Please Register and plan to join your friends at Life Enrichment Options for the 2017 Enriching Lives Luncheon

Register Here:

on Tuesday, October 17th from 11:30 to 1:00.

The luncheon will be at the spacious

Eastridge Church – 24205 SE Issaquah Fall City Road, Issaquah.

We promise to start on time, keep you informed and involved with an exciting program, a tasty lunch and have you back on your way promptly at 1:00pm.

Can’t come but want to support the great work LEO is doing,

please use your cell phone to text to 91999 and put LEO in the text message box or mail your donation to PO Box 117, Issaquah, WA 98027

LEO is a registered Non-profit Corporation, UBI #601-199-914, Federal ID #91-1458330, State Charities Program #9040


GiveBig 2015

Thanks to all who participated in this year’s GiveBig Campaign put on by the Seattle Foundation. Because of your generosity, we raised the most we have ever raised during GiveBig! The total brought in drum roll please $3421!!! We were also just informed by the Seattle Foundation that they will also be sending us additional funds based on the total amount of money pledged (stretch pool). We were blown away by the success of this campaign and can’t wait until next year to go even bigger with GiveBig 2016.


Caring Community Award presented to Eli and Jim Dever

Annually, Issaquah has the Community Awards banquet where the city, chamber and local organizations honor exceptional volunteers and those who have given many years of service to the community.

Three years ago LEO introduced the first Caring Community Award to honor those who have done exceptional work in promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities into community activities.

This year, LEO’s Executive Director presented the Caring Community Award to a very surprised father and son team, Jim and Eli Dever. Eli was acknowledged for his kindness as a repeat driver in the Issaquah and Sammamish Challenge Series races over several years. “Eli was always the driver we could count on to show special care to even the most impacted of the co-drivers”. Eli has now outgrown the ability to fit into the race cars and has been ‘retired’. His actions have set the new standards for all future drivers to live up to.

Jim Dever was honored for the work he has done in making videos to explain how a LEO home functions and how the residents add to the life of the community. Jim has also been instrumental in volunteering at local Challenge Series races and presenting the races on Evening Magazine.


Issaquah Challenge Race on July 18th

It isn’t too late to sign up for the Issaquah Challenge Race!

If you want to volunteer to help at one of the races, know of a responsible student (between 4’8” to 5’2” and up to 130 pounds) who would like to learn how to be a driver of the gravity race cars, OR if you know of someone with cognitive or physical disabilities who would enjoy being a co-driver, let us know!

Please contact: for more details or how to register for the races.

July 18th – Issaquah

August 22nd – Sammamish

August 29th – Oak Harbor

September 19th – Snoqualmie


Thank you for joining us on our Journey!

Over 200 supporters of our organization enjoyed good food, good company, and great singing at our 2013 fundraising luncheon, “It’s About the Journey.” The success of the event can be measured by the more than $90,000 raised to support our work of providing a quality life for those with developmental disabilities, as well as by the many smiles from the touching story of LEO’s history, as told by Rose and Leo Finnegan, and the inspiring performance by the Issaquah Parks and Recreation chorus class for those with special needs.


Master of Ceremonies John Curley kept everyone entertained while also accurately describing the ever growing needs of the special needs community that LEO works so hard to support. The chorus’ touching rendition of the Josh Groban song,   “You Raise Me Up,” as directed by Sue Vigal and Howard McOmber, reflected the appreciation our organization, and those we serve, feel for all of our wonderful supporters.

Our sincere thanks go out to our sponsors and our raffle prize donors for their generous contributions. We would also like to express our heartfelt thank you to everyone who attended, and to those who sent donations to support our mission of building a caring, supportive community for our most vulnerable citizens. With your support, we are now closer than ever to our goal of a fourth adult family home, which will make dreams of independent living come true for five more young adults.


img2LEO is going offer a drum class taught by Shane Shook. Shane is a local musician and teacher with nearly twenty years of drum experience and has experience instructing people with developmental disabilities. To help outfit the class with drums and percussion instruments, we need some help. Do you have a pair of maracas or a type of drum that you no longer use and would be willing to donate to LEO for this awesome class? Spread the word and help us make this class happen! Stay tuned for more details on the Drum Class.















Get ready for the Annual Challenge Series Races! The first of six state-wide races will begin at the end of June in Spokane and finish up in September in Snoqualmie. If you want to volunteer to help at one of the races, know of a responsible student (between 4’8″ to 5’2″ and up to 130 pounds) who would like to learn how to be a driver of the gravity race cars, OR if you know of someone with cognitive or physical disabilities who would enjoy being a co-driver, let us know!Please contact: for more details or how to register for the races.

June 20th – Spokane
July 11th – Richland
July 18th – Issaquah
August 22nd – Sammamish
August 29th – Oak Harbor
September 19th – Snoqualmie

Please Save the Date for our Fall Luncheon on October 27th, 2015.You are cordially invited to our Fall Luncheon to be held at Pickering Barn on October 27th, 2015. The Luncheon will be from 11:30am-1:00pm. More information and formal invitation to follow.

Come get to know the LEO Board and hear what we are up to!On August 24th from 5pm-8pm, we will be at Pogacha’s in Issaquah to talk about what is happening with LEO and how you can get involved! As an added bonus, 10% of all food sales will go to support LEO. We look forward to seeing you there, cheers!

Pogachas: 120 Gilman Blvd., Issaquah 98027

Questions? Contact Deborah Donohue:

Meet Our Newest Board Member

Life Enrichment Option (LEO) is very pleased to announce the addition of Allison Yocum, PT, DSC, PCS to the Board of Directors.

Dr. Allison Yocum is a licensed pediatric physical therapist and owner of Waypoint Pediatric Therapies in Issaquah.  She has been working with children and young adults with disabilities and their families for over 20 years and brings to LEO a passion for providing community based fitness and physical activity opportunities for people of all ages with disabilities.

In addition to her clinical practice, Allison serves as the Regional Coordinator for the On Track Research Study, a large multi-site collaboration involving children with cerebral palsy from across the United States and Canada. She also guest lectures within the University of Washington pediatric course curriculum.

Dr. Yocum can often be found in local parks working with parents of children with disabilities to help access play equipment, coordinating annual sports and fitness-related camps and events, or on the bike trail teaching children with disabilities how to ride a bike or scooter.

Yocum and her husband Dennis are working with LEO to spearhead a new event, the Experience Fitness Project on Sunday September 27th on the field at Issaquah High School. The EFP will consist of activities for children and young adults who have physical or cogitative challenges. They can compete in events like 100m Run/Walk or Push, an Obstacle Course and other challenging and fun events.

Yocum states, “My primary area of interest is in supporting the LEO mission related to recreational opportunities for people with disabilities. I am very interested in improving participation in all aspects of community life for people with disabilities and am inspired by the progress LEO has made in our community.

For additional information: Contact Fred Nystrom 425.241.4690 or

Facilitated conversations!
Making informed decisions for you & your family

Session #1

Maximizing Your Child’s Financial Resources

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
6 pm – 8:30 pm
Snoqualmie Valley
School District – Board Room
8001 Silva Ave SE
Snoqualmie, WA 98065

Session #2

Exploring Housing Options: Shared Living

Thursday, May 18, 2017
6 pm – 8:30 pm
Issaquah Library Resource Center
960 Newport Way NW
Issaquah, WA 98027

Session #3

Exploring Housing Options:
Licensed Adult Family Homes

Thursday, June 1, 2017
6 pm – 8:30 pm
Preston Community Center
8625 310th Ave SE
Preston, WA 98050

Dinner provided for all. Social gathering with planned activities available for your son or daughter! Please RSVP as space is limited. To RSVP, text “Education17” to 41444 or email Becky Kitz at When you RSVP be sure to include which session or sessions you’re registering for and if your son or daughter will be joining you.

Are you ready for another year of Challenge Races?

We are! Join us for one race or two this summer!

These gravity car races allow those with mental and physical disabilities the experience of a thrilling soap box derby-type race while riding in a car piloted by a typically developing driver who is 10 years old or older. The co-driver is a racer with developmental disabilities (no taller than 5’2” and 130 pounds or less).

Two cars, propelled by gravity, race down the street to the finish line. Each car has brakes so that the driver can safely stop it. Each racer with developmental disabilities has the opportunity to race multiple times during each event.

Lunch and an awards ceremony full of smiles completes the day of fun. This FREE event is designed for the whole family, and every child is a winner!

To reserve your spot, please visit our Facebook event page or complete the Co-Driver registration form below

Issaquah/ Sammamish Race

– July 29th

Complete the co-driver registration form and return to or mail it to: Life Enrichment Options, PO Box 117, Issaquah, WA 98027

You will then e contacted with the race information details.

Co-Driver Registration Form

For questions contact:

It All Starts With Fun

The parents, who founded LEO, realized that their children needed an activity that they could enjoy, that put them in contact with typically developing youth and that was fun The Challenge Series race is an event that is fun for the challenged co-drivers. It is an event that puts them in the spotlight. The event is to be all about them. They are the “star of the show”

History of the Challenge Series Races

Thirty-Seven years ago, Leo Finnegan built a double wide wooden car in which children with Special Needs would race against the typical All American Junior Division Soap Box derby racers. For a few years, this happened at the end of each Soap Box Derby race. Then Finnegan got Puget Power to purchase 8 cars and for several years sponsor races through out their service area. When Puget no longer wanted to do this, they offered the cars & equipment to Leo Finnegan and Life Enrichment Options. Leo worked with Oak Harbor Rotary to restart the races they had with Puget Power. A few years later, Leo worked with the Issaquah Rotary to start the Challenge Series Races, followed by Sammamish races a few years later.

There are now six Rotary clubs in Oak Harbor, Issaquah, Sammamish, Spokane East, Snoqualmie, and Lynnwood hosting an annual Challenge Race. The typical race day starts early, with Leo Finnegan arriving by 6:30 a.m. towing a specially designed trailer holding eight brightly painted racing cars. One car looks like a police vehicle, another like a fire engine complete with red revolving light, while others are decorated by local businesses that help sponsor the races.

With Finnegan, LEO volunteers and the Rotary members set up the starting ramps and lay out the gently sloping downhill course. Hay bales are placed near curbs and the finish line is set. Local businesses have their ads placed along the course, just like the big-time auto races.
Drivers do a few test races, checking the steering and braking. Soon the local high school teams begin to show up. Cheerleaders line the course and wrestling or football team members volunteer to help at the finish lines. Often bands come to add music to the festivities.

As the children with developmental or physical disabilities (Co-Drivers) arrive, they are welcomed with bright shirts notifying everyone that they are a racer, and here to compete. Drivers are given a shirt with another color, so it is easy to make certain the youth behind the wheel has been trained in all aspects of steering and safety.

The race cars are positioned on the starting ramp, with Rotarians and community volunteers helping the children wearing the bright shirts into the cars and securing them. The race starters wave the checkered flag to start the races.

The race starters are generally well known people in the community. Members of the state senate and house, the mayor and council members are all honorary race starters.

Soon they are competing as two cars head down the course side-by-side racing each other to the finish line. Once they pass the waving green flag at the finish line, the volunteer students at the bottom congratulate the racers and get the cars turned around so they can be pulled back up the hill; the ATV’s are normally provided by a local business.

Once cars, drivers and riders are returned to the top of the hill past cheering family and community members, another two cars begin their race. During the course of the day, each co-driver will race with different drivers and all get numerous races. Due to the ingenuity of those responsible for releasing the cars, everyone is able to come in first at least one time.

The Rotary club also works with local restaurants to cater a lunch for all the participants, parents, volunteers and families. Following lunch is the Awards Ceremony where each co-driver has their name announced while coming forward to receive a trophy and a certificate with their name and photo. These are treasured reminders of a day full of fun and friendships.

This is part of a note from a thankful mother of a young girl.

Dear Challenge Series Race Staff:
A thank you note is in order here. Our child had the best time all day. The trophy was a hit. She simply won’t let go of it. It goes to every room with her. Thank you for what you have done for the community of people with children who have disabilities and for their families.

The drivers and co-drivers are now fully mingling and sharing stories of their races, as the Rotary members, LEO volunteers and Finnegan pack everything back up into the trailer, clean the course and take the moment to acknowledge that this Challenge Series Race is one of the most meaningful things they do during the entire year.

Cooperation from the municipal leaders and staff to give permits, close streets and assign police support, allows their staff and elected officials to begin to see the families with children with developmental disabilities and to acknowledge how many of these families live in their community.

In each of these communities where the races are long-time annual events, there are now young adults who met their first children with developmental disabilities when they were 10-year old drivers. They have grown up remembering those races and friendships and have learned from an early age that although there are differences between them, there is no reason to treat a child with developmental disabilities differently or to ignore them at school.

At the end of the day, everyone leaves a winner.

Please join us this 2017 race season.