We had such a wonderful week that I thought I’d share some highlights.

FAAW mailing 2

One of the most important things we did for FAAW was to send FREE resources to every school district in the state of CT a week before FAAW.  I am so proud of this accomplishment!  We have already received thank you’s from school districts.  We know that providing information and resources saves lives!  In the above picture, Kari Panuccio (Family Events Coordinator), Erin Spaulding(Vice President and Parent & Youth Group Coordinator) and I are stuffing envelopes with resources including: morning announcements for FAAW, our “You could save a life…” posters, “The Food Allergy Handbook”, and our school resources list.

Proclamation FAAW 2013

For the second year in row, we were honored to receive the proclamation from Governor Dannel P. Malloy stating that May 12th-18th is Food Allergy Awareness Week in the state of Connecticut.

FAAW2013 Robin reading

We spent some time with our friends at See Us Grow and our Secretary,Robin Comey, read The Princess and the Peanut to a mesmerized group of toddlers and preschoolers.  As part of our partnership with the Branford Early Childhood Collaborative, we are donating books to 18 preschools in Branford, CT.

We closed our week in the most wonderful way with our 1st Annual Dance-a-thon at the gorgeous Owenego Beach and Tennis Club.  Our sponsors for the event were: RJ Julia, Go Picnic, The Owenego, and Camp Emerson.  A special thank you to Disc Jockey Mike Bollea for donating his services and helping to make this event such a success.

Sue Lein

We were very happy to have our sponsor, Sue Lein from Camp Emerson attend our event and share her philosophy of providing an overnight camping experience for all children that is safe and inclusive.

Awards

One of the best parts of my job is presenting our FAEN Hero Awards each year.  The recipeints’ stories inspire us to continue our work and everyone will tell you that I never get through an awards ceremony without shedding a few tears.

child advocate awards

We honored our FAEN Hero Award recipients among them our Child Advocate Award recipients, Caroline and Conor Spaulding (pictured here with their sister, Katie, mom, Erin and Dad, Mike).  Other FAEN Hero Award recipients included: Michael Pascucilla (East Shore District Health Department), Barbara Naclerio (East Shore District Health Department), Kate Lewantowicz  (HOME Restaurant), Melissa Thibeault (Boy Scout Leader), Paul and Toni Mennett (My parents and our largest donors), and Maddie Steinmen (Sister Award).

Kyle singing close-up

Our new friend, Kyle Dine and my old friend DJ Mike Bollea kept the party rocking as we celebrated our children and also proved that you don’t need FOOD to have LOTS of FUN!!

kids dancing with Kyle

Kyle had all the children singing “Food Allergies Rock!” and proudly declaring what they are allergic to.  It was an empowering event for our children and the absolute best way to end the week.  Thank you, Kyle, for the important messages you spread through your music.  (For anyone who hasn’t had the honor to meet Kyle yet, let me tell you, he is a seriously AWESOME guy!  His performance exceeded all expectations and we will be sure to have him back again next year!)

The most important part of hosting our Dance-a-thon was not the donations we received (which we are very thankful for)  but it was the opportunity to create an event that was safe and fun for everyone.  At one point in the night, I stood and watched the children jump and shout and sing and dance.  It was a true moment of joy for me.

A special thank you to everyone that helped make this week so special, particularly our FAAW chair Kirsten Hess and her family.  Thank you very much!!  We look forward to continuing our important work.

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