'Big Blast' Helps Youth, Makes Therapy Fun

This week's Patch Portraits also feature a Glencoe police cop who saves birds and a Niles cancer survivor who became an author.

This week's Patch Portraits also feature a Glencoe police cop and a Niles cancer survivor .

For Rhonda Penzell, a change in careers led to changing lives.

After years of working is sales, Penzell decided to leave her job and found A Big Blast Project, a non-profit specializing in fun physical therapy for kids.

"I decided to get back to what I was passionate about," the Glenview woman told Patch. "It's what I studied in college and I've been volunteering since high school."


Big Blast has expanded from gymnastic therapy classes to a host of programs, including martial arts classes, summer camps and "buddy sports" where children are partnered with students from local high schools and other young volunteers.

"The one thing that we saw was that kids were doing a lot of was occupational physical therapy," Penzell said. "I wanted to come up with something that would give them a place to go that they could have fun that was therapy disguised as fun."

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Jenn August 12, 2011 at 03:39 PM
I CANNOT describe how both of my kiddos LOVE Rhonda and The Big Blast. They have been doing the buddy tae kwon do for the last 10 weeks and they THOROUGHLY enjoy it!! I have seen improved confidence, improved trunk strength, and improved attitude and behavior. My son has an ASD and my daughter has sensory issues; she could very well attend a typical tae kwon do program, but I loved this one so much, we involved her here, too! Thank you, Rhonda, and to the rest of The Big Blast team!!
A Big Blast August 13, 2011 at 01:38 PM
They you Jenn you are so sweet to say that. We love having your kids, and truly enjoy watching them improve each week. It's parents like you that make this all worth while!


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