Guess what I think is so cool, being on somebody else’s blog. I mentioned Kelle Hampton in a previous blog, well she is a blogger and I was checking out her blog and I saw pretty cool pictures of me at the gala dancing in my blue dress. Kelle has a son and a daughter and she brought her son with her and some of the other pictures I was with him. Then I was in a group picture with some friends that was also on the blog. Her tag line is Enjoying the Small Things. Kelle took a selfie of her, me and another friend Carrie Bergeron and texted it to Pam who used to work for the NDSS. She said that she misses us and wished that she was with us. How awesome is that!
This afternoon, I went up to Syracuse University to share my personal story with students with all different majors. We talked about Self Advocates and the history of Self Advocates and the reason why we were there. There were at least 6 of us on the panel and most of us had personal stories, the others talked more about self advocacy and what it means to us.
Today is the actual day for Spread the word to end the “R” word. All us touched and talked about that as well. My Mom and my Dad were there and also Julie and Ernie, my Godmothers who are also part of my circle of support. It was awesome to have them there.
It was good to be able to educate others about what self advocates we are and what we stand for. I thought this was pretty cool, someone in the audience was hard of hearing and had sign language interpreters. I was also signing to him myself, so he looked at me and I thought how cool is this!
Me and Kelle
Friday night before the Gala was a pre party to meet Kelle Hampton, an author who wrote the book Bloom about her experience through the birth of her daughter with Down Syndrome. She was the Keynote speaker for the gala. The pre-party was at the Playhouse so we got to meet her then. She said I am a hugger and she hugged me and we became friends. I even gave her one of my business cards. I also got to help her out that night, I took some pictures for her, watched over her son Dash and made sure she had anything she needed. March 1st, yesterday, was Gigi’s Playhouse’s I Have A Voice Gala. It was at the Doubletree Hotel. Friday I got my nails done and my toes a polish change. Saturday was the day to get my hair and makeup done. My Mom got hers done as well as my boss Debi and her boss Ally. We all went to the other place I work, Paparazzi Salon and Day Spa. After me and my Mom were done we came home and finished getting ready into our beautiful dressses and jewels. The gala started out with cocktails at 6, then dinner and the program. The program consisted of three self advocates speaking, Kelle speaking, live and silent auctions and dancing. My Dad helped with the live auction. I spoke the first year of the Gala. I did a lot of mingling.They had raffle tickets and I bought some but didn’t win, oh well. They did this dancing game called Heads and Tails and the prize was an ipad mini. That was fun but there was only one winner and it wasn’t me, fortunately I already have an iPad. The band was Mere Mortals and they were so awesome. Our friend Dave Allyn is in it, we see Dave and Amy at the NDSS Gala. I met tons of people. I met Kelle’s mom and she is nice and I danced with her mom’s husband, that was cool. I met Senator DeFransico, I talked to him for a little while, he is a personable guy. I took a picture with him and he told my Mom that I was lobbying him because I asked him to help with the ABLE act. He said that he would try to do what he can. He is a New York Senator but if he can help, I thought how awesome would that be. I danced a lot last night. By the end my feet were hurting but not bad. I was also tired. But the night was well worth it. When Kelle Hampton spoke she put me in her speech I thought wow, how cool is this. Ally Donofrio spoke about the volunteers, and the gala comittee and they stood up. She also mentioned the employees so Debi and I stood up. I had an awesome night. I had fun. We also watched a local video of our playhouse and the national video of Chicago’s playhouse. Me, my Mom and Dad danced. I wore a royal blue dress, my Mom was in a navy blue dress and she was beautiful, my Dad wore an awesome tuxedo and he was handsome.
Today was an early start for floor hockey competition. I had to wake up at 6 am. We had to be at the Oncenter by 7:30 for pairing games at 8:30. We lost that game and we played the Broncos. Then it was hurry up and wait and we waited for 2 hours. We played two games and lost but we came in third and got the bronze medal. We had fun, tonight there is closing ceremonies, a dinner and a dance. It was pretty cool, Aunt Melanie, Uncle Stephen and Aunt Julie came to cheer me on. Chris Gedney was there and Kathy brought Ellianne to watch and cheer me on also. I plan on watching a big SU game playing Duke on a big screen tv that they will have on there. So SU lets beat Duke again!
I took a Le Moyne test earlier this week on Tuesday and I was a little nervous, but I felt a little bit better after the test. Talk about being relieved right. Today I got the results of my test, it was a multiple choice and I passed my first Le Moyne test. I am very happy and I am proud of myself for doing a good job.
The upcoming Special Olympics is here in Syracuse this coming weekend. We have dinner and then the opening ceremonies on Friday. The ceremony lasts about an hour and a half and all of us athletes and coaches all walk in and high fives all around. It helps get us pumped for the games the following day. Our friends and family are in the stands cheering us on. Saturday will be an early day. All of us have to be there by 7:30 for an 8:30 qualifying game. We plan on trying our best. Then we start playing our games for medals at 10:00. I am a Floor Hockey goalie, I love to smack talk when I’m playing. We do a lot of waiting in between games, that is Special Olympics for you. We will be there all day. Saturday night is closing ceremonies and a dance. Of course there is a Syracuse game and I love to dance but I really want to watch SU play. Uh Oh! If you are in Syracuse this weekend come and watch us, we love our fans!
Today I had a Psychology test, my first Le Moyne one. The test had 34 questions, multiple questions. Three bonus questions. I think I got two out three of them right. I went to the DSS Disability Service Support office and took it. It took me 45 minutes to take. I took my time and tried my best and my hardest. I think I did okay but I don’t want to pat my back too soon. I hope I find out this Thursday then I will post my first Le Moyne test grade here.
The ABLE act is for people that are differently abled. If it gets passed it would let us keep money in our accounts and it would not effect us getting our Social Security and therefore not live below the poverty level. On facebook there is a link to change.org to sign a petition to help get this act passed, we started out trying to get 2,000 signatures and now there is over 220 thousand signatures to pass the ABLE act. To everyone who already signed for the act thank you very much for all of your support. If you haven’t signed yet, please do. It is greatly appreciated.
On Friday night me and my Mom and Dad went to Pensabene’s Casa Grande to decorate for our Valentine Down Syndrome dance. It took us a couple of hours.. The next day Saturday, I went to work and my Dad picked me up and went over to finish decorating, we did not have much to do we had already done most of it on Friday night. When we got there on Saturday all we had to do was blow up balloons and set up the craft table, the dress up options and the front to sign in. We went home for a little while to do kick back until we had to get ready and head back. It was a dinner and a dance, the little kids are fun to watch, they love to dance. The dinner was very good. We had a awesome DJ he played great dancing music. I danced with the owners of the place Jeff and his brother Terry, I did a Father Daughter dance. My parents did a wonderful job with the dance. I had a great time. Our DJ was Skip Clark but he couldn’t make it due to a wedding. I gave a short presentation and presented a plaque to him, we gave it to hiswife who took it in honor of Skip. I had a blast!
I have been taking a Psychology class and so far I am really enjoying it. I think I have been doing a good job. In less than 2 weeks I have my first test and I am a little nervous but I will try my best like I always do. I will keep all of you updated.