Meeting Santa is a Christmas tradition, but for some kids with autism it’s just not possible to brave the crowds and noise. That’s why the Dayton Mall opened early Sunday for a “Sensitive Santa” event.
Dozens of children and young adults with Down syndrome participate in an Ohio tennis program just for them — Buddy Up Tennis. The program pairs each young athlete with a volunteer buddy. The athletes play tennis for an hour and work on fitness for a half-hour each week. The program, which began at Columbus’ Wickertree Tennis and Fitness recently expanded to Columbus and The Club at Harper’s Point.
Organizers would like to see Buddy Up Tennis go national. Sounds like a good idea!
The recent “Power of Love” fundraiser for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center Brain Institute raised $27 million in 6 1/2 hours! The new Lou Ruvo Center in Las Vegas focuses on research on, early detection of, and treatment of neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s, ALS and Parkinson’s. The fundraiser included a performance by Barry Manilow, celebrity poker, and an auction for celebrity chef services. Read the Las Vegas Sun report, including a $4.5 million donation, below.
The money flowed like chilled Dom Perignon at the Bellagio on Saturday night, and once more the Keep Memory Alive “Power of Love” gala ignored economic realities elsewhere and continued to plow ahead with a blade dipped in gold.
Twenty-seven million dollars was raised during the 6 1/2-hour lovefest on the Strip. That’s the entire announced total, counting table and individual seat reservations (which ranged from $15,000 to $75,000 per table and $1,500 to $7,500 per seat), live and silent auction items and a handful of individual anonymous contributions that exceeded $1 million. The money raised goes toward the further development and operational costs for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, brainchild of Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada head and Las Vegas native Larry Ruvo.
Lily Lyons was reading books while still in her crib, but speech continues to mostly elude the 3 1/2-year-old Toledo girl.Although Lily didn’t speak a word before enrolling in Mercy Children’s Hospital’s intensive preschool for autistic children in April, she now talks some – and uses a specialized picture book to communicate with her family. Her twin brother, Luke, who also is autistic and attends the same preschool, has advanced from speaking a few words to talking in complete sentences.
Such progress helps show that intensive early intervention is critical for those with autism, a developmental disability that can affect communication and behavior in varying degrees.
Lily and Luke were diagnosed shortly after turning 2 and were enrolled in Mercy’s Clinic Home Intensive Program in hopes of improving their education.