Tuesday, March 27, 2012

United Cerebral Palsy 2012 Attitude Dinner- teaches that a positive attitude means everything!

Logo for the Annual Attitude Dinner.  Love it!

For the last two years since working for the Arc of Indiana as the host of  "A View from My Window", I have had the pleasure of knowing the two rockstar ladies of the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Indiana.  First, the amazing Executive Director Donna Roberts whom I interviewed on my show about what UCPAGI does, and second, Brandi Linn,  the incredible Development Director for the organization.  These two ladies are the driving force behind the organization that looks at people with disabilities and focuses on what they are ABLE to do!

They are cheerleaders beyond compare for people with disabilities - and not because that's what it says to do in their job descriptions, but because they both have a genuine heartfelt desire to see others succeed.  They are a team that helps reach that persons' ultimate goal: NOT to be defined by cerebral palsy!  In fact, every member of the UCPAGI team which forms the Board of Directors and Development Committee, have the same goal.

I look forward to the Attitude Dinner every year.  This night beautifully showcases every conceivable ability that people with disabilities possess and then giving them utter joy by recognizing the courage, effort and lessons they teach all people about how a persons' attitude, a positive attitude, can help them achieve goals and do what others may see as impossible!!  The Awards Ceremony is the best part,  LOTS of happy faces!! :)

I received the 2012 Character Award!
If that is not incredible enough, another feature of the dinner is the always anticipated essay contest, where elementary and middle school students in grades 3-8 share their refreshing perspectives on who people with disabilities really are.  These young writers have been able to look beyond the disabilities of others, based on their own experiences.  It always warms my heart to read the insightful, thought-provoking writings of these students!  If I was in school as a child now, I would be so grateful to have any one of these students in my class!  Thank you to the teachers and parents for teaching these bright young stars to look beyond what's different on the outside and see that it's what's on the inside that counts!

It was such an honor to receive the 2012 W. Thomas Schemmel Character Award as host of  "A View from My Window".  What a wonderful night!  The excitement was just like I was getting a Grammy!! Thank you so much!!

One aspect this year was different than years past.  Brandi Linn faced a serious health crisis when it was found that she had developed two brain aneurisms and was leaking spinal fluid.  After having brain surgery, her comeback was remarkable.  As Colin Vaughan described the account of her recovery in detail, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.  We are so happy to have our Brandi Linn back on her feet and healthy again!

With one Attitude Dinner in the books for this year, next year is another chance to be inspired by people helping people. What is the primary motivation for helping others? Attitude, Attitude, ATTITUDE is everything!

Michelle Fischer is host of A View from my Window,  an internet podcast produced by the Arc of Indiana

I wouldn't be the anchor I am without the wonderful staff of  the Arc of Indiana!

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