Friends of G Foundation Fills Disney Wish for STAR Participant
The Magic of Disney unexpectedly came true for one STAR participant, Norwalk resident Angie Daniels. Just moments before her holiday break Angie was granted her lifelong wish by the Friends of G Foundation based in Glastonbury, CT. Santa shared the news at STAR that Angie would be going on a ten-day cruise to the Bahamas with a visit to Disney World in December 2018. Likewise, Angie’s friend at STAR and Norwalk resident, Trish Elmore, was surprised by the news that she would be attending a week at Camp Horizons in upstate Connecticut. Coordinated through the Arc of CT, the main advocacy group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in the state, Friends of G announced their special grant awards to affect the lives of a dozen of their neighbors with disabilities throughout the state.
Friends of G is a non-profit foundation established in 2016 by Dan and Kate Okun and Kate’s mother, Lynn Damon. They were inspired by their daughter Gianna “G” who was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at age two and more recently with the rare Rett Syndrome, as well as by Lynn’s late sister, Janie, who had Down’s syndrome. The foundation brings awareness to the community and empowers people with disabilities to live full lives. Their “Mission is to provide financial assistance to individual(s) with housing and day programs, to be a part of our community.” For more information, to make a donation, or to find out how to get involved with Friends of G, please visit www.friendsofg.org
The Arc of CT was founded on similar pillars. It began with parents of children with developmental disabilities who, like every parent, wanted more for their children--opportunities to lead fulfilling lives with community inclusion. The Arc CT is part of the oldest and largest charity federation in the nation that is dedicated to promoting and protecting the civil rights of people with I/DD and actively supporting their inclusion and participation in their communities.
STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way is a not–for-profit organization established in 1952 to serve individuals of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as providing support services to their families. STAR creates opportunities for individuals to live full lives with independence, freedom of choice and personal growth by providing support, services and advocacy. STAR’s customized employment program for people with I/DD leads the state in job placements and hours worked. Likewise, STAR’s birth to three program continues to exceed state and local average results with 100% of the children reducing the gap, and 93% caught up in developmental milestones. Headquartered in Norwalk and with new offices at 15 Cross Street, Norwalk and 111 Elm Street, New Canaan, STAR annually serves over 600 individuals from birth through their senior years in Fairfield County. They aim to inform and encourage the community to recognize and appreciate the value of all individuals.
For more information about STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way, or to volunteer or donate, visit www.starct.org