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

Adaptive Family Fitness

Do you want to get healthy and have fun at the same time?  Bring the whole family as we lead you through one hour of non-stop Adaptive Zumba fun adapted for all fitness levels and abilities. Healthy refreshments will be served. This is a fundraising event to benefit Special Olympics of Cumberland County, pre-registration required at least one week prior to event.
All ages; Fri.; Jan. 3; 4:30-5:30 pm; $2/person

Homemade for the Holidays

Sometimes a homemade gift is the one we cherish the most. Stop by the center and let us help you create a handmade gift as we celebrate the spirit of giving this holiday. Pre-registration required.
13+; Thurs., Nov. 21; 3:30-4:30 pm; $5

Christmas Cookie Exchange

Come out to our new adaptive baking class where we will explore simple, step-by-step techniques for baking up some of your favorite holiday cookies! Participants will have the opportunity to increase their independence and confidence in the kitchen while creating simple cookies with corresponding recipes to exchange with friends. Pre-registration required.
18+; Fri.; Dec. 6; 10:30-11:30 am; $5

Therapeutic Sailing Simulation

Learn about the therapeutic use of sailing through Virtual Reality Sailing Simulation. Participants of all abilities will have the opportunity to travel to East Carolina University and experience both the thrill and tranquility of sailing on the water while staying safely on land through use of a fully adapted simulator. Discover a new world of possibilities and experiences through the emerging technology of Virtual Reality Simulation. This is a small group outing with limited availability; participants who feel they would benefit from and have a special interest in sailing should contact Gilmore TRC staff directly for more information. This trip will take place over the course of one day, exact date to be determined based on participant interest and VRSS scheduling.
All ages; 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


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
Feb. 7: Pizza and “Shrek the Musical” at Cape Fear Regional Theater

SPADES Community Thanksgiving Luncheon

SPADES friends and family are invited to join us as we celebrate and give thanks during this special time of year. Sign up to bring a dish to share during our Thanksgiving luncheon and enjoy great food, fun, and time spent together with our exceptional community. Please bring your dish in a disposable container. Volunteers needed, please inquire with TRC staff to see how to get your volunteer group involved.
Thurs., Nov. 14; 11 am; Free

SOCC Family Fun Fest & Fundraiser

Join us for a fun family event to benefit Special Olympics Cumberland County. Activities will include DJ with dancing, carnival games, silent auction, 50/50 raffle, concessions, and more! Event is held at Gilmore TRC.
All ages; Sat., Dec. 7; 10 am-2 pm; Free

Deck the Halls Christmas Ball!

Take an #Elfie, enjoy some Roast Beast with Whoville Hash, and dance the night away with those lovable but Grinchy Gilmore staff! All ages welcome; parents must accompany children 12 and younger. This is a fundraising event to benefit Special Olympics of Cumberland County. Even Grinches need volunteers, please inquire with TRC staff to see how to get your volunteer group involved.
All ages; Fri., Dec. 13; 6-9 pm; $5/ticket

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 by Dec. 3, 2019 and include your name and contact information. 
Thurs., Jan. 2; 4-5 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