• Diane Mack: Lots of activities coming up

  • Good Morning readers! There are some significant things happening over the next few weeks.

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  • Good Morning readers! There are some significant things happening over the next few weeks.
    First, I will be celebrating 11 years of writing Family Matters, on Nov. 11. My anniversary is a celebration in many ways.
    It seems like yesterday when Editor Dale phoned to say, “Hey Diane, how are you . . .”
    This has been an honor, and one of enjoyment for me. However, I have more important news to pass along.
    This coming April, of 2013, we will be celebrating 15 years of Jackson County Family Week.
    I am very proud to announce that we are the longest running family project in the nation, and we have big plans for 2013. That’s not too bad for a children’s PTA project grown into a countywide event.
    Information about our plans will be announced after the holidays on Jan. 1, 2013.
    However, we have two exciting events over the next two weeks. Both came as a result of Jackson County Family Week.
    The first event is Company of Champions’ Bingo Night on Nov. 7. The second event is the Grand Opening of the Family Disability Resource Center of Jackson County on Thursday, Nov. 15.
    May I review with you, how one very special group of families came together?
    During the first 10 years of Family Week, we discovered a very humble dedicated population; families who care for a family member with disabilities. Whether the disability was developmental, due to brain injury or as a result of aging, these individuals had intense needs and inadequate resources and supports.
    The need was obvious. A branch of Jackson County Family Week was created and titled “Company of Champions.” Annual bingo nights, movie events, and Royals’ activities bless the lives of thousands with disabilities, thereby, filling needs, providing resources, and lifting loads with service, friendship, and support.
    Yes, four times a year, we hold a support group. Twice a year, we host a Bingo Night with thousands of prizes. This wonderful evening is so uplifting, it inspires me.
    No one has ever seen a Bingo Night like this one. The fun we have, oh my . . . while filling the wants and needs of a very special population.
    In addition, we hold a special needs’ drawing for the individual and give away new bedding sets, new clothing, DVD players, huge boxes of cereal, socks, and shoes.
    Likewise, we will have more than 3,000 prizes fo bingo. The fun part of the night is, well, sort of . . . some of our bingo players yell "bingo!" very time a number is called.
    Yes, that is my daughter Kelsey. She may not understand the game, or the numbers and letters, or where to put the bingo chips. However, she knows when she yells "bingo!" she gets a great prize.
    Page 2 of 2 - She is the smartest one in our family.
    Well, I am about to run out of column space, so I will hit the high points.
    On Wednesday, Nov. 7, one week way, we will hold Bingo Night from 6:30 pm to 8 p.m. at Blue Springs High School commons.
    There is no cost, but each family or home must have a person with disabilities living with them, and in attendance, for Bingo Night. The drawings are solely for our special people. All attendees can play bingo for prizes.
    On Thursday, Nov. 15 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., we will be holding an open house for the Family Disability Resource Center of Jackson County and Company of Champions (of Jackson County Family Week). During the open house, we will have hourly drawings for the public, one grand prize drawing of an iPad (for a special needs person), and refreshments.
    Better run, it’s nearly time for “B-10, N-33 . .”
    Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County’s Family Week Foundation. E-mail Diane at myfamilies@juno.com or visit www.jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.

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