My birthday wish this year..

I always feel blessed. Always. There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t thank the Lord for all of my blessings. On my birthday, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world for a loving family and wonderful friends. This year I started a Autism Speaks U chapter at my university. One thing we always need is funding, so I decided to donate all birthday money to Autism Speaks U. I also asked friends and sponsors to chip.

I am so happy to say I was able to donate $500 to Autism Speaks U. This money will go towards distribution materials to help raise awareness through education. I couldn’t be more happy or thrilled. A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who contributed on this last minute endeavor. I had a wonderful day!

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Dedicating my thesis to Autism Awareness Internationally

I am in the final stretch of the Master’s program at Wilmington University and it has been at this wonderful school that I have formed lasting relationships with students, faculty and my professors. I am now working on my final thesis, which I have dedicated to Autism Awareness. I am excited to devote the next few months to a deep study of Autism and it’s correlation with other countries. I promise to share my knowledge, not only with my classmates and professor, but with all of you as well. In my class a fellow student asked me what Autism was and why I choose this, after explaining, she said ‘wow. you care, you really care..’ It felt so good to see that just by talking about my work with Autism to her, she could sense my passion for change.

As you all know, this is not only my platform or my work, it is my life. I will continue to advocate and raise awareness wherever I go. I can say with confidence that I couldn’t have chosen a better fit for my education and although I am sad to see it ending, I am looking forward to starting my doctorate and seeing what the future has in store for me. When I was a young girl, my grandfather told me I could be anything I want to be, but he wouldn’t mind if I chose to change the world. Perhaps, I will.

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Let’s take it back now! Mom Prom- 50’s Style.

Everyone knows of the Real Housewives, of Orange County or Beverly Hills, but what about the Real Charitable Housewives?! They are the ones we should all be watching and paying close attention to.  They are the women that work hard to make Delaware a brighter place! Learn more about their endeavors here: https://www.facebook.com/Realcharitablehousewivesofdelaware?fref=ts

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I had the privilege of not only attending the benefit with my lovely sister queens, but also crowning the prom queen! The 50’s themed Mom Prom was held to benefit the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation where a young boy named Dane was honored as this years hero!

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I had so much fun dancing and chatting with everyone and loved sharing the evening with fellow queens. We had a blast and helped fight childhood cancer!

Did I mention there was also a candy bar?!

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Autism Delaware Walk for Autism: Because the 1 in 88 can’t wait.

It was the night before the Walk for Autism and at Crystal’s house there were neon green shirts all over the floor 😉

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This year I decided to hand make all of the shirts for my teammates and on day 2 I was a little worried about how they were looking, then I remembered it wasn’t about how they looked, it was about the love that goes into making them. (I think they turned out fabulous, but it could just be that I had fabulous people wearing them!)

And after making all the shirts, I had only one battle scar..

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What is the Walk for Autism?

“The Walk is Autism Delaware’s largest community fundraiser, drawing over 2,000 people over two days of events in support of people and families affected by autism and raising the money to show it!”

The 2013 goal is to raise $200,000 to support the many ways we serve the community such as:

  • Employment and vocational training for adults with autism
  • Clinical evaluations
  • Parent mentoring and support groups
  • Social and recreational events to reduce family isolation
  • Family and professional education
  • Public awareness of autism and its impact

Please visit http://www.delautism.org for more information.

My heart truly flutters when I think about the amazing people behind the scenes of every Autism Delaware event. They work hard and expect no recognition. They are just wonderful, strong and big-hearted people! This year’s Walk for Autism was nothing short of spectacular. The lines were long and the morale was high!

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My team was named “Skye-Scrapers” in honor of my niece, Skye. I asked each person on my team to raise what they could with a minimum of $30. I am PROUD to say we raised over $800 alone! I can’t wait to come back next year and beat this year’s fundraising efforts! 🙂

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If you have any questions about the Walk for Autism or Autism in general, please contact me!

Take me out to the ball game..

Everyone knows I LOVE baseball. That is no secret. So when the opportunity arose to throw the first pitch at the Blue Rock’s game, I was thrilled. The pitch was on a Friday and it wasn’t until that Wednesday that it started to sink in, I wasn’t just attending the game..I was throwing the first pitch in front of hundreds of people.

The day of the event I was hyper-ventilating (just a little) and googling “worst first pitches.” I thought maybe I would get lucky and make it to home plate. I mean how far away is the pitcher’s mound to home? (60 feet 6 inches).

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Fast forward to sitting in the stadium, waiting for them to walk me out onto the field: My heart was beating fast and I was focusing on what I had learned. Form, focus and throw over hand! I pitched and the crowd went “awwww” because my pitch made it about half way and then bounced twice until it finally reached the catcher. Let’s just say the Blue Rock’s won’t be recruiting me anytime soon.

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After the pitch, I found my way onto the concourse to meet fans and sign autographs. Now that is something I’m good at 🙂 Luckily, everyone was supportive even though they realized I don’t have a pitching talent.

Meeting all of the kids was so much fun and I loved sharing my story with everyone. A few of the boys asked me to sign their ball caps. What an honor!!

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One of favorite moments from the evening was when a little league player told me my pitch was “so-so” but assured me I could work on it.

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Newark American Little League and Newark High School’s Clothing Closet

On Saturday, Delaware proved that you can have fun and give back to the community all within a 5 mile radius. 

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I started my morning bright and early with Newark American Little League on Opening Day. Now for those of you who personally know me, you know I am a huge baseball fan. I am also a huge fan of today’s youth. So let’s just say this was a “home run” event for me.

Disclaimer: I never said I was funny, but I do try to be 😉

I would like to give a big Thank You to Dave Milsom for the invitation to attend and for also recognizing me on the field! Here is a photo of myself with him and his very lovely wife.

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I spent a few hours at the field meeting the players, coaches, managers, children and even the mayor! I was escorted onto the field by Garry Wright, Jr., a former Newark American Little League player for the Orioles team. He holds a record for 17 home runs.

The mayor, Vance Funk III, surprised everyone by showing his support after a recent passing in his family. Everyone could tell he is dedicated to his community, which is undoubtedly why he is an excellent leader. I was truly honored to be in his presence.

Here is a photo of Mayor Vance Funk III and I at Opening Day.

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In the afternoon I was off to the Newark High School Clothing Closet where I spent the afternoon with other title holders and the women and men who worked hard to collect clothing for those in the area that could stop by and pick up anything they needed free of cost. Let’s just say I had the perfect Saturday!

This reminds me, in just a few weeks I will be doing my third clothing drive of the year! This time benefiting Mental Health facilities in Delaware. Please keep this in mind when spring cleaning.

 

Until next time,

XO- Crystal

 

The Gatsby Gala

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When I thought about the theme for the Alzheimer Gala, I thought ‘how appropriate.’ Here is a chance to go back in time for the night and isn’t that what anyone who has a loved one with Alzheimer’s would like the chance to do? Go back in time to before it became so difficult? And so, that is exactly what we all did on Saturday night in downtown Philadelphia.

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The board, staff and volunteers did such an amazing job painting the venue purple and making the environment inviting and exciting. Kristen Czenszak, the Junior Committee Chair, was such a gracious (and well dressed!) host. She went out of her way to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves. I met several board members throughout the evening who all had a passion for finding a cure because they had a personal connection. Which reminded me that although it is fun to celebrate raising funds and awareness, I also have a very personal connection that isn’t so fun.

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My grandfather, “pappy,” as all of the grandchildren and great grandchildren called him, suffered from Alzheimer’s. It was one of the hardest and most difficult diseases to watch someone you love go through. No matter how difficult it got, I remember admiring the strength my grandma showed. Staying positive and dedicating her time and love to constantly remind my pappy of the many things he couldn’t remember. Watching him struggle for those last few years was extremely difficult. I will forever keep my pappy in my memory as the strong, funny and very loving grandfather any girl could have asked for.

I also met Stephen Iacobucci who is a strong supporter. He supports in memory of his grandfather. You can read his story here:

http://www.teamtonyi.org

Visit the Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter’s Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/alzdvjc?fref=ts