Fun Factory Sets Days for Special Needs Kids

Piper and Gracie
Piper Hopkins (center) with Gracie and a friend at the Whiteville Fun Factory.

There’s a new kid in town, and the Whiteville Fun Factory is all about just that: kids.

Vinny and Lisa Trosterud are the owners of the new establishment responsible for bringing smiles and socialization to children locally after the pandemic and offers families the chance to spend time together without the distraction of technology. 

The idea for the business was a longtime dream for Lisa Trosterud’s mother-in-law, Rosemary. The family is originally from Florida, but moved to Columbus County six years ago. They first owned a construction company, but when the elder Trosterud passed away, it just made sense open the Whiteville Fun Factory in her memory.  

The family also wanted to help bring revenue back to the area and occupy one of the empty spaces in Whiteville.  

“It’s important to keep things in the community. We want to make something of this place, and help build up the town,” Lisa Trosterud said.  

There may not be any Wi-Fi available at the Fun Factory, but it definitely is a hotspot for children of all ages and capabilities. 

The Trosteruds have friends whose children have mental and physical challenges. The family wanted to give them a place where those hearts and minds can be catered to just like everyone else. The couple was adamant about setting aside time for these youngsters, and with some trial and error, it was decided that every first Saturday of each month, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., was ideal.  

“We feel that disabled children need to be treated with the same respect as other kids,” said Lisa Trosterud.   

The first event was held on a Sunday morning, and a little girl named Gracie was delighted with everything the Whiteville Fun Factory had in store. The wheelchair-bound young lady was so excited that she actually walked from one machine to the other.  

“I looked over at her nana, and she had tears streaming down her face,” said Trosterud. “She told me that it was the first time in 10 years that Gracie had walked on her own.” 

The day included games, crafts, and colorful macaroni necklaces. Employees like Piper Hopkins jumped right in to make Gracie feel right at home. 

The Whiteville Fun Factory has many activities available at the facility. Laser tag and Nerf gun wars are among some of the games that allow for parents to play with their kids and spend time with them.  

Trosterud says the main goal of the business is to “bring families together, and to pull them away from electronics.” She said it offers a glimpse of getting back to normal and gives children the opportunity to gain some social skills they missed out on during COVID while providing them a clean environment to play and interact together.  

Whiteville Fun Factory has bouncy houses, arcade games and prizes, a toddler zone, and drinks, snacks, and pizza. The facility caters to birthday parties, and can even have iconic cartoon characters show up to entertain the crowd. They are open Tuesday-Friday from 12-7 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m.- 9 p.m., and on Sundays from 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. The business is located at 42 Hill Plaza in Whiteville. For more information and pricing, visit the website at http://whitevillesfunfactory.com/.   

   

Cartoon characters and other special visitors are available for parties and events at the Fun Factory.
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