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             Don’t cry because it’s over....Smile because it happened....

 

       We would like to begin by thanking all of the wonderful Jacob’s Gift Families for sharing the holidays with our families for over 25 years.

When we began this little party with only three guests, it was our goal to provide an enjoyable, adaptable environment for these special children to see Santa & enjoy a party tailored just for them. At the same time we strived to teach acceptance,understanding and a level of comfort through our volunteers.

   What an amazing gift we have all been given to be able to have witnessed the friendships, joy & love shared between all at this very special party over the years.We have been blessed with so many cherished memories and invaluable friendships. Nothing has made my heart smile like Jacob’s Gift!A sincere thank you to everyone that has helped to make this party such anamazing experience. This would not have been possible without all of the volunteers, sponsors & good people that have helped to make this happen year after year.

    It is with a heavy heart that we must say that Jacob’s Gift is shutting down. As lives and situations have changed, we will no longer be able to continue this event.We are so grateful that there is now an environment that provides manyother opportunities and events for these amazing kids. Our Board, as individuals, will continue to participate in local special needs events, so we hope to continue to see you all throughout the year in the community. How lucky are we to have something that makes saying good bye so hard.

   

Jacob’s Gift will Forever be in our Hearts,

Lisa L. Cordero, Rig Cordero

Janette Lesovsky, Dee Elliot, Shane Lesovsky

Laura Cholodenko, Tony Brewer, Ben Cholodenko

Michiyo Brewer, Kristin Christensen,

Steve Christensen

About Jacob

   It all happened because two people fell in love....Jacob was born July 2, 1992.  From the very beginning we knew that Jacob was special with his never ending smile and deep dark brown eyes that just sparkled.  But just behind that sparkle he seemed to be a little distant.  He would look as if he was "somewhere else".  Those of us with special needs children/teens/adults understand that "somewhere else" look.  
   

  Jacob was diagnosed with Autism, severe ADHD by the age of 18 months.  When the holidays came (Easter, Christmas) the stimulation was just too much for Jacob.  He loved the holiday itself but not the over stimulation of being in a crowd at the mall.  We all know that the biggest frustration for special needs families is the want for your child to experience the treat of seeing the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, having a picture taken, etc.  We found that it always ended up an emotional disaster because the wait was so long, there was too much noise, too much stimulation and the inevitable "overload occurred".  We'd have to leave exhausted and frustrated.  

 

  1995 was the beginning of what is now Jacob's Gift.  Jacob's Aunt Lisa and his Grandmother formed a "Special Needs Christmas Party" beginning with only three children.  The simple seed that blossomed into now what is know as Jacob’s Gift.  Over the years Jacob was involved in the fundraising for the parties.  He has meet with Rotary Club members and the EMWD Retirees Association, speaking on behalf of all special needs children who needed a safe, welcoming place to visit with Santa.  Every year Jacob looked forward to his special party and seeing all of his "peeps" as he would call them.  

   

  In 2004 Jacob and his family moved to Bloomington, Indiana to find a more suitable treatment plan for Jacob's autism.  Jacob is now 24 years old and a resident at Damar Services, an Academy that works to meet the needs of special needs clients and provide the most innovative and empirical treatment methods so that eventually Jacob will be living in the community.  

   

  Jacob wishes you all a wonderful Holiday Season and is thankful that you all have kept his very Special Gift alive.

                                                                                                              Love,

                                                                                                              Marylou Raby

Jacob helping us celebrate our 20 year anniversary in 2015