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Support Team Sophie: For Universally Accessible Playgrounds

Amazing people do amazing things to transform themselves and the world. My congregants Jeff and Kellie Singer support Shane’s Inspiration, an organization which works to create Universally Accessible Playgrounds and programs that integrate children of all abilities socially, physically and emotionally, fostering acceptance, friendship and understanding. They helped vision Calabasas’ Brandon’s Village.

Jeff and Kellie invite people to hear their story. Our Brandon Kaplan Special Needs Program urges us to support their Team Sophie in the Shane’s Inspiration walk. Read on:

As many of you know, our daughter Sophie was diagnosed with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia when she was 5 months old. It is a very rare disorder which is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in children. We did not know whether she would be able to see, walk, or talk and so many of the other normal things that we all take for granted each day. Sophie has spent the past 8 years going to physical, occupational and speech therapy up to five days per week. She has worked so hard and achieved so much. She has inspired everyone in our family to reach higher than we thought we could, to work harder than we thought possible and be more compassionate than we knew how to be. Sophie is now in third grade; she attends Hebrew school, spent a week this past summer at sleep away camp, does gymnastics, karate, plays baseball and played in her first soccer game this weekend. We are so proud of Sophie and all of her accomplishments. Shane’s Inspiration came into our lives almost 8 years ago and has given my family so many gifts; the gift of sharing, acceptance and love. The gift of embracing a world without bias and barriers. And most importantly, for Sophie, the gift of laughter and the joy of play. Shane’s Inspiration makes that lesson possible for all children by building “Integrated Playgrounds”. Playgrounds that your children can enjoy alongside a child that may not be able to put themselves on a swing or walk across a play bridge, but can roll with a wheelchair alone or with the aid of their parent or another child and be able to laugh and enjoy a day in the park. The vision of Shane’s Inspiration is to eliminate bias against children with disabilities. The mission of Shane’s Inspiration is to create Universally Accessible Playgrounds and programs that integrate children of all abilities socially, physically and emotionally, fostering acceptance, friendship and understanding. Over the years, we have been so honored to have so many friends join Team Sophie at the annual Walk & Roll. We would like to invite you to join us on Sunday, September 28th at 7:30 AM at Griffith Park for the 11th Annual Shane’s Inspiration Walk & Roll. We are proud to say that Team Sophie has been the top fundraising team for the past 7 years raising more than $100,000. We have set a goal to raise $25,000 in 2008. We appreciate any donation that you can make. We have set up a Team Sophie Fundraising website . All donations are secure and sent directly to Shane’s Inspiration by Firstgiving, who will email you a printable record of your donation. Or if you prefer to mail a check, just send the check payable to Shane’s Inspiration to 15213 Burbank Boulevard, Van Nuys, CA 91411, and acknowledge TEAM SOPHIE. Contact Jeff with questions.

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