A HUGE thanks to everyone who has contributed to helping Joe build a new playground! The response has been incredible – we hope to see many of you at the 5K on June 22 so we can thank you personally. We’ll be celebrating Joe’s 5th birthday right after the race. Let us know you’re coming so we can save you some cake!
Here are some ways to join Team Joe:
1. Sponsor Joe! He’ll be rolling the 5K courtesy of Dada.
2. Sponsor the race itself!
3. Run with Joe! Register online or by mail. Extra cake if you beat him.
Joe is turning 5 soon! To celebrate, and to help raise money for a new community playground, we’re inviting you to join Team Joe for a 5K run/walk on June 22.
After the disappointment of seeing our neighborhood playground fall to pieces, we are focusing our efforts on raising the funds to rebuild it. A new playground would not only replace the structure that local kids had been enjoying, it would also meet current ADA standards to make it more fun for kids like Joe. (When this one’s done, we’ll start setting our sights on a truly accessible — not just ADA-compliant — playground somewhere else in the city. Baby steps!)
The city’s Parks & Rec staff have organized a 5K fundraiser to help pay for the equipment. To support that effort, we are establishing a “Team Joe” so that friends and family can join in!
Here are some ways to join Team Joe:
1. Sponsor Joe! He will be running the race in his usual style — kicked back in a stroller while Dada does the pushing. A donation in any amount will let him present a check to be proud of!
2. Sponsor the race itself! If you own a business and would like to advertise your support of the effort, sponsoring the race can get your name on T-shirts and other race materials.
3. Run with Joe! Complete your own registration (online or with the printed form) and come join us for the run on June 22. If you let us know you’re coming, Joe will share his birthday cake with you when it’s over!
Yesterday Joe went to the Fort Clifton Festival in Colonial Heights, Va., and filed this report.
From the weekend: devil son, punk wife.
We had a little vacation in Wilmington, N.C., where we took a Segway tour and I ran into a high school classmate.
Lia looking sparkling as always. The Battleship North Carolina is in the background.
Our soggy Segway group. Rolling in the rain like bosses.
My Avoca friend Lauren posted on Facebook that she’d be in Wilmington over the weekend and I messaged her “me too.” I walked into her on the street only an hour or so after arriving.
The view from our hotel – the mighty Battleship North Carolina, the most decorated ship of World War II.
The weather has been terrific here lately. We got in some walking practice after dinner.
A public park, paid for by the public, is left unmaintained by the government for nearly 20 years, decaying to the point that an insurance company has to force it closed. In a bizarre move, it gets partially torn down and left with shattered plastic and craters in the ground. Then, when the public asks in a reasonable manner for it to be fixed, they’re told to take a hike.
Welcome to Flora Hill Park playground, Colonial Heights, Va.
The Colonial Heights city council yesterday said a park that looks like this is OK with them, voting unanimously for a 2013-14 budget that doesn’t include a dime to fix it. Joe’s mom and others went to the public comment session before the vote to explain why this isn’t acceptable, but the vote took place as planned and with a predetermined outcome – the public comment was just for show.
So we now have a playground that is about as safe as a construction site but less attractive, since it carries no promise of something new.
We’ll do our part to raise some money, on top of paying taxes, but I hope public funds are found to pay for this public park that is now a very public disgrace.
Apologies for a less-than-positive post, but it affects Joe.
Lots of photos here at a Flickr set.
Lia shot a quick video the other day that was begging for the Benny Hill treatment.
In the first (maybe only?) entry in our On Location series, Joe visits the historic Battersea home in Petersburg for the annual Revolutionary War reenactment.
Don’t forget, all our videos are on our YouTube channel.
If you live in Virginia and have a child with a developmental disability, read on. (If not, we’ll return to our regularly scheduled Joe stuff in the next post!)
Next month, I’ll graduate from a program called Partners in Policymaking, which is sponsored by the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities. From September to May, it involves spending two days each month learning from national experts on a variety of topics. I’ve learned so much about things to do for Joe, and ways to help other families get what they need for their own kids.
Here are some of the topics covered:
History of Disability Movements
Personal Futures Planning
Building Inclusive Communities
Communication & Team Building
Legislative Process and Strategies
The class is made entirely of two groups: 1) parents of children with developmental disabilities, and 2) adults with developmental disabilities of their own. It’s been especially nice getting to know the latter group, because it gives me a glimpse of what life might be like for Joe when he’s an adult — and it looks pretty good!
Each monthly session includes an overnight hotel stay where you bond with your classmates, eat amazing food and sometimes stay up too late.
And it’s FREE.
They are recruiting for their 2013-2014 class, and the deadline to apply is April 30. So get to it!
Here I am polishing my public-speaking skills at the state capitol, a field trip taken with my fellow Partners in Policymaking.