Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Grace Foundation's 1st Annual Carnival
The Grace Foundation of New York, which stands for "Getting Resources for Autistic Children's Equality," "is committed to support, educate and enhance the quality of life for children/adults and their families living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)." Amy's son Luke was diagnosed with Autism, which is why she is so involved in the organization and its mission.
It was a beautiful day at Nansen Park. My mom and I entered and found Amy, who told us to just walk around and have some fun. Who could ask for a better appearance? Of course, we began with the basket raffles because who doesn't like a few good prizes? It was there that we met Meghan, who right away knew who I was, and what events I had attended! She had found me on "Google Images," she said. I had a fan! Meghan also told us she is 15 years and 7 months old, and after we took a picture together I promised her that she would find herself on "Google Images," too : ]
We then continue further into the park. There were rides and games set up, which were each sponsored by a company or family. From twister to bouncy houses, they really had everything! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to play a few games (like the dunk tank) and try the rock climbing wall. Just a little tip: rock climbing isn't so easy with a crown on. Mine didn't quite make it...
I had the chance to speak with many of the guests and I got a wonderful surprise. I was walking past a man when he called me over. "You know, I used to buy those crowns for the girls," he said. I couldn't believe it -- it was the Honorable Ralph J. Lamberti, our Former Borough President. After talking to him for quite a while, a meeting his wife, he asked me, "Are you Italian?" He then invited me and my mom to the Wagner College DaVinci Society's Annual Scholarship Dinner for that Thursday night (September 20th) as his guests. That blog will be coming shortly as well ; ] Mr. Lamberti left me with some final words, "Not only are you beautiful, you have a wonderful personality - you're so sweet." I was so incredibly honored not only to have met him, but to have received such kinds words from a man of his achievements.
I met other great people, as well, like Julie Weinstein-Gottesman. She runs theater and dance classes for children with Autism on Staten Island. What an amazing woman and so full of energy! Her zest for life and desire to help others really inspired me.
It was a really amazing day filled with wonderful people. I am so grateful for the opportunities that came my way and glad to have been a part of the 1st annual carnival. Currently, there are over one million people in the United States with Autism and the rate of newly diagnosed children is 1 in 110. I know that the Grace Foundation of New York can help change this after seeing all of the support they have. COngratulations on an awesome fundraising event and thank you for allowing me to attend!