G.L.A.D.D (Greater Lakewood Activities for the Developmentally Disabled) consists of a board of volunteers from our community. The following history was gathered from Geri Lavin, President:
The G.L.A.D.D. board was formed 30 years ago, by a group of parents who had young adults with developmental disabilities. These young adults did not have an opportunity to go to the senior prom. The parents got together and decided to put on a dance. All the young people had the opportunity to get dressed up, have a snack, go hear music from a band, and dance the night away! This was such a success they decided to have one dance per month, September through June.
The G.L.A.D.D. dance is well attended by people with developmental disabilities aged 18 years and up. Geri commented: “We have between 230 to 300 who attend each month from four different counties. They come to see their friends, meet new people, have a snack, and dance. There are several contests during the year that people can participate in. It is absolutely incredible to see the look of wonder, joy, and happiness on someone’s face as they are brought on stage and given an award in front of their peers!! The smiles are big, their eyes sparkle, and their excitement is contagious.”
Geri discussed a client’s story, “Ten years ago there was a gentleman about 50 years of age, who won a special certificate for his Halloween costume. He hung onto it all evening, staring at it. I heard when he got home he would not let anyone take it out of his hands. He even slept with it. His family said he was so happy and so very proud of his award. That gentleman passed away that day holding on to his award. I heard since he was so happy and proud the family chose to bury the certificate with him. You just never know how much something like an award can mean to someone.”
Geri mentioned upcoming G.L.A.D.D. dances, “We have many people who consider the G.L.A.D.D. dance the highlight of their month. The next G.L.A.D.D. Dance is Friday, November 16, 2012 called “The Boogie Woogie Dance Contest”. Awards will be given to winners. All others will receive a participation certificate.
On Friday, December 21, 2012 Senator Mike Carrell will honor our dancers by being G.L.A.D.D.’s Santa Clause at “The Santa is Coming to Town Dance”. (All dancers will receive a gift).
On Friday, January 18, 2012 it is “Elvis’s Belated Birthday”. Elvis will receive a sparkly scarf that he will share with every dancer by placing a scarf around each person’s neck.
A donation of $4.00 is asked of all who attend. With this donation, a snack of chips and drink are included. No one is ever refused for lack of money.”
For more information about G.L.A.D.D. and its events, please contact Geri at: 253 223-4800.
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com