Friday, October 29, 2010

Haitian Painter Delivers An Important Message

Prayers For Haiti (Livesay Blog)

If there is righteousness in the heart,
there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.
So let it be.
- Scottish Blessing

May your hand be outstretched to all you meet.
And may all men say 'Brother' when they speak of you.
May the land be fertile beneath your feet.
May your days be gentle as the sun-kissed dew.
- Polish Blessing

Father, I have learned
that one strong in calculation
is called a mathematician.
You are the greatest mathematician
because You can count all the people
yet still see each one of us.

From: God is no Stranger - Baptist Haiti Mission

Praying today for all those ill with Cholera and all those working to treat the sick.
 God give them strength.

ABC Family Casts Katie LeCler (young actress who is deaf) in "Swtiched At Birth"



Burbank, CA (October 28, 2010) – ABC Family has cast Lea Thompson, Constance Marie and newcomer Katie Leclerc in the key role of Daphne, in “Switched at Birth,” a pilot that is currently in pre-production for the network.

“Switched at Birth,” a one-hour scripted drama, tells the story of two teen girls who discover that they were accidentally switched at birth. Bay Kennish grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and two Brothers, while Daphne Vasquez, who lost her hearing as a child due to a case of meningitis, grew up with a single mother in a poor neighborhood. Things come to a dramatic head when both families meet and struggle to learn how to live together for the sake of the girls. Lizzy Weiss (“Blue Crush”) will serve as executive producer and writer.

Lea Thompson (“Back to the Future,” “Caroline in the City”) will portray Kristen Kennish, the wealthy mother of Bay (yet to be cast). Constance Marie (“George Lopez”) will take on the role of Regina Vasquez, the single mother of Daphne, to be portrayed by Katie Leclerc.

ABC Family put out a wide casting search for the role of Daphne, seeking out deaf and/or hard of hearing actors for the part. Katie Leclerc has Ménière’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance to a varying degree. It is characterized by episodes of vertigo and tinnitus and degenerative hearing loss. Leclerc is fluent in American Sign Language.

“We’re thrilled to have such acclaimed actresses as Lea Thompson and Constance Marie join the cast in two of our leading roles,” said Elizabeth Boykewich, Vice President, Casting, ABC Family. “For the critical role of Daphne, we set out to meet actors with all ranges of hearing loss to play the part. When we auditioned Katie, we knew she was perfect for the role. Not only is she a talented actress, but like her character, Katie is comfortable in both the hearing and deaf worlds.”

“We’re delighted to see ABC Family cast an actor from the deaf and hard of hearing community for the role of Daphne,” said Dr. Patricia Hughes, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Inc. “By casting Katie Leclerc, the network seized upon an opportunity to make a significant impact with not just viewers, but the Hollywood community at large, by reflecting the diverse world we all live in.”

The network is currently casting two more deaf or hard of hearing actors for the roles of Emmett and Penn.

Part of the Disney/ABC Television Group, ABC Family is distributed in over 98 million homes. ABC Family features programming reflecting today’s families, entertaining and connecting with adults through relatable programming about today’s relationships – told with a mix of diversity, dysfunction, passion, humor and heart. ABC Family’s programming is a combination of network defining original series and original movies, quality acquired series and blockbuster theatricals. ABC Family is also the destination for annual Holiday events with “13 Nights of Halloween” and “25 Days of Christmas!” ABC Family. A New Kind of Family.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lemke Calls on Media to Give Paralympics Greater Coverage - IPC Press Release

Lemke Calls on Media to Give Paralympics Greater Coverage

Wilfried Lemke, the Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, has called on the worldwide media to give greater coverage to Paralympic Sport and other sports for people with a disability.

Speaking on a visit to the International Paralympic Committee's headquarters in Bonn, Germany, Lemke said he was a big supporter of the Paralympic Games and felt that the Movement could benefit from TV stations giving it greater airtime.

"I have seldom witnessed moments in sport which were as inspiring as those seen in sport for people with a disability," said Mr. Lemke.

"That is why a worldwide campaign to support all those people who are participating in sports for people with a disability - be it physical or mental - could make a big difference", he added.

Appointed in March 2008 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mr. Lemke's key responsibility is to promote sports as an instrument for development and peace, both within the United Nations system and externally.

As part of his UN mandate he has set as one of his top priorities the promotion and support sport for people living with a disability.

To achieve this, he understands there are some major challenges ahead, but a breakthrough moment may be all that it takes.

Mr. Lemke said: "People living with a disability, regardless of which disability, are still not given all the opportunities they should be given, in particular in the field of sports. To be honest I am afraid we're a long away from that.

"There is still a lot to do to convince stakeholders that sport for people with disability should be given more attention and support, and to encourage governments that have not done so to accede to, ratify and implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol, which contains important provisions on sport,

"I hope to convince the media not only to strive for high TV ratings by broadcasting Champions League Games and Olympic Games, but to also give visibility to the fantastic athletes who compete in the Paralympic Games and other sports events for people with a disability.

"They could broadcast powerful stories that would touch and inspire viewers and help promote a change in perceptions, thus achieving the TV ratings broadcasters strive for."

According to Mr. Lemke, it is however not just about chasing TV ratings when it comes to sport for people with a disability, it is about changing the way people deal with disability in society. He believes the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games are a fine example of just what can be achieved.

"I was really pleased to see over the course of the Paralympic Games in Beijing that the attitude towards people with a disability was changing in a positive way within the Chinese society, which counts the world's largest population with disabilities," said Mr. Lemke.

"Before the Games, much more people were ashamed to have a child with a disability. Now due to the Paralympic Games doors are opening, which is very encouraging."

To find out more about the Paralympic Games and Paralympic Movement, please visit


Notes to the Editor:
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions. The IPC is committed to enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to developing sport opportunities for all persons with a disability from the beginner to elite level. In addition, the IPC aims to promote the Paralympic values, which include courage, determination, inspiration and equality.

Founded on 22 September 1989, the IPC is an international non-profit organization formed and run by 167 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) from five regions and four disability specific international sports federations (IOSDs). The IPC Headquarters and its management team are located in Bonn, Germany.

For further information, please contact Craig Spence, IPC Media and Communications Senior Manager on e-mail: or call +49-228-2097-230. Alternatively, please visit or www.ParalympicSport.TV

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why Love Orphans?? (Orphan Sunday)

Why Love Orphans? from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.


Officials announce aerospace award winners 
Air Force Personnel, Service and Manpower Public Affairs
RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – The Air Force Association awards committee has selected the following units as winners of the Citation of Honor for the 2010 National Aerospace and Specialty Awards.

The winners are:

Special Operations Forces/Combat Search and Rescue Fixed Wing Aircraft Sustainment Team, Air Force Material Command, Robins Air Force Base, Ga.

Air Force Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities, Air Force Space Command, Schriever AFB, Colo.

55th Electronic Combat Group, Air Combat Command, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.

The AFA presented the awards during their 2010 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington, D.C.

For more information on this and other Air Force recognition programs, visit the AFPC personnel services website at call the Total Force Service Center toll-free at (800) 525-0102 or DSN 665-5000.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

CA cheerleader with Downs Syndrome Named Homecoming Queen (from Contra Costa Times via Media

Thursday, October 21, 2010

California cheerleader with Down syndrome named Homecoming Queen

From the Contra Costa Times:

When 19-YEAR-OLD Rachel Cooperstein opened a box containing two red roses this past Oct. 15, it was symbolic of much more than her being selected as the 2010 Homecoming Queen of Dublin High School. It was an amazing, uplifting moment that provided a measure of reassurance that today's teenagers have the capacity to be great leaders in the future.

Rachel, a senior at Dublin High, was born with Down syndrome, a birth disorder that occurs about once in every 800 live births in the U.S. It's an affliction that can be debilitating for children who not only face tremendous learning challenges, but must also endure teasing, bullying and more.

But, not only has Rachel been fully embraced by the Dublin High student body, she's also a member of the varsity cheer team where she's treated as an equal with a little extra TLC thrown in.

"DHS students have just shown an amazing acceptance. They are just a loving student body," said DHS Principal Carol Shimizu.

Rachel's mom, Rene Cooperstein, says her daughter's inclusion onto the cheer squad played a huge role in helping Rachel to develop the kind of self-confidence that has allowed her to perform in front of crowds and to be able to walk down the red carpet during Friday night's homecoming game ceremonies.

"I'm no hero," said new DHS cheer adviser Kristine Cousins who, upon taking on the role, immediately altered the selection policy to create a more inclusive squad. "The hero is Rachel's mom for asking (if her daughter could try out for cheerleading). The hero is Rachel for working so hard. The hero is the student body for being so embracing."

The stereotype of highly visible, highly popular cheerleaders being part of a highly exclusive clique doesn't apply at Dublin High says varsity cheer captain Katelyn Pryor. "It's not in any of us to say 'Rachel, you can't cheer.' She's just so spirited and just puts everything into what she does."

During the weeks leading up to homecoming, a groundswell of support for Rachel, who was a Homecoming princess, began to form among the student body, which felt they at least partly wanted to make a social statement. Rumors circulated that Rachel was getting the most votes and was going to be the winner.

"It wasn't like (students) felt sorry for her. She's super sweet and deserved it. I'm so happy," said Olivia Silva, a sophomore at DHS.

Pryor and her cheer squad teammates joined nearly everyone in Friday night's crowd to give Rachel a tremendously loud cheer as she was introduced among the five queen nominees during halftime of the Dublin varsity football game.

Wearing a purple gown, Rachel was escorted from midfield toward the sidelines along a red carpet as the band played in the background. Members of the DHS Irish Guard flag team created a tunnel through which each of the five nominees walked. As she was escorted down the red carpet by her 16 year-old brother Jared, Rachel blew a kiss to the crowd to acknowledge the cheers.

After the introductions, the nominees all stood alongside one another on the sidelines. Each looking beautiful in purple, floral, white, black and animal print gowns, the nominees were each given a gold box with roses inside. All but one contained a single white rose.

As Rachel eagerly tore open the oblong box and held her two red roses high above her head, her eyes -- and the eyes of a lot of people in the crowd -- began to fill with tears. The crowd stood to give her a standing ovation. The other nominees were quick to reach over and hug her.

"Mommy, I can't believe it. I'm so shocked," Rachel told her mom as the two embraced in a special, emotional moment after the crown was placed onto Rachel's head.

Rene Cooperstein says she and Rachel had no expectations that the special 19 year-old would be crowded queen in what some consider a seminal moment in the history of DHS. But Rachel, who's known for coming up with some great philosophical quotes ( may have been extremely prophetic earlier last week when she tried to express to her mom how happy she already felt.

"I love a story with a happy ending," said Rachel — the 2010 Homecoming Queen of Dublin High School.

Dublin lost to Campolindo 31-17 Friday night, but the talk of the school -- and the town for that matter -- has been how Dublin High won a much more important contest than a single football game.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Help God's Littlest Angels Help Alot of Youngsters

Special Hearing Screener needed at the Orphanage.

Posted by Dixie
I received an email today from Susan Westwood, the RN in charge of the nursery.  For years, some of our babies have had repeated ear infections from a variety of causes, but we know that it has affected their hearing.  We have no way of checking hearing on children under the age of 4.  Most pediatricians in Haiti send children to the Dominican Republic for hearing testing when they think there is a problem.
Susan told me about a baby we have in the NICU who is 4 months old and doesn’t respond to noise at all.  There are others that only respond to loud noises.  We would like to be able to test their hearing. 
Susan found a portable machine that is able to test hearing on infants.  This machine is called a Welch Allyn OAE Hearing Screener.  This machine is easy to operate and does not require a lot of training.  The results are fast and accurate and take only about 10 seconds per ear.   We can get accurate results without any response from the baby, and the machine gives us either a pass or fail result.
This would help us test the children’s hearing, and identify children that might benefit from hearing aids. It would also be good to be able to monitor our children who have chronic ear infections.
We need $4000 to buy the machine, printer, and supplies needed to make it run.  I think it would be nice if we are able to use this machine to do screening of all of the school children that are sponsored through GLA and children living around the orphanage.  But to reach out and be able to do this, we need help to raise the funds needed to buy the hearing screener.  Can you help?

Friday, October 8, 2010

my blog: Letter to my daughter ( in the wake of senseless t...

my blog: Letter to my daughter ( in the wake of senseless t...: "Hello my girl, I wanted to say hi and tell you how much I miss you and that I hope your classes are going well and that you are having fun ..."

The Word For The Day

" Whatever you do work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord not for men. Since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the LORD CHRIST you are serving."
Col 3: 23 - 24 (NIV)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

In Memory of Thomas (Mr Strong) Musser

Thomas and his family are some of the people that I have had the honor of knowing and praying for via the Caring Bridge Website ( Thomas earned his angel wings on Oct 6, 2010 after a long battle with Leukemia while being treated at St Jude Hospital in Memphis, Tn.

 For more information about supporting St Jude and the families that they take care via their website

RIP have touched my heart and I will never forget you or your family!
From the latest entry on Thomas' Caring Bridge website...

Thomas Edwad Musser (Mr. Strong) passed into heaven Wednesday October 6, 2010 at 2:38pm at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. He was held by his parents and surrounded by the loving staff at the hospital.
Thomas was born August 8, 2001 and at the age of 3 ½ was diagnosed with leukemia. He fought hard and never complained. He enjoyed life to the fullest and was a testament to us all about hope, love and joy. He loved his family and friends. He loved school when he could attend. He loved baseball. He always said without a doubt in the world he was going to play for the Pittsburg Pirates when he grew up. He loved swimming and playing with his dogs. He loved playing with his brothers, they were his life-line.
His spirit and courage touched the lives of everyone he knew. His smile and wonderful hugs warmed the hearts of all of all he touched. His absence leaves a vast hole in our hearts.
To summarize his life with words would be impossible. The closest words that come to mind are Trust. He trusted his God, his family and the doctors. And Love, a pure love for family, friends and life that sickness could not break, pain could not shake and death cannot take away. In the midst of our sorrow we take comfort in the words of king David at the death of his son, that we will go to him one day.
Thomas is survived by his parents, Ed and Lisa Musser and brothers Matthew and Andrew. His grandparents Rector and Linda Currin of Sugar Grove, VA. Mike and Carol Musser of Rural Retreat. His Aunt Robin Musser of Abingdon, VA. Uncle Mick Musser and Aunt Melissa, cousins Garret, Abby and Ben of Rural Retreat. Uncle John Currin and Aunt Nancy, cousins Brian and Katie of Blacksburg, VA.
Over the years of his treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, we grew close to many people we consider our family. The staff at the hospital cared for him as if he were their own. Thomas and our family have a special love for them all including Ching-Hon Pui, MD his primary leukemia doctor and Wing H. Leung, MD his bone marrow transplant doctor. In addition we grew to adore and love many of the nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, nurses and staff. There are to many to list. We are thankful for the many additional years they gave us with Thomas.