Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

June 18, 2013

Easter Seals benefit Thursday

VALDOSTA — Easter Seals Southern Georgia will be hosting “Sweet Charity: Desserts for a Cause” Thursday at Mathis Auditorium. The event will be from 7 to 9 p.m. and will include several local restaurants serving dessert as well as a silent auction.

Tickets are $15 per person and can be purchased at the door.

Participating restaurants include: 306 North, Steel Magnolias, Southern Landing, Two Friends Cafe, The Cup and Cake Shop, The Main Squeeze, Coleman's Catering, and Ellianos (will be providing coffee).

The event was once known as the Chocolate Classic, but Easter Seals decided to change things up a bit and revamp the program. Board President Randy Hicks said he appreciate all of the hard work the board has done this year to bring this event together and to raise awareness of Easter Seals.

The mission of Easter Seals is to provide assistance to individuals who have developmental disabilities, autism, or who are medically fragile. Lowndes County has long been an active hub for the services provided by Easter Seals.  

In 2003, Easters Seals constructed the Options for Living apartments which provide independent living opportunities for young adults with disabilities. In 2010, Easter Seals opened the Tri Memorial Group Home which provides 24-hour care to medically fragile women in a well staffed community setting.  

In addition, Megan's House welcomed its first guests in 2011 and serves as a respite home which provides needed breaks for families caring for children with special needs. During 2012 alone, over 385 individuals with disabilities residing in the local area were touched by the services of Easter Seals.

The mission of Easter Seals is almost as inspiring as its history. In 1907, Ohio businessman Edgar Allen lost his son in a streetcar accident. The lack of adequate medical services available to save his son prompted Allen to sell his business and begin a fund-raising campaign to build a hospital in his hometown of Elyria, Ohio.  Through this new hospital, Allen was surprised to learn that children with disabilities were often hidden from public view. In 1919 Allen founded what became known as the National Society for Crippled Children, the first organization of its kind.

In the spring of 1934, the organization launched its first Easter "seals" campaign to raise money for its services.  To show their support, donors placed the seals on envelopes and letters. The lily - a symbol of spring - was officially incorporated as Easter Seals' logo in 1952 for its association with resurrection and new life, and has appeared on each seal since. The overwhelming public support for the Easter "seals" campaign triggered a nationwide expansion of the organization and a swell of grassroots efforts on behalf of people with disabilities.

By 1967, the Easter "seal" was so well recognized, the organization formally adopted the name "Easter Seals."  Currently, Easter Seals offers help, hope, and answers to more than a million children and adults living with disabilities or special needs each year across the nation through a network of more than 550 sites in the U.S.

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