Dorothy Gilmore Therapeutic Recreation Center

1600 Purdue Drive, (910) 433-1000  
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 am-5 pm

Where Abilities and dis-Abilities Become POSS-ABILITIES

Gilmore Rec 1


Gilmore Therapeutic Recreation Center offers recreation and leisure programs to persons with disabilities. Therapeutic Recreation provides opportunities to improve functional abilities, enhance well-being and facilitate independence; leisure education - to teach or enhance recreation skills and attitudes that can be used throughout life; and recreation participation - to promote health and growth through leisure and recreation experiences. The staff of Gilmore TRC uses recreational services and leisure experiences to help people with limitations make the most of their lives - physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.


Gilmore Rec 2SPADES Adult Enrichment Program

"Sustaining Purpose, Achieving Dreams, Embracing Self," or SPADES, is an adult centered adaptive recreational program that enhances life satisfaction through a mixture of self-directed and group activities emphasizing community service and independent living skills. Participants will have opportunities in creative/expressive arts, cooking/baking, life/social skills, fitness, community outings, speakers, and more. The SPADES program begins each September and concludes in the spring; daily activity schedule varies. Please call or stop by the center for more information regarding the SPADES application process. 
18+; Mon.-Fri.; 9:30 am-1:30 pm; $40/month

Volunteers for Gilmore

Do you have a passion for working with children and/or adults with special needs? Do you have a class you would like to teach, a special skill you could share, or simply a desire to volunteer your time working with the special needs community? If so, please consider sharing your time or talents and help someone in need while gaining many rewarding life experiences of your own. Application process includes referral/recommendation, appropriate skills and experience, application/background check and interview. Gilmore volunteers serve as representatives of Gilmore TRC and must have the willingness and ability to fulfill program requirements as well as adhere to FCPR’s Code of Conduct.
18+; Free

SPADES Ambassadors Volunteer Program

This opportunity is for current or former SPADES participants who would like to take their involvement and learning to the next level as an Ambassador Volunteer. SPADES Ambassadors will have the opportunity to learn and refine their vocational and leadership skills through volunteering with the SPADES program as well as other opportunities at Gilmore TRC. Limited spots available; application process includes current or former Gilmore TRC participant status, staff nomination, application/background check and interview. SPADES Ambassadors serve as representatives of Gilmore TRC and must have the willingness and ability to fulfill program requirements as well as adhere to FCPR’s Code of Conduct.                                                                                                                          
18+; Free

Senior Aerobics

A low-impact class that integrates a variety of cardio and core conditioning exercises for a balanced and invigorating workout. This class demonstrates many different levels of each move so you can pick the level that is best suited to your fitness level. The class wraps up with concentrated
abdominal toning exercises.
55+; Mon.; 10-11 am; Wed. and Fri.; 9-10 am; Free

Senior Line Dancing

Join other dancers and learn some fun Line Dances or just come for the great exercise. Our Line Dance classes are not just "Country Line Dancing". We call it "Line Dancing" for a reason. We play great music from genres including Country, Top 40, Hip Hop, Ballroom, Blues, Funky, Latin, Irish, Swing and much more. You never need a partner but you can bring all your friends and have a lot of fun. Plus, you
get exercise without realizing you are actually exercising!
55+; Mon.; 11 am-noon; Fri.; 10-11 am; Free


Yoga is a program of physical postures designed to purify the body and provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation. This twice weekly class meets early enough for you to get still get to work. This class is intended for professionals and care givers.
18+; Tues. and Thurs.; 6:30-7:30 am; $50/month

Therapeutic Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient form of Chinese health practice and exercise art with movements performed very slowly and thoughtfully. It has often been called moving meditation because of its gentle flowing movement. The class includes meditation techniques, stretches, and warm-ups. This class is sponsored by the national Multiple Sclerosis Society and was created to benefit people with Multiple Sclerosis.
Caregivers and friends are welcome. Participants do not have to be MS diagnosed to participate; other diagnoses can participate as well.
18+; Tues.; 8:30-10:30 am; Free

Awesome Adaptive Zumba

This class offers tons of fun for persons of all abilities using high energy music and Latin inspired dance movements. Each class encourages participants to ditch the typical workout and join the party! Participants can reap many benefits to include weight loss, endurance and self-confidence. 
18+; Thurs.; 10:30-11:30 am; Free

Street Jazz/Hip-Hop

This dance class is a hybrid of multiple dance genres including ballet, modern, hip-hop and lyrical! Students will be exposed to a variety of foundational movements to create their own expressive dance style. Participants of all abilities will be inspired to get up and get moving while exploring simple, modern dance techniques. Class instruction provided by Elite Dance Center.
18+; Wed.; 1:30-2:30 pm; Free

Crochet/Knitting Social Hour

This group is for all those who enjoy crocheting and knitting and would like to connect with others with similar interests. Crochet enthusiasts can come together to share ideas, exchange information and meet new friends. Participants should come with their own materials.
18+; 1st Thurs. of each month; 2-3 pm; Free

Adaptive Open Gym

Enjoy playing basketball? Then come out and practice your skills and get some exercise! This program is for participants with disabilities. A registration form needs to be completed and on file in order to participate. Supervision must be provided for participant if needed or upon request by center staff. Program takes place on select afternoons based upon availability.
13+; 3-5 pm; Free

Please Pass the Peas Cooking Class

These classes present an opportunity for participants to socialize and learn their way around the kitchen while working together to prepare a meal. Classes will also emphasize concepts such as nutrition, meal planning, budgeting and safe food handling. Classes are held the second and fourth Thurs. of each month, and participants must register one week in advance for each class.
12+; 2nd and 4th Thurs.; 4-5:30 pm; $5/class

Gilmore Council

The Gilmore Council is comprised of and led by participants active in Gilmore programs. Council meetings will be scheduled and advised by staff; however each meeting will be led by council members. Participants who wish to take part in the council will be actively involved in choosing and planning trips and activities to include selecting destinations, determining costs and demonstrating leadership skills. The Gilmore Council and activities planned by its members are designed for independent adults looking for increased social opportunities in their peer group. Council meetings will take place at Gilmore on a quarterly basis.
18+; Free

Breakfast Bunch

Enjoy breakfast out with the Breakfast Bunch! We will be traveling to various restaurants to enjoy breakfast out together, socialize, and have fun! Breakfasts are scheduled on select mornings and will be announced at least two weeks prior to each outing. These are small group outings with limited availability so please register early. Fees will vary according to restaurant and participant’s menu selections.
18+; 8:30-10 am; Fees TBA

Gilmore Guided Exercise Training

Do you want to get fit but don’t know where to start? Then come on out to Gilmore and try out our guided exercise stations perfect for beginners or anyone who wishes to engage in a diverse regimen at their own pace. Guided Exercise Training is free of charge and open on select Wednesdays for participants of all ages with a disability and their families.
All ages; Wed.; 3:30-4:30 pm; Free


What’s more lit than getting fit? This class keeps it fun and fresh with simple movements, high energy, positive vibes and music to keep you motivated. All ages and abilities are welcome.
18+; Mon.; noon-1 pm; Free

Freestyle Choreography

This class will teach short and simple choreography routines to correspond with the latest sounds in pop, rock, R&B and hip hop. Classes consist of warm-ups, stretching and choreographed instruction interspersed with freestyle movement. Class participants will have opportunities to perform routines in various events and venues.
18+; Wed.; noon-1 pm; Free

Ballet Buddies Workshop

This workshop is designed to introduce students of all ages and abilities basic classical ballet positions and techniques. Participants who may need extra assistance can bring a buddy to accompany them, or utilize one of our Ballet Buddy volunteers! Pre-registration is required by December 30.
All ages; Sat., Jan. 11; 10-11 am; Free

Modern Art Masterpieces

No idea is too small, and all pieces of art can be masterpieces! This class will be utilizing several mediums to include canvas, paint, glitter and more for each participant to create their own original piece of abstract art. Finished projects will be displayed on individual mini easels that can be taken home. Pre-registration required. 12+; Thurs., March 5; 3-4 pm; $5

Recipes Without Reading

This cooking class will use graphics, pictures and simple conversion charts to assist non-readers learn basic cooking and measuring techniques. Participants will create a simple dish using a picture blueprint, with corresponding handouts that can be taken with them and used to continue practicing at home. Pre-registration required.
18+; Fri., April 3; 10:30-11:30 am; Free

A Chance to Dance Workshop

This dance workshop will feature multiple dance genres including ballet, modern, hip-hop and lyrical with added modifications for students who need or choose to remain in a seated position. Students will be exposed to a variety of foundational movements to create their own expressive dance style regardless of degree of ambulation. Everyone should take a chance to dance!
18+; Mon., April 6; noon-1 pm; Free

Bowling for Bunnies

Join us for some indoor bowling with a surprise twist! Each game will feature different strategies for racking up chocolate bunnies utilizing the senses of sight, sound and touch. Continue to engage your senses of taste and smell when you take your first chocolate bunny bite, and don’t forget to always eat those bunny ears first! Pre-registration required.
18+; Tues., April 7; 10:30-11:30 am; Free

All Natural Aromatherapy for the Beginner

This class will incorporate the all-natural scents of lemongrass, citrus and lavender into your own custom aromatherapy hand lotion. Each participant will learn about the many benefits of Aromatherapy and create their own blend into a hand lotion to enjoy at home. Pre-registration required.
12+; Thurs., April 16; 3-4 pm; $5

DIY Fizzy Bath Bombs

Add a bit of fizz to your bath or shower! In this class we will be creating our own easy-to-make fizzy tablets that promote relaxation by surrounding you with soothing scents to include lavender, orange and almond. Pre-registration required.
18+; Mon., May 4; 10:30-11:30 am; Free

Macramé for Mom

Create a pretty wall hanging for Mother’s Day with this super simple mini macramé project. Step-by-step directions will be provided resulting in a beautiful finished wall hanging that each participant can gift to mom or that someone special in their life. Pre-registration required.
12+; Thurs., May 7; 3-4 pm; $5

Drill Down Adaptive Basketball Clinic

Would you like to focus on the fundamentals to help you become a better basketball player? This clinic will emphasize the core basics of dribbling, passing and shooting, along with super fun games to assist participants in learning the basics. Pre-registration required.
8+; Wed., May 20; 4-5 pm; Free

Torn Paper Art Technique

Would you love to learn a new technique to create artwork in other ways than just painting, coloring and drawing? Torn paper technique is a well-known method of using torn bits of paper to fill in shapes to add texture and color to backgrounds. Torn paper technique is popular in scrapbooking, card making craft, and fine art work. Pre-registration required.
8+; Thurs., May 21; 4-5 pm; $5



Girls & Guys Nights Out

Participants can enjoy a night out with old friends while making some new ones too! These family-friendly outings focus on community leisure opportunities, socialization and independence. Trips may include local sports events, movies, restaurants, shopping centers, and attractions. Registration fees will vary according to trip. Departures/pickups leave from Gilmore TRC. Pre-registration is required for all trips, dates/destinations are scheduled on select Friday evenings and are subject to change. Please inform staff when registering if participant will be traveling with a caregiver.
16+; Fri., 5-9 pm; Fees vary according to trip
Jan. 10: Dinner and a Movie Night
March 25 (Wed): Dinner & Harlem Globetrotters “Pushing the Limits”
April 17: Dinner & Movie
May 1: Dinner & Downtown Discoveries

Caring Hearts Club

Are you the primary caregiver for a family member with significant disabilities that impact both of your daily lives? Or perhaps you are a professional caregiver looking for ways to connect yourself and your client to others in your community? Do you struggle to find meaningful opportunities for your client to engage with others who share their similar strengths and challenges leaving you both feeling isolated, stressed out and/or burned out?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, or would just like to learn more, we invite you and your client to join us for an informational meeting regarding a new initiative to link caregivers and their clients to others in our community. Please RSVP via email to and include your name and contact information.

TR Community Outing: Bitty & Beau’s and Wilmington Waterfront

Join us as we visit the original Bitty & Beau’s Coffee which is staffed entirely by employees with intellectual and developmental disabilities. After our stop at Bitty’s we will enjoy lunch and exploring downtown Wilmington’s historical waterfront. Participants should bring spending money for lunch and shopping the day of the trip. This is a small group outing for community independent participants. Space is limited so register early; departures/pickups leave from Gilmore TRC. Trip dates/destinations are subject to change based on interest.
18+; Sat., March 14; 9 am-4 pm; $5

Teddy TRC Meet & Greet

Who is Teddy? He’s a kitty and the newest member of the TRC family! Teddy is known for being irresistibly cute, fluffy and adorable. Teddy’s home is here at Gilmore and at any time his visitors may find him napping, playing or getting into mischief. Join us for Teddy’s meet and greet and learn all about how to engage in the benefits of Animal Assisted Activities such as reading to Teddy, taking Teddy for a workout, or just telling Teddy all about your day. Put your paws up if you love Teddy as much as we do!
Wed., March 25; 10:30-11:30 am; Free

2020 Gilmore Annual Prom: “Between the Moon and NYC”

If you get caught “Between the Moon and NYC” the best that you can do is be here with your friends at Gilmore TRC’s Prom! A prom is a special occasion for all to enjoy. Each spring the TRC staff honors everyone that may not have experienced a prom in high school. Join us for music, dancing and memories to last a lifetime! Semi-formal attire required. Volunteers needed, please see staff for details.
18+; Fri., April 24; 6-9 pm; $5/ticket

TR Community Outing: Raleigh State Capitol and Sweet Tea & Cornbread Grill

Join us as we visit NC’s State Capitol in Raleigh along with other downtown attractions of interest. The day will also include a delicious southern style lunch at the Sweet Tea & Cornbread Grill. Participants should bring spending money for lunch and shopping the day of the trip. This is a small group outing for community independent participants. Space is limited so register early; departures/pickups leave from Gilmore TRC. Trip dates/destinations are subject to change based on interest.
18+; Sat., May 9; 9 am-4 pm; $5

We’re All Stars: An Evening of Believing

We believe all people have special talents and deserve an opportunity to share them. The TRC staff invites anyone with a disability to showcase their talents at our community event “We’re All Stars: An Evening of Believing.” Performances may include original or non-original music, poetry, performance art, etc. Any and all talents are welcome and there is no cost to enter the showcase. We encourage parents, friends, and community to come together, share art, and connect with one another in a fun and judgement-free zone. Performance requests are subject to staff approval, participants interested in performing should attend an interest meeting held at Gilmore TRC on Mon., April 6 at 3 pm.
All ages; Fri., May 15; 6:30 pm; Free


Gilmore Therapeutic Recreation Center is the hub for Special Olympics Cumberland County (SOCC). Special Olympics Cumberland County is a branch of Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC). Special Olympics Cumberland County provides year-round sports training and competition for more than 300 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. It is the fastest growing program in North Carolina. Participants have the opportunity to train and compete in the Special Olympic Competition in 14 different sports. Practice times and locations vary. Call the Gilmore Therapeutic Recreation Center at 433-1000 for more information.

SOCC Winter Sports Registration

Registration is Nov. 1-Dec. 1. Athletes are required to have a Special Olympic Athlete Participation Form on file, which includes a physical in order to register. Winter sports offered are Basketball and Cheerleading. 
8+; Free

SOCC Spring/Summer Sports Registration

Registration is Jan. 1-March 1. Athletes are required to have a Special Olympic Athlete Participation Form on file, which includes a physical in order to register. Spring sports offered are Athletics/Track, Bowling, Cycling, Equestrian, Powerlifting, Volleyball, and Softball. Sports offered may vary dependent upon the schedule created by Special Olympics North Carolina.
8+; Free

SOCC Fall Sports Registration

Registration is July 1-Aug. 19. Athletes are required to have a Special Olympic Athlete Participation Form on file, which includes a physical in order to register. Spring sports offered are Aquatics, Bocce, Golf, Soccer, and Tennis. Sports offered my vary dependent upon the schedule created by Special Olympics North Carolina.
8+; Free

SOCC Young Athletes

Special Olympics Cumberland County Young Athletes Program is an inclusive early childhood sports and educational play program for children aged 2 to 7 years old, with and without intellectual disabilities, which includes games, songs and other fun, physical activities. With an emphasis on training and participation through activities and play, rather than competition, our young athletes learn basic sports skills like kicking and throwing a ball, as well as providing children with gross motor skills training, group interaction and socialization opportunities. These basic skills will prepare the Young Athletes for future participation in sports. Sessions last 6 weeks; call for information on upcoming sessions.
2-7 yrs; Tues.; 3:45-4:30 pm; Free