aubrey

Meet our future intern – Aubrey

This week we have our first guest Blogger – Aubrey S.   Aubrey is currently a student at GiGi U.  She is very anxious to graduate in a few weeks and join our crew at Hugs + Mugs as an Intern.    Here’s what Aubrey had to say about GiGi U and Hugs + Mugs –Continue Reading

Yoga Tales @ GiGi’s Playhouse Des Moines

Yoga Tales @ GiGi’s Playhouse Des Moines

Each week at Yoga Tales, Max and his buddies work to improve body awareness, enhance concentration and strengthen gross motors skills, all in the context of FUN!  Who knew that while making new friends, practicing turn taking and following instructions, Max and his friends could also build their self-esteem and release some of that extraContinue Reading

Lucky to be part of a family tradition…

Lucky to be part of a family tradition…

Last week Hugs + Mugs was fortunate enough to be part of a young girls annual Birthday tradition.   The young girls name is Olivia. Olivia’s birthday is in January, every year she and her grandma plan an entire day to themselves. They could schedule their day closer to her actual birthday but January is COLD,Continue Reading

Self-Advocate Story Serves as Motivation for Upcoming Golf Outing

Self-Advocate Story Serves as Motivation for Upcoming Golf Outing

As we prepare for the upcoming National Achievement Center Golf Outing (August 13th), we are inspired by the story of Eugene, a self-advocate and avid golfer from Rockford, IL: “Eugene has been a participant of GiGi’s Playhouse since the beginning. He and his family have benefited greatly from the programs that GiGi’s has to offer. Eugene expressed that thereContinue Reading