On Wednesday January 28th my parents and I went to New York City for the National Down Syndrome Society Gala on the 29th. We decided to travel the day before because of a snowstorm. It was funny, just about the time we were touching down at JFK one of the flight attendants asked me if I was Lauren Potter, I guess because we have the same color hair. I told her no but that I would be meeting her tomorrow night at the Gala.
Earlier that morning my parents and I went to a Special Olympics Breakfast of Champions, my Mom was asked to speak and I greeted people, my Dad schmoozed. My Mom spoke and did a great job, I couldn’t be any prouder of her. We met a lot of people and took a lot of pictures. I took one with Congressman Katko’s Chief of Staff Tom and he told me the Congressman would be at Opening ceremonies.
When we got to New York City we just kicked back for awhile, did happy hour and ran into Rob Taishoff and one of his business associates at the bar. We talked to him for a bit and he told us some of the guests that were attending. He said the Congressman would be there, I was really looking forward to seeing him again. Unfortunately he couldn’t make it after all, so I looked forward to seeing him at State games. We walked up to see the view at the lounge on the top of the hotel and the view was amazing. When we went back later for a nightcap to see the view once more at night and it was breathtaking.
This morning me and my parents got up and walked New York City and headed for the Today Show. We were outside in the freezing cold weather. I got on TV a couple of times and then one of the hosts Tamron Hall came out and made a sweet comment about my fur coat. One of my friends Heather saw me, captured it and posted it on face book. Last I saw it had 1.2k views. That was way awesome.
I had a great time in the Big Apple just walking and hanging out with my parents. We walked for most of the day and stopped every once in awhile to get out of the cold and stay warm. We stopped for lunch and grabbed a taxi and came back to the hotel.
A friend of mine Monique, (Myss Monique), comes to do my hair and makeup for the Gala every year, she is a makeup artist in NYC and makes me look like WOW! I just love her. For the Gala I am wearing a knockout gold dress, so did my Mom have a beautiful dress. My Dad looked so handsome in his tux. At the Gala I met Lauren Potter from Glee, she was super nice, then met Tim Mattheson from Animal House, my Dad was really excited about meeting him and taking a picture with him. I also met Emily Pearl Kingsley from Sesame Street, she was very nice, and I gave her my business card. I passed out my business cards to some other people also. I may have more public speaking engagements coming up. We had fun at the Gala we sat with some really nice people, Heather and Sterling Waters, Chris Gedney, Seely and Chris’s sister and her husband. During the Gala there was dancing and I danced with Mark Priceman from NDSS. Afterward we went back to the hotel rooftop bar for drinks, many of the people from the Gala were there. We finally went back to our room about 1:00 am because we had to get to sleep considering the next day we had to leave the hotel early for an early flight into Washington DC then the flight into Syracuse. We were home by noon.
On Saturday January 31st I was asked along with some Special Olympics friends to go to Sam’s Club and autograph our pictures for donations. We raised over 400 hundred dollars. We signed from noon to three. I wore my USA clothes and wore medals that I won from Athens, Greece. I had a lot of fun.
Friday February 6th and Saturday February 7th were State games for Special Olympics here in Syracuse. Friday was dinner and opening ceremonies and it was awesome. I walked in with all of my friends and I saw Congressman John Katko and took some pictures with him, his wife Robin, and some of the volunteers. He was one of the speakers and he called me up to the stage by name, while he spoke. His speech consisted of stories of how we met and how I gave him my business card when he gave me his, while he was on the campaign trail. He talked about how he learns from my determination, that was very very special to me! It was one of those over the moon exciting moments. He told me to text him and tell him how we did in competition the next day.
We played a pairing game, lost, then played our first game and lost. Our second game we were pretty evenly matched. It was a great game. We have a huge crowd watching and they were saying it was the best game of the day to watch. Everybody was telling me how well I played, I tried my best! Our whole team played well, it was a great team effort and we took home the bronze, Woo Hoo!
I texted the Congressman and sent him a picture of me with my medal and our team picture. He said that I rocked and that he was going to put it on his Congressional face book page (and he did), After the game we went home and watched the SU basketball game and then went back for dinner, dance and the closing ceremony. The the winter games are officially over for 2015.
OMG OMG, I forgot to mention a really important thing. The night of the State of the Union, the Congressman called and left me a message that he would be there and to watch for him, he would be wearing a blue and orange tie and to text him when I saw him. At the end I saw him and the President leaned over and it looked like he pointed to his tie, so I text the Congressman and asked if the President just said something about his tie and he said YUP…I was texting a Congressman of the United States at the State of the Union next to the President of the United States, OMG how could I have forgotten that I was so excited!!!
Oh and one other thing, my Mom did a post on facebook for me with pictures of me wearing my Macy’s dresses and tagged Macys as part of the Changing the Face of Beauty campaign. Katy Driscoll is trying to get retailers to use people that are differently abled in their ads. It would be very cool if they called me because I wear so many Macy’s dresses in my speeches and everywhere else. Come on Macy’s or anyone else that wants to hire me to model their clothes