CONGRATS to this month's Spectrum Super Star!

Gina Connell

We are happy to recognize Gina Connell as our February 2015 Spectrum Super Star of the month!

Gina says, When asked why I do volunteer work for Spectrum, my first thought is always “how can I not help out in any way I am able?” My family has been blessed many times over by the help and support received from Spectrum and the strong, courageous parents who work tirelessly to keep Spectrum going strong.

My family moved here over 11 years ago and the move was very traumatic for all of us, especially my then 11 year old son, Kevin, who has PDD-NOS and is clearly on the Autism Spectrum. Kevin was at an age at which it becomes more difficult for our children on the autism spectrum to “fit in” with their typical peers. We found that there were very limited resources in the way of support of families who were struggling with autism related issues and there was no place that I felt Kevin could develop much needed friendships with peers. Thankfully, that is when I met another parent, Tiffany Fleming, who helped me connect with Spectrum and get Kevin involved with many of the Spectrum Camps and Clubs.

It may sound exaggerated to say that Spectrum saved my family, but that is truly what Spectrum did and why I am so thankful to all of the many people who keep Spectrum going. Spectrum not only helped link us to other parents dealing with similar issues and resources to help us, but also became the primary source of friendships for my son. Today, at 22 years old, Kevin has more friends and social relationships than most typical peers his age and is able to enjoy a large variety of social activities. I have had the privilege of watching both of our children blossom and mature over the years, much as a result of Spectrum. My 17 year old daughter worked last summer as a junior counselor at Spectrum Day Camp, is currently interning at The Swift School working with children with dyslexia, and aspires to get her college degree in Special Education. In short, Spectrum has irrevocably changed the course of our lives for the better and it is a joy to be able to help Spectrum in any way that we are able. Thank you to all of the Spectrum volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure that individuals with autism have the same opportunities available to them as their typical peers. “I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. God said ‘No, his spirit is whole.”

SPECTRUM SAYS, Thanks to Gina we are able to benefit from the Women's Club of Sugarloaf Charity proceeds which help fund our camps and clubs. Gina has also been gracious to arrange the Sugarloaf Country Club for our upcoming Spectrum Mom's Day Out: Just Breathe on 2/28.

Thank you Gina for your support of Spectrum!