Friday, May 15, 2009

Candle Lighting Ceremony for Autism Awareness Month

On April 22, 2009 I had the privilege of coming together with other parents and grandparents for a candle lighting ceremony commemorating Autism Awareness Month. NAA New York Metro Chapter sponsored this event to honor the children affected by autism spectrum disorders. Even though it was a cool and rainy evening, there was a great warmth of spirit at our gathering. We were fortunate enough to have the assistance of Council Member Daniel Garodnick and his staff in securing the steps of City Hall in New York City as the venue for our ceremony -- what a beautiful and awe-inspiring spot!

I, along with several other parents -- John Gilmore, Susan Raitt, Louis Conte, Mary Coyle and Mary Holland -- and Khalid Rehman, a grandparent and Chair of the chapter's Advocacy Committee, spoke from our hearts about our personal struggles and triumphs as well as the issues facing those in the autism community and what we can do to help. Parent and NAA Parent Mentoring Committee Chair and Advocacy Committee member Dara Berger led off the event as master of ceremonies with her personal journey and kept everything moving all evening long. Council Member David Weprin joined us and spoke to the group. Thank you Mr. Weprin for taking the time to share in this special event! To close the event, we lit five candles -- one each to honor children, families, medical, therapeutic and educational service providers, and autism organizations and then a fifth candle, representing Unity. Special thanks to all our candle lighters -- especially Jonathan Gardella, who lit our children’s candle. And most of all, thank you to everyone who showed up to join together to honor our very special children! --Kim Mack Rosenberg

related posts:
Candlelight Speech by Dara Berger
Candlelight Speech by Kim Mack Rosenberg
Candlelight Speech by Susan Raitt
Candlelight Speech by Khalid Rehman

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This should be done again. I would love that. So we can be a part. Beautiful idea. GBE